Sunday, November 17, 2013

Best teacher

Today in Sunday School, the teacher asked us to reminisce about the best teacher we remember.

Mr. O'Connor, 6th grade. Awesome. It was a 5-6 blend, and it there were several pairs of siblings in the class. One of them was me and my brother, Maury. Not sure how Maury felt about it, but I loved it. There was also Judy and Phoebe Froggat and Joan and Nancy Nagano (although the Naganos were actually cousins). But I digress.

Mr. O'Connor made us do isometric exercises out of a little book from the Canadian Air Force. I thought they were dumb and I didn't like doing them. I loved Mr. O'Connor but I didn't like his exercises. But he also taught us a new game called Speedball, which I loved. This was in 1965, and soccer was not a big deal in the U.S. In fact, I had never heard of soccer. But speedball must be soccer's little brother. Very similar. It was great fun.

(I looked up "speedball" on google and came up with: 1) mixing heroin and cocaine, 2) a game that involves some sort of bunkers, 3) a brand of pens. None of those is the speedball I am referring to. Many thanks to Mrs. King and her homepage, which provided the above link. Actually, I think Mrs. King has some work to do on her homepage. I found her speedball page. Then I clicked on "home" at the bottom of the speedball page to see what other awesome links she has. She has a great picture of a tiger, and an animated title ["Mrs. King's Homepage"] that inches across the screen, but that's it. No links to anything. Not even the speedball page. So I hope she'll contact the tech department at her school district in South Dakota and get some help. Her url begins with, which means she works in a school district in South Dakota. I did a quick google search for jk065 and I got a link to flag football! Awesome. Do you think Mrs. King teaches P.E.? I did a little more sleuthing and I think that in South Dakota "jk" means something like Junior Kindergarten. I know that seems a big much, but I found some schools that prided themselves on being JK-12 public schools. Here in Oregon, we refer to school districts as K-12, meaning Kindergarten - 12th grade, so what else are you going to do with the "JK"? They can't mean "Just Kidding - 12th grade," right?)

Anyway, it's time for bed and we are now so far off track that I don't think I can say much more about Mr. O'Connor. Not that I could have said much more anyway…it's been almost 50 years since I was in his classroom doing Canadian AF isometrics and playing Speedball. Beyond mentioning that I remember doing awesome poster projects (the entire process of photosynthesis in a leaf) and giggling a lot with my friends while Mr. O'Connor gave us the evil eye and said, "Ladies, you are babbling like a brook," and…um…yeah. That's about all I remember.

Oh, except that I remember feeling valued and loved in his classroom. He was a really awesome teacher.
Just like Mrs. King is, too, I'm sure.

1 comment:

Mike Koponick said...

When you drink alcohol very fast, one right after another, it's also referred to as "speedball" or "speedballing"

However, I too would be bored out of my skull with the Canadian AF book.