This is the first piece of original pure satire I've written -- I've done some comedy before, but this is true satire. God, it was so much fun to write!

The school is real. The gym teacher is real. The little yellow pieces of paper which were passed out in homeroom asking students to nominate teachers for the MRHS Teacher Recognition Award (from which I directly quote from in the bit at the beginning) are all real. I do not apologize for my shameless satirizing of the gym teacher, and if school officials ever catch up with this, I'll simply plead the Fifth, then the First, and then sue their butts. ^_- Although this piece was submitted anonymously to the school and doesn't have a name attached, I beg of you -- for online distribution, don't post this thing anywhere without my permission, and if I do give you permission, you must keep my name with it.

Anyone from MRHS who happens to be reading this ('specially the sophs!) -- down with gym class! E-mail me at [email protected] and we'll talk about getting a rebellion organized against this teacher. ^_-

For those of you not in the MRHS school system, there are three main levels of classes -- Academic, Honors, and Advanced Placement. Academic are the average-level classes and most electives (Gym is considered academic-level), Honors are higher-up on the academic workload/difficulty levels, and Advanced Placement (AP) are college-level courses that, if you do well on the test in May, can replace college credit. Those are for the over-achievers. ^_- Accordingly, if your classes are all Honors/AP, then you have a higher workload, are considered more self-disciplined and motivated than the kids in Academic courses by the teachers, and are dubbed 'brainiacs' by the kids in Academic-level. ^_- Actually, in MRHS, quite a few of the athletically-inclined (I make it sound like a curse...^_-) are in Honors/AP level classes...so are some of the potheads. ^_^;;

Dedicated to all the MRHS students who are suffering through this gym teacher with me. Less than a semester to go -- we shall overcome!

Our Teacher
~An Ode to the Gym Teacher~

NOMINATION FOR THE MRHS TEACHER RECOGNITION AWARD

Please be advised that I wish to place the name of ____Our Teacher____ in the pool of nominees for the MRHS TEACHER RECOGNITION AWARD. This faculty member teaches the following subject(s): ___Gym/Driver's Ed___.

In support of my nomination, I would like to highlight for the committee how this faculty member has distinguished herself/himself in the education process. To this end, please mention how your nominee has used instructional techniques and methods effectively, established a productive classroom climate and developed rapport with students, and conveyed feelings of self-worth and love of learning to students.

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PLEASE DO NOT USE TEACHER'S NAME IN THE BODY OF YOUR RECOMMENDATION. PLEASE LIMIT YOUR COMMENTS TO THE SPACE BELOW. USE ADDITIONAL SHEETS ONLY IF NECESSARY.

[begin student comments]:

I'm extremely sorry, sirs and madams, but I simply had so much to say on the subject of Our Teacher that I simply couldn't fit it into the tiny space provided by this paper (only 22 lines?! A travesty!). Please accept my offering on the virtues of Our Teacher.

You say we are not to use the name of the teacher we are to nominate -- and I say alas! For everyone should know the name of Our Teacher, who teachers Gym and Driver's Ed to five classes of sophomores. Let me list all of the things that Our Teacher has done for us, His students (whom are not fit to lick His mud-crusted sneakers!):

In the beginning of the year, Our Teacher instantly upped the standards by making all of His classes -- all of them! -- run laps until we doubled over from exhaustion! Hurrah for the sweaty bodies and the out of breathness and the utter exhaustion! We ran and we ran and we ran, around the soccer fields and through the school grounds in the intense September heat! Only after we were curled on the ground wailing for our mothers would He actually start the class!

Sorrowfully, He left us for six weeks in the fall. We pitiful subjects were left in the hands of a substitute! We, who had tears falling down our cheeks in inchoate longing! We, the loyalists who had not transferred out of his class (those unholy beings who got to guidance first!), were left in the charge of someone who believed in instructing the weaker ones in how to play! What an insult to His name!

But all too soon -- wonder of wonders! -- Our Teacher returned to us, filled with instructions for a new sport, 'pickleball'. Unfortunately, this sport (which we had mastered because of His relentless tutelage) was not covered on his midterm! Alas, no, for Our Teacher (in His infinite wisdom), picked the two sports we'd covered in His heathen substitute's tutelage. Also, the questions He'd picked were on things that we had never learned -- alas, that our puny, Honors-level minds cannot reach the level of Our Teacher's, that we cannot pick up on the things which he has learned throughout 40 years of continually playing sports!

