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Saturday, August 15, 2009

School Days


The fact that school is starting again soon for some, and has already started for others, brings back to mind my days at the front of the classroom. I spent 17 years teaching high school students and adult education classes and have some wonderful memories of those times.I always thought learning should be fun, and whenever possible I tried to be creative and find new and interesting ways to present the subject matter.

I was teaching a course in consumer economics, and we were discussing capitalism and the opportunities it provides. On the day before Christmas vacation--a day when keeping students on task is always a challlenge-- I decided I would show the movie "Moscow on the Hudson" with Robin Williams because I felt the movie illustrated well the limited choices his character Vladimer had in Russia compared to in the United States. (If you are not familiar with this 1984 movie, it's about a Russian circus performer who seeks asylum in the U.S. while his circus troupe is on tour here. In the process of becoming acclimated to his new home, he nearly has a nervous breakdown in an American supermarket because he is overwhelmed by all the options available at his fingertips, after having had to stand in line to buy a loaf of bread in his homeland.)

One problem: It was an R-rated movie, and even though my class was made up almost entirely of seniors, I did face the risk of incurring the wrath of some parents if the brief nudity was viewed in my classroom. I previewed the film and determined the point at which I needed to stop it, fast forward through the nudity, and resume play. The scenc came fairly late in the movie, so I settled down in a chair at the back of the room--where I could keep an eye on the class--and proceeded to enjoy the film with my students.

It turned out the scene in question occurred sooner than I remembered. All at once on the screen at the front of the classroom were Robin Williams and Maria Alonso sitting naked in the bathtub together! I panicked and jumped out of my chair and raced to the front of the room to the VCR. The students, amused by my panic began to chuckle--most of them had probably seen more graphic stuff at the theater, but this was my classroom, after all! In my distress, I forgot to hit the stop button before hitting the fast forward, so on the screen, the movie is racing forward, causing Maria's boobs to bounce up and down with the speed of the fast forward motion. Now the class was roaring with laughter, partly due to how funny Maria looked with the bouncing boobies, and partly because of my consternation!

The rest of the movie continued without any further interruptions, but immediately after the class ended, I hurried to the principal's office to explain what had occurred before he could hear it from a student, or worse--an irate parent who might be outraged that I exposed their 17 year-old son or daughter to two-sex bathing and bouncing bare breasts! As I breathlessly told my tale of disaster, the principal held back a chuckle and asked, "Where are you teaching next year, Eva?"

As it turned out, there were no repercussions from parents, but the story of Mrs. Gallant running to the front of the classroom in her stocking feet (I had taken my shoes off thinking no one would notice at the back of the room!) and hitting the fast forward button on the VCR to bring about animated bubble bath boobies certainly circled among the students and teachers that day! Thank goodness a ten day Christmas vacation gave the story time to die out! And I did get to keep my job for a few more years.

45 comments:

Pam said...

That is a great story! Hysterical. Luckily no parents freaked out about it.

Bella said...

Hi there, found you on SITS Saturday! I'm a college professor and not retired yet . . . I can only wish for that day, but need the dough right now as I started so late in my life (40's)...I think life has its challenges at every stage, including this middle age phase and just the simple physical changes is enough to cope with on a daily basis! Ha! I'm glad to have found your blog and hope you stop by mine someday! Have a great Saturday! Roz

Jen said...

Great story, funny, though parents might not have thought so!!!!! lol

The Half Assed Housewife said...

This is so something that would happen to me. This is why I love teaching college students. I don't have to talk to the irate parents - and there are plenty of them.

jennie.newland said...

You should have put a warning on that one, it made sweet tea come out my nose as I was picturing it in my head! Thanks for the laugh, and thanks for dropping by my blog today I hope to hear more from you soon!

Pam said...

That is a hilarious story. My daughter is a junior in high school and I am sure I would have heard all about this if my daughter had witnessed it. She would have told me how much her teacher embarassed herself. lol
As for repercussions, when I was teaching 1st grade, one of my student's parents complained because we read a library book about the hokie-pokie.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you drop by again!

From Janes Oven said...

LoL....wow!! no other word :-)


Thanks for stopping by my blog.


brilliant Saturday to you

Alicia said...

oh my gosh that is priceless!!

TuTu's Bliss said...

This is hysterical. I imagine a kid or two aske to switch classes and get into yours!!

Entrepreneur Chick said...

Keep it up, Eva, and your blog is going to get an "R" rating like mine.

Teampittman said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I am also a teacher, so I can definitely relate to your blog!

happy sits day!

ck said...

That is hilarious! Especially the stockings. At least you didn't slip...can you imagine the fame you would've garnered for that?

Happy SITS day!

(PS: you could totally rename this post after your labels, "Bouncing Boobs, Panic and Robin Williams.")

Mommy Bear said...

That is too funny. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Kimberly said...

That is funny! Stopping by from SITS, have a great day!

the planet of janet said...

*snicker*

now that would have been something to remember from high school!

thanks for visiting me today.

