Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Scream For Me Long Beach!"

Our 7th grade English teacher was a guy whose class I think I would have a hard time getting an A in if I took it today.    His expectations felt impossible and the students who got A's, really earned them (no crossword puzzles, or dictionary copying points available here).  He had a poetry unit that was particularly bad.  A friend of mine who was a near straight A student got really raked over the coals during the poetry unit and wound up not getting an A in the class.  His parents were pissed and he forever hated poetry.

With 8th grade came another poetry unit.  My buddy, despite being a fantastic writer and now working with a new teacher was still completely demoralized when it came to poetry.  He hated it and believed he was a poor poet.  When it came time to submit a poem for grade, my friend submitted the lyrics to the Iron Maiden song- The Trooper.  The Trooper details a soldiers perspective of a Crimean War battle.  

The guys were all laughing pretty hard when our 50 something female English teacher returned the heavy metal lyrics with gushing accolades and an A grade (this same teacher ironically enough refused to allow any reports/reading to be done on rock music)!  However, my buddy began to sweat a little a few days later when the teacher called him out of lunch to tell him that she loved his poem so much that she had submitted it to some national poetry contest or organization of some sort.  He spent the next week wondering if he'd be arrested for copyright infringement, flunk 8th grade Language Arts, and/or be sent to the iron maiden (insert rim shot).  In the end he said nothing and the whole thing came to pass.  Up The Irons! 

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