Monday, October 12, 2009

My First Assignment


I'm a slow learner.

In my last blog entry I mentioned that I completely botched Carol's name and embarrassed both of us by calling her Carnal. Even after she told me that her name was Carol, I insisted on questioning her name tag handwriting ...

Me, "I'm so sorry ... I guess I must have read it wrong ... but you know now that I look at your name tag again I really think that o looks like an a and the r really runs into it looking like an n ..."
Carol, "Excuse me? I wrote Carol ... it's my name."
Me, "I know. I mean you know your name ... the handwriting however ... you have to admit ...was a little ... um ..."
Carol, "Sure. Whatever you say ... and it was nice to meet you too," looking intently at my name tag," JOREL".

Well, Carnal and I put that behind us and we plowed through the long months of classwork and homework with our fellow teachers in training. We learned developmental reading processes (which is a nice way to say speed reading) and methods to teach comprehension by flashing words and phrases on a machine called a tachistoscope. I threw that in so that you would be impressed ... first that I can spell it. Second that I even remember it. Yes, I'll always remember that machine  ... I dropped it at least three times in my travels and the thing was so covered with armor that it still operated.

When I finished my tachistoscope training I was ready for my first assignment.

Everyone gathered in the tiny classroom nervously waiting to be called: Chicago went to John, Atlanta (Carnal got that one), Boston was Julie, New York was Edward ... and JOREL got Camden, South Carolina. Hmmm ... Camden sounded like a nice spot ... maybe not as exciting as New York or Chicago but you never know. I looked through the information packet about the school: Boylan Haven Mather Academy ... private preparatory school ... majority of students were from the Northeast and lived on campus ... I was impressed.

I packed the car, said my so longs and headed to Camden.

I have to say I was very impressed with this beautiful town. It was the home of an annual nationally recognized  steeple chase. Horse farms were all around and the landscape of rolling hills, beautiful old trees and picket fences were right out of a post card. I stopped at the only motel that had a monthly plan and checked in. You see, one drawback to working for READAK was that the course we taught usually ran for only three months then it was off to the next city. That limited where you could live.

Before I even unpacked the car I wanted to see the "campus" where I was going to teach. I followed the directions and headed up the road until I came across a large brick wall with an iron fence. There was a sign on that fence that provided me with much more information about Boylan Haven Mather Academy than any information sheet I had read.



"BY ORDER OF THE FBI: THIS CAMPUS IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED PENDING A CRIMINAL ARSON INVESTIGATION"

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