Things that would never happen today

Facebook reminded me of a memory of 4th grade. My teacher, Mr Scott, had a crank from an old school telephone that would generate electricity. He used to have the whole class hold hands in a circle, and have kids hold onto the generator and then he’d shock us all. One time he decided to get bowls of water and put the wires into that and then have us put our fingers into the water… YOWCH!

Can you imagine a teacher doing that in this day and age… it was kind of sketchy at the time.

When I was in 7th grade, girls had to kneel down and have a teacher measure the distance from the floor to the hem of their dress. If it was more than X number of inches they had to go home and change. And the teacher doing the measuring was a man.

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I had an adjunct professor for Intro to Materials Engineering that was talking about temperature and how materials got brittle and he had liquid nitrogen, dropped a nerf football in it, the had a student put on work gloves and reach in and throw it at the wall (shattering it) but some went through the gloves and the student got a little burned. The prof was pretty freaked out (it was his first time teaching and I think he worked for Kennecott or something like that), but we all liked that guy.

I shattered many a racquetball doing liquid nitrogen science demos at the Hansen Planetarium. One wall was covered with dents from the impacts. We would just yell at the school kids seated on the carpet to not pick up any pieces until they had warmed up a bit.


My very first college class ever was a Philosophy 101 class. There I was as a nervous freshman, sitting in a big auditorium, not having any idea what to expect. The professor walks in the door, strides up to front of the room, surveys the students in silence for about 30 seconds, then screams out…“TESTICLES!!” He then goes silent again.

Another 60 seconds of extremely awkward silence passes, and he screams out…“TITTIES!!”

Another 60 seconds, then…“A**HOLE!!”

Another 60 second, then…“N-WORD!!” (yes, he actually yelled it out loud)

None of us had the slightest clue WTF was going on. He finally broke the silence, with an explanation about how we have been conditioned to respond to certain words, blah, blah, blah. I doubt a single person actually heard him as we were all sitting in shock trying to figure out what the holy hell just happened.

Welcome to college, kid.


When did you work at Hansen Planetarium?

I had a psych 101 professor at the U announce to our class of about 300 that he was going to select from our group 10 who he would perform a handwriting analysis that would reveal our personality. We all submitted the form and the next class he gave the 10 their analysis and gave them an opportunity to read it.

After they had read the analysis to themselves he asked each of them to report on how good they felt the analysis was - all 10 reported that it was basically right on. He then asked one of them to read theirs aloud to the class. It started out with, “You like to be around people sometimes, but other times you prefer to be alone. You can take initiative but know when to be a team player. You are close to your friends because you are a good listener although sometimes you tend to get distracted easily…” On and on…

He then asked the other nine how their’s compared to the one read… he’d given them all the exact same ‘analysis’ word for word. It was a personality test he’d gotten from a vending machine in NYC, written with the vagueries that define basically all humans in existence but that make us all feel like we are special.

Did he go into politics?

Had a wood shop teacher that used to take students projects (if they were items on the prohibited list) and whack them across the ass with it before destroying the project.

Many a boat oar and paddle went that way.

My elementary school principal made a chronically misbehaving kid wear a diaper outside of his clothes to class. You wouldn’t be able to identify the principal’s body if that happened today… and holy crap, I knew that was messed up as a third grader.

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How many times did you have to stand in the back of the room facing the corner? Can that be done today?

Did you have to wear that gum you were chewing on the end of your nose for all of class? Can that be done today?

Did you get sent to the principals’ office? He gave you a short paddling? Can that be done today?

Did you have to write 1,000 times “I will not talk in class”? Can that be done today?

Back in the 80s. I spent time in the education department and did laser shows, after working up to head cashier.


At Skyline in the 70s, several sophomore football players skipped practice for deer hunting weekend. The following week, a coach worked them with up/downs, crab crawls, etc until they quit. Those same sophomores came back the next year and started a run of state championships.

I worked there in the late 80s.

We had the same thing, and the girls were required to wear dresses or skirts, no pants allowed for them. Boys got their hair measured, too. It wasn’t allowed over the ears or touching the collar. If one was wearing a collarless shirt they had a fake one they’d put on their neck to check.

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When I was in high school we had phys ed every day. One of our 2 knuckle dragging gym teachers was a semi-pro football player. He would have us lie closely next to each other and do leg lifts. While our legs were in the air he would walk back and forth on our stomachs with his ripple soled shoes. Those marks on our stomachs would last quite a while. No wonder I had disc issues with my back.

My first and second grade teacher was an fashioned schoolmarm. Kids acting up got rapped on the head with her big ring, or she would grab your ear and twist. She would whack kids hands or head with a wooden pointer or yardstick. By 4th grade the teacher would give you the strap on your open palm. In junior high the 7th/8th grade homeroom teacher would make unruly kids stay after school and copy down dictionary pages with every single bit of punctuation or you had to copy down stuff from a Chinese newspaper. He would always threaten “if Harry Quon over at the store can’t read what you have copied you have to stay again and do it over”. Fun times!

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I had a 2nd grade teacher who terrorized her students. One boy was so afraid of her that he started crying once while she was berating him in front of the class. From then on she refused to call him by his first name, but called him “crybaby” every time she addressed him for
any reason. This went on for the entire school year. In those days, I guess, teachers were such authority figures that second graders didn’t think about going home to tell their parents about something like that. It was basically a teacher bullying a little boy.


In elementary school we had a principal who actually smashed a bologna sandwich into a kids face. I still have the visual of the kid crying with the piece of bologna stuck to his face !!

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My 2nd grade teacher (who was quite nice actually) always told the boys that if they got their pants wet and muddy at recess, then they would have to wear a dress the rest of the day until their pants were dry. I don’t remember anyone having to do that, but it scared me enough that I steered clear of mudpuddles at recess.