Thursday, February 28, 2008

64 - 67 x365: Highschool teachers

# 64: Mr Seimans

He was my home room teacher for Grade 9 and taught us math. He was interesting and made math seem a lot more fun than it actually was. I liked him. That is, until the day he announced to the whole class that I had tried out for numerous sports teams and never made a single one and yet kept trying, isn't that great? Let's give her a round of applause. I had been standing in front of the class writing an equation on the board at the time. There was no escape. So I stood there. Awkwardly. As he praised my fortitude despite the fact I was obviously completely inept at sports and no one would ever want me on their team. Years later, he made up for it when I took a math class from him in university and he let me pass despite the fact I got 20% on my final.

#65: Mr C

He taught French to a bunch of high school kids who had no interest in learning anything least of all another language. He was nice but gruff, not really much of a teacher, and seemed to be in it so he could coach football. Years later I heard he left his wife, moved in with a man 15 years his junior and opened a plant shop. I saw him. He looked happy for the first time in years.

#66: Mr. Helliwell

After years of experiments, he had burned off all the feeling in his fingers, his fingerprints and the lining inside his nose. He would do things like open a jar, take a whiff and pass it to an unsuspecting student. When the student passed out from whatever horrid smelling thing he had thrust upon them he would laugh and laugh. We all loved him. Once when a student fell asleep in his class, rather than waking the student up, he let the entire class leave the room. He would ask Trivia Pursuit science questions 10 minutes before class let out and if you got the answer right you could leave early. After three years of being in his classes, he realized I was never going to get one right.

#67: Mrs. Forreiter

She had the face of someone who'd been sucking on lemons. All squished and contorted back into herself. She had 7 outfits she rotated each week. You knew what day it was by the skirt she was wearing. We would drop paper cherry bombs on the floor and hold our breath in anticipation. Her eyesight was not the best and when she stepped on one she would jump and land on another. It was our greatest joy. She was closing in on retirement when we started Grade 9. After our class, she decided it was time.


  1. Wow, that sounds exactly like something Rick Seaman would do. He's kind of oblivious that that could embarrass anyone. Believe that he was genuinely impressed and was proud of you, otherwise he wouldn't have said it.
    A friend's favourite Mr. Helliwell moment was when he accidentally stabbed himself in the leg (?) with scissors and bled all over the test they were supposed to write. Apparently it was the only time Mr. Helliwell postponed a test.

  2. This is really impressive.

  3. I remember when Mr. Helliwell slashed open his femural (?) artery! Ha! I also remember his rigging contact explosives around the third floor on the day that elementary students were touring the high school. Dude was crazy. Good times.

  4. I remember when Bevan paid Mr. H. to eat a piece of cheese out of the garbage. Best bio class ever.

  5. My mom told me today that she knows Mrs Helliwell. She told my mom that story at a funeral reception.


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