Vera Hogan mug new

Teaching is a tough job. An understatement for sure and I think many parents have learned that the hard way during this pandemic.

 This brings to mind a few of my own teachers while growing up. Some were more memorable than others for some very specific reasons — good and bad.

 My first male teacher was in sixth grade. He was a tall guy with a crew cut who looked like a mean Marine. One time, during science class, he told us it was impossible to stand on your head and eat an apple at the same time. I, of course, was the dummy who had to challenge that. Well, he took me up on it, and I stood on my head and ate the apple. I was so proud of myself and couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents about my success. At the time, I could not understand why my dad was so angry. It may have had something to do with the potential choking hazard, or the fact that in those days girls wore skirts and dresses to school — no pants or shorts.

 When I got to high school, I remember two female teachers very well. One taught algebra and the other shorthand. Both of them taught directly to the four kids in the front row who were “getting it.” Not good. I dropped out of shorthand and wonder what that teacher would think today if she knew I took accurate notes when I was a reporter — without her crazy Gregg Shorthand.

 During sophomore year, my English teacher was a big man with white hair and black thick horn-rimmed glasses. I hated him because he made us read a book every other week and write a book report. We had to read crazy stuff like “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, “A Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “1984” and “Animal Farm” by George Orwell to name just a few. Today, I proudly own and cherish my own copies of all these classic books and more. I wish I could tell him that.

 During my junior year, our English teacher was a younger guy. The entire first semester was spent interpreting The Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” I loved his class; it was so fun.

 These are just a few examples of my memorable teachers. For the most part, I enjoyed my school days and hope our local kids can get back to it and make their own lifelong memories — without a “Sgt. Sicko” that is.

 Just sayin’!

Opinions offered in Just Sayin’ are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Tri-County Times or its staff. Email Vera at

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