Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Trouble With Chemistry

In my sophmore year of high school I had a chemistry class with old Mr. L. He was kind of an icky guy. He wore the same pair of pants everyday and I remember the outline of his wallet could be seen on his pocket, even if the wallet wasn’t there. Mr. L. was also a terrible teacher. He’d stand up and lecture about the periodic table in this very monotone voice that kind of reminded me of the “Bueller, Bueller” teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, only with even less personality. I spent most of class time sitting quietly at my lab table, not wanting to interact with him because he creeped me out a bit.

About halfway through the year I was absent due to a funeral that my family had to attend. The funeral happened to be on Friday of a holiday weekend. Apparently, there were many kids absent from Mr. L's class on that Friday because when we returned to class on Monday, Mr. L was mad! He told all of us who were absent that we would lose points for the day unless we had been excused by the office. He sent all of us out of the room to get a note from the attendance office. Some of the “cooler” kids said, “screw this” and just skipped the rest of the class, but I was quite the rule follower in high school so I got my note and headed back to the room.

That night when my dad got home from work, he was not very happy with me. He told me that he got a call from Mr. L, my chemistry teacher, and was told that I left class to go to the office and didn’t return. Both my parents were teachers so they always supported my teachers with my behavior. Most likely it is the kid who is at fault, but in this case I was being accused of something I did not do. I was outraged. I told my dad what happened and although he was a little leery, he agreed to let me try to clear it up with Mr. L the next day before he beat me senseless grounded me.

I walked into chemistry class the next day and I was livid! With a few friends who had my back, I approached Mr. L and confronted him. I told him I did return to class, with my note, the day before and my friends vouched for me. He hemmed and hawed about it for a few moments and then said it was fine and told me to sit down. “Nu uh,” I told him. “You need to call my dad back and tell him that I did return to class so I don’t get into trouble.!” I demanded.

Eventually, it was all taken care of and I did not get into trouble. Since I wasn’t usually in trouble back then, this whole incident rocked my world. I couldn’t believe I was being accused of something I didn’t do. My dad and I laughed about that incident a lot, after the fact.


  1. Oh, man I would have been mad. There's nothing that irritates me more than people who can't check paperwork - especially when they've asked for it.

  2. Visiting from Mama Kats...

    Nothing like the first false accusation!!! I'm glad you stuck up for yourself. And, as a fellow Goodie Goodie, I think I would have felt the same way.

  3. Thank God!! I didn't had a chemistry teacher like yours...
    Enjoyed reading about your experience.

  4. Oh no! I can't believe that. You do seem like a kid that would always do the right thing :) I like that about you :)

    I could see my Math teacher's wallet outline also. That bugged me. He wore tight polyester suits. As I look back though, I realize that our teachers were super poor and probably couldn't afford cool clothes. We went to a christian school and the teachers make NOTHING there. When I hear public school teachers complain it does bug me a little just because I know how little some teachers really do earn.

  5. I hate being accused without good reason. Sorry that happened but glad it got taken care of.

    I have a few teachers I remember like that from "back in the day"

  6. I was a rule follower too! I would have been oh so livid!!

  7. I was too dumb for Chemistry. But Lunch was fun! Mmmmm, I could go for some tater-tots about now.
    Your Friend, m.

  8. I’ve been keeping up to date with your site, but just don’t always have time to comment (sorry). Just thought I’d say hello again so you know I’m here!

  9. I can totally see you confronting old icky Mr. L!