Becca @ My Perception Of Life said...

Glad no parents blew it out of proportion! Hilarious story! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! Becca :)

Brittany said...

LOL that is hilarious! Awesome though that you thought about the parents and what they would've thought! Thanks for stopping by my blog and have a great day!

Gamma Sharon said...

That is way to funny... I am still laughing!
Thanks for coming by my blog!
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Joshley and The Charles said...

thanks for stopping by my blog :) love the story! have a great day!!

The Daily Dose said...

Thanks for stopping by. Isn't Sits the best? You find all kinds of people. I see you've been suffering the torture chamber...I'm still looking for the motivation! Good luck :)

Paige said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog to visit. I love being a part of SITS! Hope you will come visit again soon.

Misty said...

Thanks for dropping by! I love hearing from other teacher...even those that are retired! I have thought I might like to teach a college class later in my career, maybe a night class. I don't know though, I might be intimidated by students that old! We will see!

Lacie E. said...

they could probably make a movie out of the things you have seen lol

JaelCustomDesigns said...

Thanks for visiting my blog:-)
This story is hilarious! The memories I'm sure you have from being a High School Teacher... Priceless!

Stephanie Faris said...

That's hilarious! I remember watching movies in high school. I think Romeo and Juliet had some nudity, didn't it? It seems like I remember being allowed to watch that in the classroom but it was considered artsy.

Courtney said...

That's so funny! I remember once being stuck in Boston during a blizzard with my mom and stepfather. We got a room at the Marriott Long Wharf and decided to watch a movie before going to sleep for the night (they had the bed, I was sleeping on a cot in the room). We watched "American Beauty" - the scene in the beginning? Where Kevin Spacey is in the shower? Yeah. Some of the most uncomfortable minutes of my entire life. Funny how people react to those situations!

Thanks for stopping by my blog (The Art of Being Mom)! I'm getting to know all kinds of great SITS people! I live in Southern NH myself, so not too far from you :) We got married in Scarborough, ME a few years ago!

Take care,
Courtney
http://www.theartofbeingmom.com

Steven Anthony said...

Bubble bath boobies......so when is your next class LOl, very funny story. Thanx for sharing it, and bringing a smile to my face:)

Lauren From Texas said...

can I just say I love that "bouncing boobs" is one of your labels??? too too funny.

MarcomMom said...

Funny story! How great that you were considering the parents' concerns--I had a similar one about my daughter's second-grade class seeing "Grease" before preparing to dance to "Greased Lightning" at a school dance festival. I just asked them to please skip the "lousy with virginity" scene... :)

Kitty said...

Such a funny story. I can see the whole thing playing out before my eyes. It reminds me of an undergrad class I had in Anthropology. My professor was using a projector to project his notes directly from his computer to a large screen for the benefit if about 300 freshmen.
At some point during the lecture, a question from a student prompted him to show us something interesting he had found on the internet. Long story short, the "Homo Erectus" he showed us was not the one he was looking for. Poor guy. He never lived that one down.

Reeni♥ said...

What a funny story! I'm glad all turned out well!! Thanks for visiting my blog!! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Anna said...

i just laughed so hard!!

when teachers used to show us movies that were R in high school i was somewhat flattered because alas they were treating us like adults!!
{if that makes any sense at all...oh, how i ramble.}

thanks for the sweet comment.
happy to have found your blog!!
xo-

Somewhere In Between said...

Thanks for stopping by my site! I'm glad you did because that's a hilarious story!! I'm sure you have plenty more after being in the education system for so long! I hope it was very fulfilling and that you'll be sharing more :)

aforestfrolic said...

That is hilarious...I can imagine it now! Thanks for stopping by earlier too, I had fun reading your post.

Jamie :)

Cassie said...

First of all, thank you stopping by my blog!

Secondly, Hysterical story! That is a great movie, and if I ever see it again, I will laugh all the way through the bouncing boobies scene!

Joanna Jenkins said...

That is too funny. I bet your students LOVED your class.
xo

Miranda said...

This sounds EXACTLY like me when I show Romeo and Juliet every year. EXACTLY!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Becky said...

Thanks for the super nice comment on my blog. And for liking what you saw. Love it when I get to meet someone knew thru blogging!!!

Sue said...

That is a funny story! I think I saw that movie, along time ago, I don't remember that scene at all, but it will bring new meaning if I happen to see it again.

Thanks for entering my giveaway!

D2the4thPower said...

That is a great story! It sounds like you were a really fun teacher that lots of students will remember forever.

Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

barefacedapproach said...

You sound like an AWESOME teacher!!! Thanks for stopping by!!! :)

Pricilla said...

heh heh. Life is never how you plan it.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Dee said...

Now that the kinda teacher I loved in school.

From what I heat these day though, that kind of thing is minor.

erin said...

That's funny! I like your blog.
http://unicyclemomm.blogspot.com

Meeko Fabulous said...

OMG! That's the funniest story I've heard in a long time! I miss being in school.