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17:30:39 - 2000-03-18

THE TEACHER

Melissa Ognio.

I made that woman's life a living hell.

I was 18, she was 24. She was my marketing teacher in high school, fresh out of college and ready to lead the youth of today into THE WORLD OF TOMORROWWWWW!!!

Sorry babe. I'm a wise-cracking teenager who can't look past the weekend. I'm not interested in your visions of grandeur. Give me my diploma and a coffee can to piss in and I'm outta here.

But God bless the woman...she tried.

We both started at Hendersonville High School on the same day ... I was a transfer student at the beginning of my junior year and she was on her first day of teaching EVER. She had such a passion for teaching her first year and I respected that. She stumbled quite a bit, and wasn't always sure of herself, but I sat in the back of the class and learned from her.

The following year ... all bets were off.

I had been at the school a year now, made some friends, and had gotten a bit cocky...senior year and all ...

I went ahead and took marketing for a second year. Mainly because I wanted to be in Ms. Ognio's class.

Except this year ... we were going for a ride ...

I was the biggest smart-ass to ever walk in a classroom. Anytime I was asked something, I just said something for laughs rather than to seriously answer her question.

I made her blood boil.

I used to flirt with her. To me it was nothing. She was attractive...hell...she was 24. We were damned near the same age ... I'm sorry, but I looked at her more as a big sister than a role model/teacher. I don't recall having the hots for her.

But looking back right now...it was so "Lolita" in a way. Just a smile and a wink every now and then. Verbal sparring with romantic flavor.

Yeah right...like she ever even gave sex with a student a single thought...

Anyway, at the beginning of senior year, we each had to do a project where we started a business from scratch and do budgets and all that crap.

So one of the things we had to do was to record a commercial for the business.

I was a senior. I decided to have a little fun.

What could she do to me???

So...my business...a t-shirt shop ... had an audio taped commercial of me, talking about my t-shirt shop, while my sisters moaned seductively over a Love Unlimited Orchestra record. I had decided to use sex to sell my t-shirt shop.

Granted ... one sister was 14, the other was 10. I told them to act like they were in pain and being tickled simultaneously.

They actually did a good job while my direction was flawless.

My fellow classmates howled.

Ms. Ognio gave me an F.

But there were a couple of times where I could make the old lady crack up with my juvenile schtick. And of course, one of the coolest things a kid can do is make an adult smile or laugh. So once she laughed, I was on an endless quest to make it happen again. My friend, if you can get the teacher to laugh at your shit, you have become a legend in the Class Clown Hall of Fame.

Anyway....I was uploading my diary entry from 1980 on my other site today ....and uhhh...heh... Twenty years ago today , Ms. Ognio had finally had enough of me.

I remember it vividly. Because there was really nothing to it.

She was trying to teach and I was trying to talk to two people QUIETLY in the back of the room. She stopped her teaching and said "Uncle Bob... I'm trying to teach up here."

I said "And I'm trying to entertain back here".

Okay. I was young and stupid and didn't really understand women and the buttons that you sometimes just DON'T push.

And I realize that I found Ms. Ognio's button early on in the year and pushed that thing repeatedly every single day until it was dented.

But I had NO IDEA she would ever go kung-fu-psycho on my ass.

It took her about three seconds to come flying up the aisle and grab me by the collar and yank me out of my chair.

Okay...the first thing I'm trying to do is to not fall and bust my ass in front of everyone. Rule of thumb: if you're about to be humiliated in front of your peers, try to look as cool as possible while doing so.

She starts dragging me out by the collar. I'm trying to play it off, mugging for my peers, giving them that "What? What'd I do??" look.

She took me out in the hall and I seriously thought she was going to beat me. Her face was red as hell, her eyes were tearing up and there was something bothering her a helluva lot worse than one of my sub-par wise cracks.

I remember she started the tirade with "I am sick of you disrupting my class ...." and then she went on for two minutes, bringing up nearly every damned time I had thrown her off track in her teachings.

I felt bad for her. Above all, I didn't want her to start crying. If you make a teacher cry, I'm pretty sure you go straight to hell.

She didn't cry. She made me go in and apologize to the whole class for "depriving them of their right to an education".

I felt like an idiot.

And I played it cool in Ms. Ognio's class the rest of the year.

I remember in high school, I used to hate those students who had graduated the previous year and then they came back to school and thought they were big shots who could just walk in a classroom, hug the teacher, have the teacher inflate their ego with stories about how great of a student they were and then the student would leave.

I would always be like...what the hell was that shit?

But when I came home for Christmas break my freshman year of college, I found myself at my alma mater.

There was only teacher I cared to see.

And yes...I interupted a class to go and hug Ms. Ognio, wave at a classroom full of strange faces and apologized for all the crap I gave her for two years.

I meant every word.

She just smiled and said "thanks".

I think it's what she needed to hear.

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