Grab Your Ankles

One night I was speeding and got stopped by  an uniformed  officer(can the use of “an” possibly be right here). He approached and asked for my license which I gave to him while his face remained concealed behind the light of his flashlight. After I handed him my license and he looked at it he asked if I remembered him? Eyes still dazzled by the light I looked at him and said, ” no, I don’t believe so.” To which he said perhaps he should bend over  and grab his ankles because I might recognize him better in that position.  Of course Mr. Oak who hung on the wall next to the door of my classroom might recognize him as he had closer contact than I ever did and I realized with some concern that Mr. Oak and I had apparently worked together at least once to make an impression  on this officer’s nether regions in school.

I was thinking that this was not going to end well when he re-introduced himself and stated that “he had deserved it,” gave me a warning ticket and walked gingerly  back to his car rubbing his butt.  Fond memories I assume or perhaps just sitting in his car too long.

Before you judge me too harshly for my methods(which were carefully, controlled, witnessed, and explained to the student and well within the limits of society then) please remember it was a different world 40 years ago and discipline methods were often harsh, physical,confining and memorable instead of weak, wordy, ethereal and forgettable as they are now.  And although by modern standards I am sure I might be branded a child abuser and I fully understand that this is no longer acceptable or correct behavior for a teacher.  I also know that I used to solve problem behaviors in 5 minutes that classroom teachers today may now work on for a full year and then hand it off to the next year’s teacher, still unsolved, to the detriment of the individual student and the class around them.


About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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One Response to Grab Your Ankles

  1. Anonymous says:

    No, Mr. Safris, “an” cannot possibly be used before “uniform”. Although teachers do not completely teach students the correct usage, your bullied, dumb student, whom you treated with sneering sarcasm, will explain the correct usage to you: “a” goes before a consonant and “an” goes before a vowel .

    To complete this short lesson, you need to understand what is a vowel. Maybe you or someone else would say that a vowel is “a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y”, but this is not necessarily correct. Actually, a vowel is a sound that is made in the middle of the mouth while a consonant is a sound that is made in the front of the mouth. So “u”, as in “a uniform”, is correct because “u”, which in this case is pronounced in the front of the mouth, is a consonant. A “u”, as in “an umpire”, is a vowel because it is pronounced in the middle of the mouth. “an” ends with a consonant pronunciation and then the “u” vowel follows it. This makes for a natural pronunciation of “an umpire”, rather than having two consonants bump into each other.

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