Perhaps my most poignant back-to-school memory, especially since I’ve taught junior high most of my career and am frequently reminded of my own antics at that age, is frequently labelled as “the most unique” or “the grossest way to make a friend ever“ by those who were there or by those who hear about it afterwards.
One day in September, as a new classmate and I walked home after school, we tried to figure out which was scarier, our homeroom teacher’s gravelly voice or the bright green jumpsuit (with huge red flowers) that she’d worn. Our reasoned analysis was interrupted by the sight of a rotting tomato on the sidewalk. Suddenly, here was something that could end our first day of junior high in a great way! But how?
We quickly decided that a vehicle running over it would be cool to watch. However, after placing the tomato on the road and being dismayed by vehicles swerving to avoid it, we were ready to give up when Edmonton Transit came to our rescue. To our everlasting joy, the good ol‘ route 27 bus obliterated our tomato into a red atomic mist! It was vaporized! We cheered happily, congratulated each other, then made plans to meet in the morning and walk to school. Forty years later, our friendship remains strong, and is probably the only one on the planet based on the glorious demise of an unfortunate piece of fruit.
So, if you see junior high students making schemey fingers while nearby produce trembles, or a certain junior high teacher smirking because he’s thinking about the same thing, have no fear—we’re only midway through September, and there are more amazing days to come! ❚
Ray Suchow teaches computer science and religious studies at Christ The King High School in Leduc.
Moot Points is your chance to write about a funny incident, a lesson learned or a poignant experience related to teaching. Please email articles to managing editor Cory Hare: email@example.com.