I have been keeping a teaching journal as long as I’ve been teaching. Here is a 21 year-old entry. If my arithmetic serves me correctly - and it always does, I was 28 years old and in my third year of teaching.
Bethune Junior High School, South Central Los Angeles
September 28, 1988 – Wednesday (Hump Day)
The American Basketball team was defeated by the Soviets last night. I didn’t see the game. I really hate painting. Always have. I’m not even finished- will have to go back tonight.
I feel buried. I’ve got too many projects going with the classes I’m teaching, the classes I’m taking at Cal State Dominguez Hills, the house I’m preparing to rent out, and the greeting card company I’m trying to get off the ground.
Screw it; I’m going to tell you about Randy Watkins. Randy’s an eighth grader. He goes about 4’8 and about seventy pounds. This kid is in high gear all day long – and he never stops smiling. Randy is in my fifth period reading class. Class always begins with 20 minutes of silent sustained reading. My boy, Randy was reading the Guinness Book of World Records. He kept sharing things like, “Oooh, did you guys know there’s a man that weighs 1,400 pounds?” I kept telling him to knock it off and he kept saying, “I’m sorry Mr. Snyder, but this is the kind of stuff people got to know. This went on the entire reading period. What a riot.
Last Friday I mentioned that I had an awful lot of papers to grade over the weekend. When the passing bell rang Randy offered to come home with me for the weekend and help me grade papers.
Bull Durham came out in 1988.