Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Matter of Manners

Article © 2018 Luke T. Bush

The situation has really changed since I attended high school.  Back then relations between students and teachers were – well, let’s say more liberal in certain cases.

One day during my junior year I was in study hall, bored.  To cram as many students into the room the desks were lined up in rows, each desk abutting the one next to it.  These were the blonde wooden desks with rectangular tops, some adorned with messages.  The tools: a Bic pen with blue ink or a jackknife for a permanent etching.  (Shop Class taught many a neophyte carver the required technique.)

I happened to be sitting in the front row, near the teacher assigned to babysitting duty.  He looked like a recent college graduate who was “lucky” to land a teaching job in the hinterlands.

I noticed a sheet on his desk, a list of absentee students.  I reached over, my arm barely crossing one corner of the desk to my right where an attractive blonde in the senior class sat.  I checked the list and put it back.

The teacher noted my actions.  He said to me: “Luke, you know it’s impolite to cross in front of someone without excusing yourself.”

I glanced over at the girl next to me.  “Sorry,” I replied, “she blends so well into the woodwork that I didn’t see her.”

Suddenly the teacher glared at me.  The angry countenance of the lava god.  He struggled to control himself: his muscles tense from resisting violence, his throat imprisoning strong words.

I told a friend later about the incident, wondering why the teacher was really upset.

My friend explained: “You insulted his girlfriend.”

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