Saturday, November 17, 2012
When I was a senior in high school, I wrote an editorial for the school newspaper (The Lancer) entitled "A Modest Proposal," which was less about eating babies then it was about teachers jazzing up their lesson plans a little. It was the first thing I ever wrote for The Lancer that got a reaction from anybody. Well, anybody other than the new Computer Programming teacher who was a big fan of the interview I did with him. I think that two paragraph puff piece about his hobbies bought me a passing grade in that class.
After "A Modest Proposal" was published, several of my fellow students told me they liked the article, understanding that it was obviously a joke. For Pete's sake, I suggested that our science teachers invite Nickelodeon's Mr. Wizard to share some of his favorite experiments with the class. I'm pretty sure Mr. Wizard is dead.* I got an opposite reaction from teachers. Well, one teacher. The Physics teacher. She cornered me in the hall one day. "I read your article," she sneered, not a trace of humor in her boring face. " It was interesting."
Look, I didn't expect the teaching staff at Charlotte Christian High School to don costumes and break into song (Two other suggestions I may have made. I don't remember.). "A Modest Proposal" was just my commentary on how utterly boring and horrible I found high school. I hated high school so much. It wasn't so much the teachers or my fellow students or anything like that. It was just the fact that I had to be there, combined with the teachers and students and the homework and the tests and all those awful, nightmare things one must endure in one's teenage years.
Nothing much motivated me in high school, and I've got the shitty report cards to prove it. I knew I was smart enough to coast and get into a fairly decent college, where I'd have another four years to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life. At least in college there'd be sex, booze and two hours of the Jerry Springer Show every weekday afternoon. There'd also be like-minded book-readers and pretentious movie buffs and perky-breasted co-eds who thought it was cool that I carried Jack Keroac novels in my jacket pocket everywhere I went. But that's not the point. The point is, nothing and no one ever truly motivated me to work up to my potential during my high school experience.
This month, a teacher in China found a fabulous way to motivate her students to achieve higher marks: she promised her class that if they got the highest grades in the school on their monthly exam, she would teach class dressed in a sexy French maid's costume. The class delivered, and so did their teacher:
Granted, by American horndog standards, this so-called French maid costume (What kind of French maid wears cat ears, am I right?) ain't that sexy, but it's the principle of the thing. The opportunity of seeing their teacher dressed in a fetish outfit motivated a room full of students to better themselves, and what's wrong with that? Nothing. Maybe if more of my teachers promised to, I don't know, dress like a sexy cheerleader or Street Figher's Chun Li or something, I could've passed a math test for once in my dumb life. Whatever.
*He is now, but he wasn't when I wrote "A Modest Proposal."