In my annual Back to School Night spiel to parents I always talk about what a Disneyland we have here. I worked for two years in da hood before I landed this job, and I’ll be here forever.

“Like I say to the kids, ‘I’ll be here until you have kids here.'”

I’ve been saying it for years (17), but I thought I still had a quite a few years before it actually started happening. (Our Mrs. G has been there for awhile.) But the other day, a kid (not one of mine) came up to me in the quad and said,

“Do you remember a kid named ‘Carl Mayer’?”

“I’ve actually had two. Which one are you talking about? The one from way long ago, or maybe, five or six years ago?”

“Way back in the day.”

“Ok. That was maybe ’94 or ’95? I don’t know. So? Don’t tell me you’re another cousin or something.”

“He’s my dad.”

Well then. I did the math. It turns out it was ’94 when I had Carl, so he became a dad at 16. Hrrrm.

In a related incident…I was finally starting to clean out one of my old file cabinets. Since I’ve been going digital and putting everything online, I’ve been diving in there less and less frequently. I don’t think I’ve opened a couple of those drawers in 10 years.

My servants have been looking for more work (nice problem to have, eh?), and so I was digging around for old shtuff I might actually use if I had it in front of me on the website. I’m having them scan all that shtuff before I toss it, and generally clean house for once. ┬áThirty copies of Oedipus the King, anyone? Minutes from the site council meeting 9/27/94, complete with doodles? Ugh.

Anyway, I found my old gradebook from that year. Just so happened that that was the year I had that Carl. It was an old-school paper one, with god-awful chicken scratches and codes and erasures and OMG, did I really add up all those numbers with a calculator?

After grooving on what great kids I had that year, and realizing that these kids are almost 30 now, I was looking at the totals I had penciled on the back, showing how many A’s, B’s, etc. I was just complaining to one of the social studies teachers the other day about how many D’s and F’s I have right now. 21 F’s, 24 D’s. As I told him, the bottom’s fallen out. Well, the totals on the back of that old gradebook really depressed me. 4 F’s, 6 D’s. And I had 15 more students back then!


On the bright side, I did find some activities I used to do when I first started teaching The Outsiders. Dunno how a couple of these things fell by the wayside over the years, but once they’re scanned, they just might see more use.