Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mr. Good

Disclaimer: I'm writing stories that may not be entirely The Truth. Because, when you write about a teacher who is somewhat of a legend at your school, then it's not always clear what is myth and what isn't.

***

In high school, I had a teacher named Mr. Good. In the years before my time there, some students had gotten their hands on a picture of young Mr. Good. Naturally, they made it into a poster that filled an entire bulletin board. The caption read: He's Mr. Good and there is no Mr. Better.

I read that poster practically every day for a whole school year. I tended to agree with the sentiment. After all, when a coach came to Mr. Good to borrow a desk, Mr. Good demanded to barter. As a result, he acquired a baseball cap in exchange for the desk. Then he proceeded to wear the hat (embroidered with our high school logo) to class for the next few weeks.

Another time, Mr. Good was assigning seats and ran out of desks. (It was probably about then that Mr. Good became self conscious about the baseball cap). So what did he do? He assigned the spare kid to the couch in the back corner of the room. During the next few days, Mr. Good put on a pretense of being sorry about the dearth of seats, but since every other kid in class coveted the couch seat, and the kid himself finally said, "Really, I like it here. I don't need a desk," the couch became a permanent assignment.

And there were other perks to being in Mr. Good's class: bad kids got sent to "the Veranda" (the walkway just outside the classroom door), at Christmastime, we sang songs and put on skits about government, and on bring-your-child-to-work day, his 7-yr-old daughter taught us about the planets (during an entire hour of "AP Government").

So, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that we all agreed: he WAS Mr. Good, and there WAS no Mr. Better.


Fast forward some years. I'm at work, and I hear about someone's client. The last name? Betters. --Lu

***Note: As I'm sure you noticed, there were some "high class" words in there like "dearth" that I wouldn't normally use--that's all thanks to my friend Marge's amazing editing skills. Thanks also to everyone who contributed (knowingly or unknowingly) to the stories about Mr. Good.

****P.S.: That book Moo "recommended"--Love in the Driest Season--is great. Post coming soon. BUT! don't read it if you don't like descriptions of the aftermath of war, BECAUSE, the author was a news correspondent and describes some of the horrific scenes he encountered while reporting. Nothing is described in great detail, but if you are squeemish, be warned.

1 comment:

the penrods said...

Mr. Good was awesome. I wonder if he'd let me take his class again. I'm pretty sure you should write him a letter and inform him of this unfortunate find.