Sunday, May 3, 2015

CHAIN OF FOOLS


Almost all of the eleven students in my high school graduating class had been together since we showed up in Mrs. O’Donnell’s first grade.  During our Junior year, our new science teacher was Mr. M., fresh out of college.

 By the first minute of our first class we knew it was going to be a loooong year.  He lectured and talked and droned on and on, throwing in his catch phrase, “Of course,” so often that we began to count how many times he said it and then would compare notes after class to average up the score.

We sat around tables like this one.

(By the way, I found this table for sale on Ebay for:
$1,995.00 Buy It Now or Best Offer
50 watching
Large oak table, 36” surface height. New oak top, large single drawer measures 21” x 36” x 2.75”.
 Just in case you’re interested)

Anyway, we gritted our way through Dry Mr. M’s biology class by making chains out of our gum wrappers.

 Over a period of time we combined our endeavors into a single chain and kept it in one of those “large single drawers” of our science room table.  By the end of the school year, the chain had become a huge coil that filled most of the drawer.

 It was much larger than the one in this photo but the original is lost to history.

When we arrived in our chemistry class the next fall, the chain was still there in the drawer but our Mr. M. had been replaced by Mr. B.

 Seen here with the black monster results of a combination of sugar and sulfuric acid

He was from the oil fields of Wyoming and knew how to blow things up, melt things down and how to mix chemicals to make a stench that could clear the building.

He organized one of the first school science fairs during which Roy and Leon brought in the bones of a dead calf, cleaned those bones by soaking them in trash cans full of bleach (which made the whole school smell like a swimming pool)…

…and then they assembled the skeleton like a dinosaur exhibit.  
Sorry about the bad photo but parts of my school annuals got hit with water damage during a flood.

Mr. B. said someday science would figure out how to get the fossil fuels out of the shale under the state of Wyoming and our energy problems would change dramatically.

Our gum wrapper chain in the drawer continued, but only sporadically, and the Senior Class willed it to the Junior Class when we graduated.
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Here is how to make gum wrapper chains.  But good ones only contain Double Mint, Spearmint, Juicy Fruit, Beemans, Black Jack and Cloves papers.


9 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Children deserve exciting teachers. Good job, outlasting mr. M.

Val said...

That's a lot of gum for 11 people!

Jenny Woolf said...

A real work of art!! you could probably sell something like that now :)

Carla said...

Great story! Odd that y'all could chew gum in school. We were never allowed.

Eileen B said...

Val: You're right. I seem to remember the chain became a group project of all students who had to sit through those dry classes.

Carla: No gum chewing in grade school. High school gum restrictions depended on the teacher. Tobacco was another story.

Terry and Linda said...

YAY! It's so nice to have a very good teacher, one who can actually turn a child on to learning!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Janice Grinyer said...

FLASHBACK!!!!

And its wonderful when you have a teacher who wants to make science interesting for kids...interesting enough that you remember his comment on pulling out natural resources underground - pretty neat!

fishducky said...

I had a political science professor in college who used to say, "By & large..."

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh we used to make them chains I loved the gum and blowing bubbles part the best. Cool teach you had. I have to go find some Juicy Fruit now:) Hug B