Why it still astounds me that Thor is a teacher

19 May

On the surface, it should come as no great surprise that Thor became a teacher. For starters, between the two of us, we had three teachers for parents. It pretty much runs in the blood, especially for him, and he has the whole intelligent/respectable/hardworking/presence thing down. If, through some unfortunate chain of events, I somehow ended up with a child one day, I could only hope that the brat would have teachers of his caliber. So please, don’t take what I’m about to say the wrong way.

Thor being a teacher will always be disconcerting to me, to put it nicely. The reason why, of course, is that he absolutely tortured teachers back in our day. To be fair, he had an uncanny knack for singling out shitty teachers to harass, but seeing it in action really was something else. Part of it was because, if he gave the impression that he wasn’t trying particularly hard… well, it was because he really wasn’t. If there was a hypothetical list of people who got a 5 on their AP English Literature exams without ever actually reading any of the books in the class curriculum, it would a) be a very short list, and b) have his name on it.

In hindsight, what really stands out is how his tactics evolved over time. In elementary school, I recall him being overbearingly exuberant. It wasn’t that he had a problem with learning–he clearly enjoyed it, in fact–so much as he had a problem with remaining still and silent for more than a few seconds at a time. At the same time, he was a good student, he was genuinely curious about the subject matter, and he didn’t have a mean bone in his body, so our teachers didn’t have much choice but to like him.

By middle school, all of these qualities still remained, and were supplemented by a highly developed sense of sarcasm. This development would prove crucial, as pretty everything that we did to mess with our teachers over those few years revolved around it. The first victim was probably our 70-something sixth grade science teacher, who, after being challenged on his ability to do so, attempted to jump from a standstill onto a desk. He actually came pretty close to succeeding, but since this was kind of a pass/fail endeavor, it ended with him laying flat on his back while a roomful of 11 year-olds laughed at him. There was also the severely mentally unstable math substitute, whose authority we persistently questioned and undermined until we finally made her cry.

But the crowning achievement, of course, came in the form of our 7th grade algebra teacher. There were plenty of reasons not to like the guy, starting with the fact that he came into class every day reeking of booze and clearly hung over. Needless to say, Thor made short work of him. I’m not even entirely sure what prompted the beleaguered teacher to act as he did, but the end result was a unilateral ban on Thor entering his class room. Mind you, Thor was still a student in that math class; he simply had to remain on the bench outside while the rest of us came in and ‘learned’. Our parents responded by hiring an algebra tutor, who quickly concluded that we didn’t actually need tutoring, because we’d essentially said “fuck that guy” and just learned it straight from the book. That was the worst grade that I ever received in class (by a solid two letter grades), but nowadays I look back at it as a badge of honor. After all, we’re successful, highly motivated people who happened to get D’s in algebra. He, on the other hand, is still a miserable alcoholic who is universally loathed by everyone who’s ever been done the disservice of having to know him.

Compared to that, the high school years were actually pretty mild. I could tell a hundred stories, but they would all revolve around the same theme: even knowing that Thor hadn’t bothered to familiarize himself with the subject matter, teachers still ended up having to give him A’s because he’s just about the most convincing and elaborate BSer you’ll ever meet. I also slacked, but at least I had the decency to lie about it. Thor couldn’t even be bothered to do that.

And now, he is a history teacher. I’m sure that he is a fanastic one, at that. As the ultimate BSer, I’m sure that there isn’t a trick in the book that he’s not familiar with. He’s knowledgeable, personable, and pretty much unbullshittable, and isn’t that exactly what you’d want in a teacher? But still, even knowing that, it just feels somehow wrong that my old partner in crime joined the other side.

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3 Responses to “Why it still astounds me that Thor is a teacher”

  1. thorgeous May 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    I never looked at it from your perspective before… but you’re right. It is quite a remarkable transition. I feel slightly Vaderish right now…

    • captain_farrell May 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      Nah, you’re not the bad guy here. Think of it as The Rock, and you’re Sean Connery. I’m not Nicolas Cage, though. I hate Nicolas Cage.

      • thorgeous May 20, 2011 at 9:17 am #

        As you should. No one wants to be the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Or whatever magical witch movie he was in recently. Also, you shouldn’t be that crazy unless you do an ungodly amount of coke – maybe that’s why he can’t pay for his houses anymore?

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