Our Memories from our

Classrooms

Barry Smith has two memories of Classroom Antics:

1. Shotgun shot in general science room.

It was held in the old chemistry room in our old High school. Mr Ward taught there, along with Mr. Hurtig and a couple of others. The room was on the ground level, near the front entrance, and windows looked out, and up, at Cheyenne Blvd. A few steps down from the hallway led to this room, where glass cabinets were on the right as you entered. Then in front was the blackboard, Bunsen burner hook-up, and sink.The great idea one of us had soon spread to the entire class and we entertained ourselves for many weeks, maybe months.... Soon many of us were bringing this shot to class. It only took a few placed on our desk, and nearly invisible, they could easily be flicked toward the front of the class - sometimes on the teacher himself, or sideways toward the glass cabinets. Whichever direction the tiny BB's bounced invisibly many times, providing a nice staccato rhythm. The teachers never figured out who provided the rhythm. Each night the janitor swept up, but the pellets were so small they lodged into cracks and crevices - sometimes they acted as bearings as we tried to walk to our desks - very slippery. Remember?

2. This next one, was the best one!! Mr. Patterson's Geography class.

He was quite formal about some sort of report we all had to do - get up in front of the class and report on whatever it was. He had a master schedule of who was to present when, and during one such presentation, one of our class mates (guess who), had just started his presentation when another class member (guess who) loudly shouted," _____ Your Pants!!" The presenter quickly glanced down to see his zipper had fallen down. Nothing showed - just his shirt neatly tucked in. He quickly turned around, zipped up, then faced the class again, and said "excuse me." By this time the entire class was hysterically laughing, and none of us could stop, including the speaker himself. Finally the presenter announced, "I'll be alright in a few minutes," then he proceeded to feed into the general hysteria of the class, and vice versa. All were laughing except Mr. Patterson that is. Seemed like he wanted to laugh too, but thought better of it. In fact as we were all going totally bonkers, he told the class member who had yelled out, that he should have "taken ____ aside," and told him about his zipper. More laughter followed (all but Mr. Patterson). I don't know how he did it, but the one guy finally finished his presentation. Anyone remember who the two stars of the show were?

 

Carl Christensen also was a classroom cut-up, as this story reveals:

One I do remember was Mr Burgert (math) always kept a metal tin on his desk, why, I don't remember, but one especially nice day in the spring, someone opened all of the windows in the class room. Before Mr Burgert came in, one of our classmates reentered the class and picked up the metal tin and tossed it to someone else, it eventually made its way to the last row and the last person to touch it meant to set it on the window sill. Just as he put it there, Mr Burger walked in just in time to see his tin tumble out of the window. Needless to say, the tin didn't do too well after falling three stories to the sidewalk below. Mr. Burger did not realize at first what had happened, but when he realized his tin was missing, we got a good lecturing. I don't know what finally happened, but those of us in that class gave Mr. Burgert (God rest his soul) a lot of grief during the semester.

Karen Bakken remembers Home Ec., a term little used today:

I think most of the girls will have memories of Miss Dean's Home Ec. class

All 8th grade girls had to take Home Ec.  Our teacher was Miss Dean who was very sweet but we still gave her a hard time.  The cooking was fun and I remember making ketchup which became a skill that I never used.  We actually made some pretty good stuff sometimes.  Whenever we made brownies or cookies we would have to leave them to cool.  Upon arriving the next day we would find that many goodies had disappeared so we blamed the class that came in after us.  After many complaints, we decided to fix the problem ourselves by adding a "chocolate looking ingredient" to the brownies.  You can guess what the ingredient was.  I think there were a lot of bathroom passes issued that day.

Things got worse when we had sewing the next semester.  We had to make a skirt and blouse outfit but we had to all use the same pattern and go to Hibbards downtown to get the material.  We could use different colors of material but had to make all the same pattern.  You know that as fashion conscious teenage girls we would never think of wearing the same thing everyone else had!  So we sewed, knowing that none of these outfits would ever be worn.  Having a low frustration tolerance for machines and sewing in general I became enraged when Miss Dean told me I would have to put the zipper in again--for the 5th time.  So in my passive-aggresive manner, I threw my skirt out of the 2nd story window.  A few of us looked out and saw my skirt swirled on the pavement below.  I told Miss Dean that I was standing by the window and the wind just blew it out!  She just calmly told me to go get it and never sent me to the office.

Another time we thought it would be a great joke to decorate Miss Dean's hair.  As a few girls engaged her in conversation, two of us took gobs of purple thread and placed them in her hair.  We then made an excuse to take her into the hallway as the high school was coming back from lunch. Apparently,  she had this in her hair for a couple of periods before someone finally told her.  The next day she almost cried about how she felt so embarrassed.  I think she really felt bad thinking that we would do something like that to her.  We all felt terrible about what we had done.  It certainly was not a joke anymore.  To this day I wonder how we could have been so ornery as she was a nice but sometimes too trusting teacher. I've had guilty feelings for 50 years!

 

Warren Brown responds to a suggestion that the class musicians have a lot in common:

I have not played since 1970, except for a brief stint with the Phoenix College Community Orchestra which my wife conducted after playing violin in the Phoenix symphony Orchestra for 28 years. I was terrible (playing tympani and mallet percussion). Good idea, though, Barry. I'm glad you didn't suggest we get together and jam. Barry, as an interesting aside, Charles Callahan attended my senior recitial (a requirement for my music degree) in Wichita Kansas. I was very honored.

Note: Barry would like to hear from other musicians from the group at large, including spouses. Email Dan Davis with any music skills or current performance history. dmdavis@acm.org

 

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