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Irvin Rockets March 15, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in education, science fiction.
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Not sure why but I got thinking about high school in El Paso and good ole Irvin High School. The Rockets. That was us. Even had a rocket out front. Since EP is a military town, getting one for display wasn’t hard but I always wondered if we could get a rocket motor in it and launch it, maybe through the principal’s office.

Cecil Bean was principal when I was there and the joke (ha!) was that he never left his office while the soap operas were on, meaning, he never left his office. He, indeed, had a TV set there–and this in the days before CCTV and other spy devices so popular in schools now.

I left Irvin after my sophomore year and moved to Albuquerque (where I forsook (sp?) being a Rocket and became a Monarch). But odd thoughts on teachers in EP slither to the surface. Alas, I read where my soph English teacher, Judy Malone, fell and became a quadriplegic. A shame. I enjoyed her class and actually convinced her, because it had won a Hugo (which I am sure she’d never heard of), that Starship Troopers was a perfectly fine book to do as a book report. I am grateful that I never had to read Silas Marner. Anywhere. Even if I ended up reading War and Peace twice.

I can’t even remember my geometry teacher’s name. The entire year is expunged from memory. Hated her, hated SMSG math. OTOH, I had a wild crush on my freshman algebra teacher, Miss Bertha Munoz. I am sure I would have done just fine in there without the emotional attachment of wanting to shine, but this certainly helped along the old factor that quadratic.

Most fun was in Spanish I. Mr. Rodriguez would leave the lab and we would unroll the RtoR tape onto the floor, then have races rewinding it. I suspect the last period Spanish class learned to speak with squeaks and hisses. Not so much fun was Spanish in the 8th grade with Raoul Negrette. While instructive since he was the first sadist I specifically identified as such (not exaggerating–this is based on how he physically abused students), he did one trick that was actually funny. Not for the guy it was played on, but for my entire Spanish class. He taught French the period before where one kid fell asleep. Negrette had the French class file out quietly and the Spanish class file in quietly. We were halfway thru our class when the kid woke up. He looked around, didn’t see anyone he knew, Spanish on the blackboard, then Negrette asked him some question–in Spanish. I will give Negrette this. He wrote the kid a pass to get into his next class. But I won’t give him the way he physically kicked students, sat them in the knee well of his desk, put trash cans over their heads or a lot of other punishments.

But that rocket. With fuel, motors and a warhead, Irvin High could have become a nuclear power.

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