Friday, May 29, 2009

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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William said...

You guys musta blew him out before I got there in '75 'cause he was already gone, but we still had Mr. Fine, and you talk about insane. Could you imagine him in todays world, when mothers run up to the school if the teacher farts in the classroom. Mr. Divoritz was the best, he would say shit in class that would have CNN up there, but back then what happened in school stayed in school. Will

Anonymous said...

amen ....will

Anonymous said...

As a member of the first full graduating class ( 1959 ) I wonder if you ran across any of the staff from my time? Mr. Puleo in print shop, Mr. Farber in gym class, Mrs. Wexsler in music. So many changes occurred by the 70's.

Ocean Parkway brat

Ron Lopez said...

Mister Puleo was in fact my printing class teacher. I also learned that a "California Job Case" actually had nothing to do with being sued!


Pete said...

Puleo, Farber and Wexler were all still there in '69 to '71 when I went to Ditmas. Puleo was a great guy who helped one of my good friends - Steve McNally - get into Printing HS (don't think that place exists anymore). Wexler (or Wechsler) was ancient when I had her - and the kids tortured her in music, throwing paper airplanes loaded with sticky, chewed gum, to try and land it in her perfectly coiffed hair - what a mess....I don't remember Farber particulary, other than his name. But there were a few other old timers at the end of the 60's but their names escape me - the typing teacher (whose husband also worked there) and the dean of students with the military buzz cut.

Anonymous said...

I bet the crew cut was Mr. Cisco, does anyone remember Mr. Sorkin, the art teacher who always said, Heeeyaaaaa! I think he started experimenting with L.S.D. around that time, Will

Anonymous said...

Mr Sorkin was great! He always used to say " Hey Ya" How about Mr Sicolone,the Social Studies teach..i had him from 77 to 79,,,he was the best!!

DaBlueGuy said...

Mr Farber was my Gym teacher at Ditmas from 1966-1969. He was a tough, Mr Clean looking dude. No one wanted to get on his bad side. I saw him once lift one of my friend's up by his ears.