I wrote this little number about a year ago but never posted it because I felt like an asshole. There’s still a little nugget of karmic fear in its publication, but hey, I’m uninspired right now, and I’ve already spent too much time staring at a blank Word document. Besides, I’m not going to be a teacher anyway, so karma’s just going to have to kick me in the balls or something if the universe is to balance out.
I’d like to regurgitate a small resentment that’s been festering in my heart for some time. So, a reason for my directionless plight of so long is because an English degree standing alone is only an intrinsic reward, as I mentioned once upon a time. Initially, I was going to be teacher certified, so I could enjoy the same high school disrespect that I offered to my teachers in the 90s. I quickly discovered that the renowned teacher certification program at Texas State University is a joke. The two classes that I took, and I’ll be singling out instructors in a few sentences to come, were a complete waste of time, all exaggeration aside, I can’t think of a single useful thing I learned in either class. The first of my Curriculum & Instruction classes was taught by a very nice man named Hal. Professor Hal was genial and entertaining, but he didn’t know the material beyond his interesting personal experiences as a teacher and principal. His test reviews were his tests, verbatim, and they required almost no memorization or utilization of study habits. Again, I liked the man, but he struck me as a fellow who was placed at the head of a class whose subject he understood through years of experience but didn’t understand the science behind his knowledge. The second C&I class was taught by a man named Christopher L. Sisto. Unlike Professor Hal, Sisto was a complete idiot. His lectures involved the literal reading of the textbook. That’s it. He was an extraordinarily lazy educator, who reminded me more of a high school coach than a real man. Fine. I could have just quietly despised him if I were able to simply skip his class and show for tests, but the strict Education Department policy, which he arbitrarily enforced, established an entire letter grade drop after three unexcused absences, and I had no choice but to sit in his classroom and squirm with outrage. So to my immediate regret, I dropped the certification part of my English degree and have suffered financial hardship ever since.
But the gold medal for the world’s shittiest teacher goes to a man not in Texas State’s Education Dept. but the English Department. His name is John Hill, and if he’s not dead from old age, retired, or beaten to death by a seriously disappointed student, avoid his class. At the beginning of my college career at Texas State, I noticed an interesting class called “The Concord Writers” in the school’s catalog. It wasn’t offered ever semester, so I was delighted to find an opening in both my schedule and the school’s, allowing me to enroll. I brazening skipped almost the entire semester, showing for maybe eight days of class in the four months of schooling. Why, you ask? Because Dr. Hill was an even lazier teacher than Sisto, but he was tenured and involved with many English- and Academic-related committees for the school. This academic involvement left him untouchable in his position, and we never, never discussed any of the Concord writers in his Concord Writers class. The preferred topic was Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. No shit. The closest thing to covering Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Melville were questions like, “What kind of car do you think Thoreau would drive today?” to which an idiot student (much to my distress) replied, “I think he would have driven a Prius because he liked nature.” We only had two grades in Hill’s class: two papers at 40% and 60%. I received A’s on both but got a B in the class, probably for attendance. I never complained about any of my teachers. I regarded it as bad karma, and I didn’t want to be responsible for their losing their jobs, but after all these years, I still feel cheated, so I thought I’d at least mention it, here, on my low platform.
Update: Dr. John Hill retired in 2008, and Christopher L. Sisto is now Senior Lecturer. Professor Hal is still at large.
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