When I was a senior in High School, my class schedule went something like this: AP Literature, A Cappella Choir, Seminary, Advanced Art, Drama 4, AP US History, Chamber Choir and I can't remember what else but it seems like it was probably a Typing class.
Mostly, I loved my schedule. I devised it to simulate what it might be like in a Performing Arts High School since I used to always watch "Fame!" and wish that I could attend a high school like that. Besides, I had finished up my math requirements (bane of my existence) and I had the room to do pretty much whatever I wanted.
Except, I had to take history. Not that I wasn't a history fan, because I always enjoyed it well enough and I was excited to take the AP test and get college credit and everything. But I didn't take into account The History Teacher. I could write a post every day for a year about this guy, but I will spare you all the misery and only tell you the good parts.
A little background on him first: He was middle-aged, single (not sure if he was ever married), assistant football coach, extremely intelligent, rather condescending, always dressed to the nines, and a male chauvinist extraordinaire.
Oh, and he hated the arts. Perhaps hated isn't quite a strong enough word, though. He loathed, detested and abhorred the arts and I still don't think that quite covers it. As I remember it, he took issue with me because I had art right before his class and I usually walked in with my gigantic sketch pad that wouldn't fit into my locker. Then he found out I was in the school musical. Then he looked at my class schedule and snorted.
And he picked on me. Oh how he picked on me! He made condescending remarks about my femininity and artsiness in front of the entire class on a daily basis. I couldn't ask or answer a question without a raised eyebrow and a patronizing aside. If I had to check out of class due to a performance of any kind he always had to throw in some sort of snide comment about how I was academically suffering due to my ridiculous affection for the arts. I commonly went home and complained about it to my mother, but all she ever did was tell me I needed to be a better student in his class and it would all go away.
One day, I couldn't take it anymore. I came home and had a nervous breakdown to my mom and told her I wasn't taking the stupid AP US History test anymore because I couldn't subject myself to that class and his horrible attitude of superiority for one more minute. Lucky for me, it just so happened to be Parent Teacher Conference that night, and my mother went to find out The History Teacher's side of things.
As soon as she sat down in front of The History Teacher and told him whose mother she was, he said to her (in that wonderfully snobby way of his), "Oh! The Thespian."
Then he launched into a diatribe of what an awful student I was because I spent all my spare time in rehearsals instead of studying history books. I was never prepared enough for class lectures (probably because I was off singing somewhere). Oh, and I doodled too much on my class notes while he was lecturing.
My mother then asked him what grade I was getting in his class. It was an A-. So, she launched into a diatribe of her own about how he wasn't being a very fair teacher and he was singling me out with absolutely no reason except that he didn't like my choices in class scheduling. She came home from the conference confident that all would now be well in my history class, and I could continue to go without persecution from The History Teacher.
Sure enough, all was well. Sort of. He indeed stopped singling me out after that. Except, he really still was singling me out because he just started to treat me like a ghost instead. If he could not speak down to me, he chose to just plain not speak to me at all. He ignored me when I raised my hand. When he would go up and down the rows having us each read a paragraph or something, he would always conveniently stop to say something just before my turn and then call on the person after me.
I don't really know if anyone in the class actually noticed my promotion from Favorite Female Person To Pick On In Class to Favorite Female Person To Ignore Completely, but I have to say it bothered me. Anyway, if the class didn't notice it at first, they most certainly noticed it after The Lecture.
The History Teacher rather enjoyed lecturing, always expecting that we would come to class prepared for his lectures by reading the assigned chapters. He often checked our preparedness level by just stopping mid-sentence and expecting someone to fill in the blank. If nobody seemed to know the right answer, he would begin to spell it until someone could finally figure it out.
So, on this particular day after my so called promotion, he was lecturing us about some topic I don't remember now, except that it had something to do with someone named McCarthy. And he stopped and wanted someone to fill in the blank. The word he was looking for was "raids." Nobody said it. He waited. The silence grew more and more deafening. So I said it.
He did not respond, so I said it again, because I had done my reading and I was certain I was correct. Still no answer from The History Teacher. I immediately realized that he couldn't bring himself to acknowledge me and my raids, so naturally, I said it again. I sang it several times. I was practically dancing on my desk in a theatrical fashion that was most likely excruciating for him. He continued to ignore me and began to spell. "R......" "R. A....." "R. A. I....." "Come on class, I can't believe you don't know this!"
Of course the class was totally confused and had no idea what to think by this point. I was still over in my corner chanting "Raids. Raids. Raids!!!" and though The History Teacher seemed to be spelling that, it must not be right because Lara is acting like a crazy person saying it a hundred times. But...if I wasn't right, then what could it be? Railroads? Rain? Raisins? Really, "raids" was the only logical answer.
"R. A. I. D...." spelled the History Teacher in exasperation.
Finally, a boy squeaked out the word "raids" ever so softly. But The History Teacher heard it and said, "Finally! I was beginning to think you were all stupid!" (Yes, he really said that.)
And then the bell rang and around 25 students left class wondering what in the world just happened at The Lecture. One student left knowing exactly what had happened and muttering under her breath about the jerk of a teacher she had.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, I didn't pass the AP US History test. Because, after that kind of treatment, I refused to take it. I suffered through American Heritage in college instead.