Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Insanity at Ditmas JHS

Being a teacher in the New York City public school system must be one of the roughest jobs around, especially in middle school, or as we knew it “junior high school”.

Mister Spodeck had a rough and ruddy complexion, red hair, and was somewhat stocky.

He also had a very short temper.

He was my seventh grade math teacher who's face would always turn the brightest red whenever the class “did it” to him. And the class “did it” to him practically every day, and especially when he turned his back to us.

“Ok, I’m going to draw an obtuse triangle on the blackboard, who can tell me the reason why we call it an obtuse triangle”.

As soon as Mister Spodeck turned his back to us, and the white chalk started “clacking” on the green blackboard, it started.

First softly, then louder and louder.

“hmmmm, hmmmmm, hmmmmmmmmmmm, HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Mister Spodeck would quickly swing his body around and fling the piece of white chalk towards the back of the room like a missile.


It would usually hit the back wall and shatter into dozens
of tiny white pieces, just scattered on the black linoleum
floor of our math class.

“I said STOP IT”

“I said STOP IT”

We would all just sit there and look at Mister Spodeck.
His face would be as red as a "Golden Farms" tomato.

Yes, like little angels we all just sat there,
staring at him like he was totally insane.

Like he was totally insane.

I know it's thirty eight years later Mister Spodeck.
But I'm sorry, I’m sorry for what I did.

Because even though you thought I never "did it",
I just may have been humming too,
along with everyone else.

Ron Lopez
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Profenglish said...

Ciao Ron, It's funny how nothing was different in Mr. Spodeck's classes... even when I attended Ditmas from 1965-68

Anonymous said...

Wow...memories, I remember Mr. Mohn (homeroom for me), Mr. Leaf (science I think??), Ms. Bracken, the cutie Art Teacher. Ditmas JHS 64-66

Anonymous said...

Nothing like having fun times with teachers like Mr. Spodeck and Mr. Mohn (1969-1971).GREAT memories of Ditmas JHS days. Would you believe I even have just as many great memories at Ditmas now, being a Phys. Ed.teacher there for 32 Years. Love my job, love the children (Most anyway) and Thank God for my college classmate, partner in the gym and now my boss The wonderful " K-man" Mr. Kevorkian.

Anonymous said...

I was there 69-72. We terrorized
Mohn. We gave Spodak a hard time.
We had a few other favorite targets includng B. Gross. English.
We were tossing desks out the window one day. Total loss of control

My favorite teach, Mr. Haussman who taught electrical shop, Marty Silverman, a dean, Larry Yoelson, dean (I spent a lot of time with these guys) and of course SISCO!

Anonymous said...

I am Calvin B. Streets The Brooklyn Bluesman. I went to Ditmas from @1969-70-71...alot of anti war rallys and excitement. It was a great time to attend Ditmas. I wrote The Ditmas Rag for Ditmas Junior High School. It is on: youtube.com/calvinbstreets
Mr. Presser was one of my favorites and Mr.Yoelson taught me spanish for 3 years, was the other.
If I could speak to either of them, I would let them know about the positive influence that they had on me.

Grandpa Pete said...

Glad my name wasn't mentioned, even though I taught Math at Ditmas for 8 years (1968-1976) while also being Senior Coordinator. Anyone remember me?

Ron Lopez said...

Hey Pete,

We'll have to go to the yearbook!!!!


Elevenat said...

I went to Ditmas in the 80's and had Mr. Gitlin for math. Trying to figure out if he's the same Todd Gitlin who's a professor at Columbia Univ. now. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Allen Gitlin...no relation to Todd.

Tomny V said...

For those who went to Ditmas, JHS
come visit the facebook pages.




Tommy V. said...

Hey Ron... We apparently were in the same graduating class. Your memories of Ditmas mirror mine. What grad class were you in? I was in 9-13. Went there 69-72.

Victor S said...

I am looking for Liv Lindefjel who was in my class at Ditmas Junior High 1965. please contact me at arie1951@yahoo.com if you can help me find her.