By ice rivers
I became a teacher for many reasons, one of them being Mr. Badger.
Mister Badger was my history teacher during my junior year.
Badger associated good teaching with a quiet classroom. Aside from somebody's occasional fart, there were very few disturbances in Mr. Badger's class.
At our school, in order to avoid commotions in the hallway, the teachers came to us. The school was a Jesuit prep school. All males. The 25 of my classmates and I were in the same room all day. We got to know each other very well.
Mr. Badger would come into this scene. He would go to the podium and begin his presentation. He would read directly from the text book.
The room became very, very peaceful.
Mr. Badger rarely took his eyes off the text.
He didn't want any trouble.
Neither did I or we.
I put my head down on my desk and went to sleep.
I wasn't the only one.
One day, I looked up from my slumber.
I was surprised to see that every single person in the class was asleep.
As far as I knew, this behavior might have been going on for weeks or months.
For all I know, Badger might have fallen asleep himself during these times. Nobody would have noticed.
The rumor was that Badger had come to us from a school that was in disrepair. The linoleum tles in the room were coming loose.
According to the rumor, the kids in the class removed all the tiles from the floor except for the ones that Badger was standing on as he read from the text.
He didn't notice.
It was all done quietly.
It was easy to imagine.
Around this time, I was thinking about becoming a teacher, maybe even a history teacher.
I had a lot of contempt for Mr. Badger.
I couldn't believe the way that he ignored the minds in front of him. I probably should have confronted him but I didn't want to cause a disturbance.
Mr. Badger gave out a lot of A's. That's all anybody cared about except maybe for me.
I kinda cared about history and about education.
I began to realize what an important and responsible job that a teacher had.
If I became a teacher, I would not be a badger.
I did and I wasn't.
I didn't even become a history teacher.
I taught English but most of all, I taught kids.
My classes were very rarely quiet.
I got into some trouble for THAT.
All thanks to Mr. Badger.