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Mr. Profizer

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posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 11:43 AM
I was fortunate enough to have gone to Junior High and High School in WY during the mid to late 70's. Wyoming was undergoing a massive energy boom at the time and had one of the finest school systems in the nation (highly paid teachers and small class sizes). The schools wanted for nothing in terms of equipment and facilities. This all due to the massive energy windfalls (which went to the school systems).

In Junior High School it was mandatory every student take at least one vocational class. I took them all. You'll laugh, but I even took Home-Ec. Two of the top classes were Wood Shop and Industrial Shop. This story is about Industrial Shop.

Industrial Shop was broken down into several segments, Drafting, Metal Shop and Automotive Shop. It took 3 years to complete. The teacher of Industrial Shop was a guy by the name of Mr. Profizer and he was a character.

Mr. Profizer was short, built like a fireplug. He was an old machinist who decided to become a teacher. I don't think I ever met another person as committed to truly "teaching" people as he was. If you wanted to learn something this guy would do anything in his power to make it happen. For all his great points he also had some quirks, and he was a complete hoot as a result.

First off, he was always late for class. I mean like every single day, late. He was usually doing something to get everything ready for the class. As a result he would assign someone take attendance and keep some semblance (controlled riot) of order until he showed up. There were several students he took under his wing each year. The odd thing was they were usually the students who gave him the most crap and grief. Needless to say, yours truly was among this group. These were the students assigned to keep order (yeah right) and take attendance. (don't worry, this story is actually going somewhere).

The other quirk Mr. Profizer had was, he always said "ahhhhhhhhh". It seemed like he said it between about every other word. Consequently, we'd tease him about it all the time, imitating him, which drove him even more insane.

Before class each day Profizer would put some object he wanted to talk about on his desk (then disappear into the shop somewhere). It was usually something cool and unusual. It absolutely drove him bonkers that the kids would show up and immediately start monkeying with whatever it was he'd put on his desk.

So this one time I showed up and instead of taking attendance I stood up in front of the class and picked up whatever widget he'd set there. I put on this real serious face, leaned on the front of his desk like he always did, held up the widget to the class and started imitating him..."Okay all you, ahhhhh, knuckleheads, ahhhhhh, listen up! I have no, ahhhhh, idea what this, ahhhhh, widget is, but I brought it to, ahhhhh, entertain you...." (after a couple of years of Profizer's class I had his impersonation down pretty damn good).

All of a sudden I heard some snickering from a couple people, turned around, looked and Profizer was right behind me. OOOOOPS!!!

So he got all excited; started hootin', hollerin' and jumpin' up and down (like he usually did). (I think he might have even chased me around a little that time while I played keep-away with his widget). When the dust settled I was at my desk and he managed to restore some order. I've long since forgotten what the hell was on his desk that day.

Anyway, the next day I decided to show up really early for his class to scheme up an even better show. True to form, there was something on his desk (and lemmme' tell ya, I'll never forget it!). I had no idea what it was. So naturally, I picked it up and...WHAM!!...I felt like I'd been hit by Hank Aaron with a Louisville Slugger!!! HOLY CRAP!!!!

In the next room I hear this maniacal cackling, laughing and snorting coming from Profizer. "What the hell is this thing????" I asked him. In between the fits of laughter he tells me to bring it to him. "NO WAY! I ain't touchin' that thing again!!!" says me. He tells it won't do anything now, but hurry and bring it to him.

Well, it turns out Mr. Profizer's mystery object of the day was a hefty fully charged capacitor. He shows me how it works, charges it back up again and tells me to go set it back on the desk (in between snorts of laughter) along side about four others and not say anything.

Kids start coming into the class and the usual suspects head right for his desk. First kid picked one of the caps up, but managed not to short it out. Second and third kid, almost simultaneously,...BAM!!! BAM!!!..."OWWWWWwwwwww!!" They both immediately drop the cap. The 4th kid is standing there holding it in his hand, frozen like a statue in mid-move, like he's holding a grenade (which he kinda was), not daring to move.

By this point Profizer is laughing so hard he's banging on the wall. I really thought the old dude was gonna' have an aneurysm he was laughing so hard.

And that, my friends, is how I learned my first lesson in real electronics! How many other 13 year olds do you know who know what a capacitor is and/or what it does? And in less than 20 seconds, a short little teacher with a speech impediment in backwater Wyoming, taught a lesson five students (at least) would never forget...even 50 years later!

Thanks, Mr. Profizer, you truly were a great "teacher", and a hell of a good guy!

edit on 6/10/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 11:52 AM
The best lessons, had humor in the equation. Gotta love teachers who understood this. Great story!

