What seems to be a million years ago, I was a teacher of sorts. When Autumn comes, someone can either rise or fall. One of the most brilliant students, sadly, was not in my classroom. I taught English, and my next door teaching neighbor was an art instructor. Requiring rulers was my neighbor’s first and second mistake.
One of his students enjoyed art, manual labor, and breaking things. He also was from a broken home, and he placed his anger on rulers.
On a teaching budget, rulers can be a bit costly. Each ruler costs a buck. Ninety students times one buck….ninety bucks. That’s simple math. Complicated math manifests when one student begins breaking half of the rulers. Ninety divided by two is forty five. He was on pace to break a record by the second week of school. Sort of the Roger Maris of breaking rulers instead of home runs.
Our art teacher provided this student an ultimatum. For every ruler you break, you owe me a dollar. The student then busted out his wallet filled with at least fifty one dollar bills. He then snapped a ruler in half and tossed his teacher a buck.
Turns out, this twelve year old was working part time at a gas station to help his alcoholic parents pay some bills.
Another teacher of his called me for assistance in her classroom one day. The same student had a fifth of Jack Daniels on his desk during math class. She didn’t know how to deal with it, so, as a part time drinker, I was intrigued. Upon showing up to help this fellow employer out, I smelled the bottle, and it was filled with apple juice. He said it was the only empty bottle he could find in the house which could contain the apple juice he made for himself that morning. Although feeling sorrow for the student, I did inform him even bringing a bottle of Jack Daniels filled with apple juice could get him suspended. He didn’t care, because he was making more money working at a gas station than he was at school. I had to laugh, because he was a really affable fellow. I then confiscated the bottle, saving him from a suspension and bought him a plastic bottle of apple juice from the school’s vending machine. He was very thankful for the offering. I was upset his bottle of Jack Daniels wasn’t filled with Jack Daniels. It would have saved us both some cash.
As long as he’s only drinking apple juice, he’s probably a millionaire by now.