Friday, January 24, 2014

A Teacher Fit for Justin Bieber

My scariest teacher back at school was called Clutson. Rumor had it he had been in a German Prisoner of War camp and had exported its methods to the classroom. Quite a lot of teachers at my primary school had been in the Second World War and a military ethos marched through the school. If Mr. Clutson had taken gym we would surely have dug an escape tunnel under the wooden horse.




Maybe Clutson had PTSD. Or maybe he was plain weird. He had perfected a technique in which he placed his thumbs on a student's neck and twisted as hard as he could. His favorite victim was Witts. I'm not sure if it;s accurate to describe Witts as a victim as he would purposely goad Clutson into getting his neck twisted to get some kind of bizarre pain fix.

The last thing I heard of Witts he was en route to jail for trying to place explosives in the gas tank of the caretaker at his secondary school.


Clutson would rather adeptly apply the pain and inform the hapless Witts: "Witts. I'm going to turn you off at the mains. Witts, I'm going to twist your head around so as when your mother sees you, she will say 'Witts why is your head facing your back?"

I seriously doubt if Witts had a mother; rather he seemed to have been spawned by a couple of mutant toads over at the sewage works. We are not Facebook friends.

I don't know what happened to Clutson, a small and rather disturbed looking man with beetle brows. I recall one day when he had a blazing fight with Mr. D, one of the school's other unrelenting disciplinarians on the playing field when the air turned blue with f words; always a good example to set to impressionable youth.


I'd like to say we went on to fill the ranks of the civil service, Parliament and successful business owners but most of my fellow students ended up walking around with placards or pushing supermarket carts, which are known as trolleys in England, with the exception of odd parts of northern England where trolleys are underpants. I'm not knocking it. It takes skill to hitch together 20 carts and push them around a parking lot without hitting anybody else's car.


The education system has a place for most kinds of teachers but I would like to think there is no place for teachers like Clutson. Then again there may well be. I'm sure Justin Bieber is in need of some re-education and I know just the teacher for the job.

12 comments:

  1. This reminds me of the most feared teacher in my elementary school, Mr. Ph. (I won't write his full name.) He was a Vietnamese immigrant, so God knows what he had been through. And even if he hadn't, those East Asians know something about discipline that is sadly lacking in our U S of A. He was a wiry man who marched around in a rather military way. It was rumored that he picked kids up by their ears. I was a sensitive girl child, I would have cried. Glad I never crossed paths with him. Some people respond well to that "tough love," others really really don't.

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    1. Thanks for the visit Jen - he does sound formidable. Yes the South East Asian schools are very different - the kids all seem to be model students too

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  2. David, you must have had a very interesting school life. Loved this description! Clutson, and Witts, too for that matter, sound quite frightening. I remember a scary teacher from my middle school years, Mr. Sperry. He was a very LARGE man with a very large belt, and he wasn't afraid to use his large belt on unruly students.

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    1. You are soo right Daisy - it's sort of frowned on these days for some reason

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  3. Well written, David. I'd love to read your memoirs - you have such a knack for telling funny stories that people can relate to. Never knew trolleys could also mean underpants. (Don't know why that strikes me as exceedingly funny either.) I had a 4th grade teacher who bullied us, made us wear shaming placards and dunce caps, etc. My parents finally went up to school and complained after we spent 3 months going around to specialists trying to get my stomach problems diagnosed and I finally admitted that it was the terror of going to school that made me puke everyday. I do feel that we've swing too far the other way, however. Now we have students who curse teachers and destroy property with impunity. Surely there is a middle ground somewhere.

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    1. yes I had a period when I felt like that Li - awful feeling but for real it has swung too far the other way

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  4. I can think of a teacher I had that would be a good one for Beiber as well. Although, yours sounds like he'd do a more thorough job.

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    1. I know Patricia - Bieber could use a very big stick

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  5. He can't even sing . . . now where are these places in Northern England where trolleys are underpants?

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    1. haha Kittie - odd obscure backwaters where men keep ferrets in their pants

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  6. I had a similar teacher in 4th grade who enjoyed bringing troublemakers to the front of the class and making them do trust exercises with him. For some reason (probably because I wasn't one of those kids he picked on), he was my favorite teacher.

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    1. interesting how we all seems to have had a teacher like that for sure Jean

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