Bad Grammar & Isosceles Triangles

English was always my favorite subject in school. 

But I hated teaching it. 

Thankfully, I only had to teach it one year, while  also coaching speech and debate. 

A lot of high school freshmen are thankful, too. 

Unfortunately I taught English like a teacher I had for geometry in high school. 

She’d stand at the chalkboard wearing these huge frog glasses with a Cheshire cat grin that spread from ear to ear, blandly going through diagrams – ‘proofs,’ they were called – expecting that I would get it as easily as she did.

And when you went up to her desk to ask her a question about one of the problems she had assigned, she sounded just like my fifth grade math teacher – “Can’t you figure that out?  Well, go back to your seat and see if you can.” 

You know what?  If I could’ve figured it out at my seat, I wouldn’t be up here now at your desk! 

I hated geometry. 

While I was teaching high school I had this recurring nightmare that started out with me on my way to school in the morning, birds chirping, sun shining, all’s right with the world.  Then when I get to my classroom, the students are seated and quiet, in an ominous, foreboding kind of way.  I glance down at their desks and realize they all have geometry books out.  About that time the principal walks by and says, “Oh, and Ms .Gary, you’ll be teaching geometry from now on.” 

That screeching music from the shower scene in Psycho started playing at that point and luckily I woke up. 

I’m afraid I wasn’t any better at teaching English.  

I think when something comes easily to you, it’s really hard to explain it to someone else.   

I found myself saying things like, “well, you just do it that way” or “but ‘him and me’ just doesn’t sound right.’” 

Poor things went back to their seats feeling as confused and humiliated as I did in geometry class. 

A bunch of them are still walking around thinking ‘him and me’ sounds right. 

And I don’t have a clue about finding the hypotenus of an isosceles triangle.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Julie Tracy says:

    Ahhh your Cowboys should win easy tomorrow! :-)They’re playing my Rams, and they are PATHETIC! I’ll be watching, so wave at the camera!! haha! Have a great time!! And by the way, I have no idea what an isosceles triangle is, and pretty sure I don’t want to know. 🙂

  2. Debbie Johnson says:

    I think we had the same geometry teacher. Horrible class.

    1. sallygary says:

      Yes! I now feel validated! I’ll never forget that class – I sat in the back with Glen Foster and Kelli Brown, remember her? She worked Pink Darlings with us and drove that huge brown Lincoln-Continental. Looked like a land barge! Kelli was always the one Mrs. L would call on to show us how to do the problems. Needless to say, I was never asked to go to the board…..!

  3. dan gary says:

    I don’t even know what those two words are, much less know what they are and why they are used. Geometry was not my Cup either.

    1. sallygary says:

      Ha! Thanks, Daddy – I’m sure looking forward to going to the Cowboys game with you this Sunday! That’ll make a great blog post, huh?!!

      1. Zack Smith says:

        Y’all be careful… Cowboys at 3ish and Rangers at 7ish… That’s gonna be some traffic!!

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