08 February 2009

Physics jerk

During a parent-teacher conference, Mr. Barrett told my mother that my brother should be a game show host. She was so furious that four years later when I had him for chemistry and physics, she sent my dad to speak with him.

Almost once every class, Mr. Barrett would tell a morose or distracted student, "Here's a dime. Go call someone who cares." He never said it to me, but if he had, I would've kept his dimes.

Over the xmas interlude, at dinner with my parents, brother and his family, old teachers came up in conversation. Once I'd clarified some name confusion, my brother said, "That's right. So what's Mr. Barrett up to these days? Is he still teaching and coaching golf?"

"He's dead," I said.

A year ago on TTaT: It ain't over until it's a done deal


  1. Your mom must really hate game show hosts! It's probably true that Mr. Barrett didn't mean it as a compliment, but I think there are worse fates.

  2. She doesn't have anything against game show hosts. It was how he said it. I believe he meant it as a real slur. He was pissed because my bro never did his homework but still tested very well.

    Of course, recently Mom read one of those lists of off-the-wall stuff teachers say about their bad students, and when Dad and I said Mr. Barrett's comment had a similar feel, she wouldn't hear it.

    Still, I trust her take on the encounter even if she overreacted.