Alas, that He did not articulate to us many of the things on the mid-term (although we do not blame him, no!) How sad, that our mean grade was at best somewhere in the fifties! But Our Teacher is too kind, and He has granted us another try! Oh, wondrous day! For we, who have been called fat, ugly, and stupid for not studying as hard for Gym as we did for Spanish, Honors English, or AP Psychology, will now have a brand-new chance to fail once again! How glorious of a teacher Ours is to grant us this chance -- we will do better, of course, for like Our Teacher said, there is no way we could do any worse!

Oh, that I should feel such joy, to be in the presence of a teacher who (for I do not participate in any sport) knows my name only through my position in his seating chart! Oh, I can feel my self-esteem growing in leaps and bounds every single day I spend in His presence! Our Teacher has done so much for me -- for us, I mean, for I am certain every single child in every one of his classes must feel the same way as I!

And now, we are in Driver's Ed -- oh, that we can see Our Teacher in an actual classroom! His teaching style (in the 42 minutes we can attend to his presence) can be broken down like so:

1 minute -- waiting for Him to start the class. (the time we spend gazing at His rugged countenance!)
1 minute -- collecting His thoughts. (and how we are caught up in His dangling modifiers!)
5 minutes -- silent reading of our drivers pamphlets. (interrupted by His joyful interjections of "This part is important, so pay attention!")
10 minutes -- about His wife, the miraculous developments of medicine in the last fifteen years (oh frabjous joy!), and anti-abortion statements galore (the class sways on His words.)
10 minutes -- discussing the latest football/basketball/baseball/pickleball game with the athletic students in the classroom. (as He insults the students He doesn't like, the weaker students watch in awe.)
15 minutes -- watching a film shot in 1981 on the importance of driving sober and straight. (oh, the films are traumatizing, I never want to get behind the wheel of a car.)

Oh, His teaching style is wondrous indeed! I feel enriched! I feel charmed! My studies of great literature and classical mythology are in vain, for Our Teacher utilizes improper grammar -- so awe-inspiring! My heart breaks when the bell rings, for I must leave His presence! You cannot imagine the sadness which envelopes me, although I put on a mask of good cheer as a facade to protect my heart!

Our Teacher is an extraordinary person indeed, and such a marvelous trainer! Our classroom is constantly filled with blank stares and awkward silences (the mark of a good teacher!), for the genius of the man is such that it takes us a long time to comprehend what he says! He constantly tells us that He was once a dumb teen like us -- but Our Hero could never have been like us!

In conclusion, I sincerely hope, sirs and madams, that you will seriously consider my plea to honor Our Teacher with the MRHS Teacher Recognition Award. When thinking over my teachers of the past two years, I instantly realized that not one of them -- fine souls they are, of course! -- deserve this notice as much as Our Teacher does. Our Teacher is truly one of a kind.

I remain,
Your Most Obedient Servant

-30-

This is based on my real-life gym teacher and the real-life MRHS Teacher Recognition Award (and in real life, I actually handed this in!). I think the only thing I changed was that we learned pickleball under the substitute, an incredibly kind lady who did not deserve to be insulted the way our regular gym teacher insulted her, and anyway it was under his instigation.

Everything from him calling a classmate fat, stupid, and ugly (because of his grade on the mid-term which was graded incorrectly and which was partially on material which we were supposed to figure out 'by using common sense' ) to how he spends his class periods in driver's ed (which could have been divided up even further, but I got lazy) to him making us run our little legs off until we collapsed from exhaustion -- all of that was completely true. I had even more things to include, but which I didn't put here for space limitations (I only wanted it to be both sides of a single typed page.).

I'm sure that my gym teacher is basically a nice, if faintly chauvinistic, man underneath it all, and he does have some good qualities. It's just hard to write a scathing satire when you're focusing on that. This was all written after 'the straw which broke the camel's back'. ^_- Folks, don't piss me off. I don't get mad -- I write satire. ^_-