Monday, July 14, 2008

Teachers we can't forget

After all these years – 43 to be exact – since I graduated there are still a few teachers I’d have to call my favorites, or at least the ones I can’t forget.

One in particular is Ed Hawthorne. I wouldn’t describe him as a favorite, just the most unforgettable one. Oh, I learned a lot from him, don’t get me wrong, but I remember more the way he went about teaching us.

He was always quick with a joke to tell us, mostly dirty ones, but then he would always follow it with a prayer and reading the Bible. Maybe it was his way of asking forgiveness for telling us a dirty joke.

I’ll never forget the time he asked us to line up along the blackboard in alphabetical order. Of course, as kids, we usually had to elbow the one next to us, or snicker, or something. Well, John Allinder did something Mr. Hawthorne didn’t care for and he hauled off and slapped him.

I even ask John Allinder about it at one of our reunions a few years ago. Yes, John said, Mr. Hawthorne did slap him. Think teachers could get away with slapping a student today?

And I also remember a time when he handed out our grades and he told us if anyone didn’t agree, they could come up and tell him. Nancy Gilstrap did and he bent her over his desk and gave her a whipping, or paddling, as he called it. I guess he didn’t agree with her questioning her grade. Teachers can’t even paddle a student these days.

Then, there was Luther Woolbright, another math teacher. He came to school one day after he was stabbed in the stomach with some scissors by a lady. Boy, whatever he did must have really set her off! Still another math teacher was Woodfin Garrett. He taught computer science, and he took us one day to Norman (OU) to work on computers, so he was okay, in my mind.

How about Mr. Bettes for science, Mrs. Duty, Mrs. Norvell, Mr. Scott and Mrs. Davies?

One of my favorites was Vera Owen, who taught high school English. She was always pleasant and made class fun. Another was Mrs. Courington, who we had for singing class, or chorus, and Mrs. Roberts, who taught typing.

Willard Henson was one of my favorites, too. He taught shop class and drafting, both of which interested me. I took both later in college at Northeastern State. By then, we called it Industrial Arts.

Frank Hogan was the high school principal. Ray Hall and Bill Perry were the football coaches and Robert Wyatt the baseball coach. Mr. Hamilton was the superintendent.

In grade school, I always enjoyed Mr. Keller and Mrs. Moore, both of whom lived on 2nd Street. Mr. Keller taught geography and Mrs. Moore grade school English. In fact, I remember all my grade school teachers, Miss Betty, Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Hamilton, Miss Himes, Miss Lasiter, Miss Ruby Owens (mainly because she was Mr. Keller’s World Burger partner, or date), Mrs. Wynn and Mrs. Dozier.

I remember Mrs. Sallee, but I never had her. I do remember Mrs. Sallee not letting anyone run on the school grounds. How about Mr. (Seldon) Taylor, the grade school principal? He did a lot of paddling, too.

Anyone feel particularly scarred, physically or emotionally, from all this abuse we received? They called it discipline when I was growing up!

And they all played a part in my growing up.


At July 15, 2008 at 8:34 AM , Blogger JimPat said...

I can still remember Mrs. Courington's singing class or whatever it was called. Near one of the seats in the third or fourth row, there was a small hole in the floor, just a round hole probably smaller than a golf ball. We used to use our pencils and paperwads and play golf with the hole the in the floor. Mrs. Courington would see several people looking down at the floor, but I don't think she ever figured out what was going on. She was a nice lady, but we gave her a rough time, sometimes.


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