Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dr. Scab

I have always been horrible at learning new languages. I think the door to that part of my brain is not only closed, it's padlocked and an ugly fat man is sitting in front of it.
I failed three years of French in high school. Technically, my second year of French I ended with a "D" because the teacher wanted to get me out of her class. I had served my time for two years with her - or, rather, she had served her time with me.
Either way, she got me out of her class. Then I signed up for French II.
Yes, yes, I know ... I had absolutely no chance of passing this class. It was doomed from the start. But, I liked the teacher and I didn't need the credit to graduate. Needless to say, that was a good thing.
Fastforward to college and I needed four foreign language credits for my English degree.
The professor I would up with for all four classes, Dr. Scab, was tenured, ready to retire and just a bit crazy.
For my first Latin class I actually showed up (mostly) on time, did my homework and put forth as much effort as I could to pass. The old man spent more time telling us about how he got a snake out of his trailer with a stick than he did teaching us Latin.
I never did figure out why someone who makes as much money as a college professor lived in a mobile home.
Anyway, with the final exam approaching, I was nervous.
He wrote a sentance in Latin on the board. If you could translate it you got an "A", if not you got a "B".
For my second Latin class I never showed up until the final exam. I still got an "A". I don't think he wrote a sentance that time.
On to French again. I tried to take French I with a legitimate teacher this time, but was failing miserably. I transfered to Dr. Scab's French II class after telling him I had taken 3 years of French in high school. (Well, I did take the class. I never said I passed it.) I got credit for both classes and got a "B" in both.
The old man was a bit off his rocker, but he was a nice guy. I used to tell everyone going to college there to take his class until someone told me they couldn't because he died. I was sorry to hear that. Dr. Scab is one of the better memories I have of college.

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