Education

Class Dismissed

April 01, 1991 2 min read

Can We Keep The Coffee Machine?

Principal Thomas Giles of Niles North High School in Skokie, Ill., is starting to sound just a tiny bit testy. Confronted with a petition—signed by 900 of the school’s 1,600 students—calling for the elimination of the staff smoking lounge, he said: “Have you ever passed a petition in a high school? I can go out right now and easily get you 500 signatures on any petition. I doubt if half of them even read it.” Giles’ less-than-generous comment about healthy student activism might be explained by his reply when asked if he smokes: “No comment.”

The Smell Of Victory, The Agony Of The Feet

By the time you read this, the air in Montpelier, Vt., probably will have cleared. The finals of the national Rotten Sneaker Contest were scheduled for March 20 in the Vermont capita!. But by early February, the contest had already done its part for education, at least in Globe, Ariz. Last summer, Claudia Marek, a teacher at Globe Middle School, read that Combe Inc., the maker of the shoe deodorizer Odor-Eaters (who else?), planned to hold rotten sneaker contests around the country, leading up to the national championship in Montpelier. Marek contacted the firm and got them to sponsor a regional competition in Globe. The company donated T-shirts and a supply of Odor-Eaters for the contestants and kicked in $500 for the English department at Marek’ s school. But it wasn’t all roses for the faculty. Lydia Smith, a teacher’s aide at the middle school, apparently drew the short straw. She had to assess the smell of each of the 40 pairs of shoes that made it to the finals. The Arizona Republic reported that she uttered the word “yuck” repeatedly.

Hip List

A quiz for teachers: Which of the following stuff is uncool for guys to wear? (a) bell-bottoms, (b ) flattops, (c) earrings, or (d ) sun-glasses. Unless you’ve been asleep since the Beatles broke up, you probably guessed (a ), which is one of the right answers. But sorting the rest of the list into cool and un cool may not be as easy. When Levi Strauss & Co. asked boys ages 7 to 11 to name the coolest fashions, they picked (in order): spiked or flattop haircuts, sun-glasses, graphic T-shirts, and acid-washed jeans. Their un cool list included suits, ties, and dress shoes, plus bell-bottoms. And bad news for tennis rebel Andre Agassi: The “out” list also included earrings and sweatbands.

Et Tu, Bush?

While jogging this past winter, President Bush, passing a group of reporters, held up his fingers in a V and asked, “Know what this is?” When the reporters couldn’t guess, he told them: “It’s how Julian [sic] Caesar ordered four [sic] or five beers.”

None Of The Above

At the beginning of a social studies lesson, Arneita Jeffers, a 3rd and 4th grade teacher In East Cleveland, Ohio, asked her students if anyone could name the continents. One student eagerly replied: “Yes. Every letter In the alphabet except A, E, I, 0, U.”

A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 1991 edition of Teacher as Class Dismissed