Our elementary school and high school were connected and even as a child, I would be so excited to walk by his door on the way to gym class, just to wave at him and smile.
Then one day, I entered the 11th grade and had his class. I don't know exactly what I'd imagined...maybe that it would be an easy A, I could be the teacher's pet, no homework for a year...ummmmm, no.
I swear that he was more strict with me than anyone in the class. I couldn't talk with any of my friends, I couldn't braid my best friend's hair...and forget about passing notes. It was awful.
Once, I showed up to class as the bell was ringing and he was shutting the door. He continued to close it when the bell stopped and told me (through the door) to go to the office for being late.
Another time, I had no idea what chapters were on a test the next day, so I went in the kitchen to ask him. He wouldn't tell me, saying that I should have written them down. Getting mad, I yelled, "If Tricia called and asked, you would tell her!" He simply looked back saying, "Then have Tricia call - and she can tell you."
He was the worst teacher ever. He taught me how to do other awful things too. He spent days teaching me how to drive in our high school parking lot. Not a normal car like a fifteen year old should have - mind you, but the biggest, oldest, ugliest green Ford truck. I could barely reach the pedals and it had a stick shift I couldn't even budge. The more furious I got, the more he would say, "If you learn how to drive this, then you'll be able to drive anything".
He taught me how to change a tire, change the oil and shoot guns. He spent hours teaching me different sports like volleyball, track and spotting me on my back hand springs even though I always kicked him in the face.
Dad taught me how to do horrible things like be responsible and work hard. He made me learn how to get a job and pay my bills. He taught me to have respect for others, especially my elders. Dad taught me to be independent and to have faith.
I'll never forget when I was older, he stopped me once and said, "My job was to raise you so that you didn't NEED anyone. You'd always be able to take care of yourself. If you WANTED to find someone though, well then that was the difference."
Yes, he was awful. You know though, looking back, I hope I'm just as horrible of a teacher as he was. Thanks dad.
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