Friday, August 13, 2010

Dumb as Your Father

Reading a recent email from Richard Holstad, I am reminded of one of our teachers who apparently did not have eyelashes. At least that's the story I was told by female classmates who often would flutter their eyes or stroke their lashes in front of her to tease, I suppose. She would have qualified as a spinster in that day and age, a term not often used today.

In my first teaching job out of college there was a spinster teaching at the junior high level who was well known for her straightforward nature. She had been in the school system for years, and it surprised no one when one day she called out a student in front of the class for being "Dumb, just as dumb as your father and his father before him!"

They don't make 'em like they used to. I suppose that's good.


  1. I'm sure the girls who did this to "Miss S" didn't realize how much this hurt her. This is something she never forgot. Just like a teacher telling a student that they are "dumb" is something they will never forget. This happened to someone I know & he has never forgotten it.

  2. Yes, and it is part of our story, however harmful. If I could take back half the things I have said and done that were hurtful and thoughtless, I'd be a happier person today, probably. So to those on the receiving end of those comments and actions, sorry for whatever pain I may have caused. Once the words are out, they don't go back in. Oh, that I were as gracious and humble as Joe Mauer!

    Personality being what it is, we also tend to treat people, including teachers, differently. Could you imagine students acting like that around Buddy Mounts? Not if you want to be standing tomorrow. Or Lyle Bestul, whom I suspect was always treated with tremendous respect.

    It's just commentary on the nature of people, I suppose.

  3. I thought for sure you were talking about Miss Mellum. I remember one April Fool's day I wrapped up a garder snake in a box and covered it with wrapping paper & a bow but I poked holes on the side so it could breathe. No note, no nothing and I'll be darned if she didn't know right away it was me!! She sent me out of the class and said right in front of everyone - you are just like you father Ole Vold - he used to do the same things to me!!

  4. We are what we are. We could all tell stories of stupid things we did - not that your garter snake gift was a stupid thing, but you know what I mean.

    One day we were on the stage in the gym and I noticed a piano standing there. Being the bright guy that I am I thought it would be really cool to stuff a towel between the piano wires so when someone would sit down to play no music would come out of it and we'd all laugh hilariously.

    I've never seen Lowell Gangstad as mad as he was when he discovered the towel in there. Once again, being really bright, I kept my mouth shut rather than tell him I was the culprit. So Lowell, if you're reading this today and remember it, take it easy on me the next time we meet, OK?

  5. Ouch, that was a bad choice, Lee. I wonder if they had to have the piano retuned.

  6. Merrilee, you little dickens. I've heard of boys doing this, but not girls. No way would I ever touch a snake. I've always told my kids & grandkids, "Never bring a snake to me." So what happened to you after that? Did your parents find out?


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