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 12:04 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

what a fantastic story.

the good old days when your teachers could jack you up and not go to jail for it. LOL

We had a coach who would let us play 'push the paddle" instead of doing lessons. You put a paddle on the desk and each student gets a turn (mandatory) to push it. As much or as little as you want, so long as it moves. Whoever pushes it over the edge would get a swat, and we'd start over. That's right....we took turns getting beat with a paddle to get out of doing work.

another teacher let us take shots with our tests at the trash can. You wad it up and get to the line and throw it. There was a 1, 2, and 3 point line you could take 1 shot from for extra credit. if you miss, you got a swat instead.

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 12:15 PM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Oh yeah...Swats!! I remember those! Same school. We could trade detention for swats instead. Vice Principal, also the wrestling/football coach, was the executioner. He had a paddle with holes drilled in it hanging on his door knob. He'd perfected the art of administering absolutely blistering swats! (especially to any of the athletes on his teams).

Detention was right after school, but so was wrestling and football practice. Stay for detention and you'd miss part of practice (which was a FAR worse fate). Needless to say I got pretty familiar with "Cruella" (that was the name he had painted on it".

Funny story about that paddle too. It wasn't just any old paddle, but rather a beautifully finished oak paddle (with holes drilled in it for both visual as well as aerodynamic effect). One kid got in big trouble for something one time (don't recall what it was) and had the choice of 10 swats (certain death from this guy) or to make him a new paddle to his specifications and only get 5 swats. I'll bet that kid regrets making those holes to this very day!


edit on 6/10/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 01:35 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

we had a golf coach that was a 6 ft 6 in former bluechipper as a quarterback and strong forward. He coached all sports (was our QB coach on the varsity team), but golf was his passion.

and he had perfected his ass splitting paddle swing on the golf course.

He'd reach back with the paddle and rub the ceiling with it to knock debris off onto you. sometimes he'd swing the paddle and swat the bottom of his foot with a loud "thwack". Twisted bastard enjoyed terrorizing us.

He just retired as the athletic director of the local ISD. Love the guy, although i disagree with quite a few of his professional policies.

ETA: i once took the swats for fighting (guy sucker punched my best friend, so i beat him up). Fighting was automatically 3 swats. He broke the paddle on me on the first one, so decided to forego the last 2. Thankfully.
edit on 6/10/2016 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2016 @ 02:23 PM
I had a lot of great teachers, but Mr. Myers was the standout. Little guy, always wore a bow tie. He taught chemistry. Back in his college days, he was on one of first groups working on synthetic diamond for industrial application or something. He used to tell stories of the things he and his college lab buddies would get up to. There was one time they made some kind of stuff that would burst into flame when it contacted air. They weren't supposed to be messing around, so once they had it, they couldn't figure out how to dispose of it so no one would know. I am guessing some alcohol was involved when they finally came up with the brought idea to dig a circular ring around a pine tree on campus and bury it. It was a day or two after that when they were all working in the lab and they heard a soft explosion, a whoosh, and a scream ... scared the groundskeeper out of 20 years of his life and left a burning circle around the pine tree for a few minutes.

Anyhow, he let us do all kinds of things to learn for ourselves ... within reason. This was chemistry.

There was the day we did something that created pure ammonia vapor out of the test tubes. Myers advised us strongly just to waft it a bit with our hand to make sure it was working. Mookie then announced that he was the son of a farmer and used to ammonia and stuck the whole tube under his nose and took a huge whiff ... and proceeded to run around the room turning a very vivid shade of purple, streaming tears and mucus, and moaning ... I am not ashamed to admit that we found it humorous. Mookie was a notorious smart @ss and I think since the damage was already done and not permanent , Myers also took some private satisfaction in it.

Then there was Jeff during the infamous nitric acid lab. Every year, Chem I made concentrated nitric acid, the stuff that will turn your skin yellow after contact. The object of the lad aside from making it was to not come into contact with it. Those who failed would join the Chi Rho Alpha Club (forget what it stood for) which meant you failed skin inspection the next day. It was a badge of shame basically for poor lab technique. Well, Jeff was saddled with Jennifer, a notorious ditz, although he wasn't much better, so they were really kind of doomed. Toward the end of the lab, Jeff asked her something and she swung around and swiped all the acid off the bench and it shattered and spilled all over Jeff's legs. He went running crazily around the room screaming, "Shoot me, Myers! Oh, shoot me now!" Myers, who always more or less disappeared from the room while we were working popped up out of nowhere with a hose and nailed him and no harm was done, but Jeff obviously joined the club with two solid yellow legs.

Myers is also the one who had everyone saying, "You're asking me! Tell me." He wanted you to answer a question with an answer not question.

He made chemistry so much fun and I learned so much from him over the course of those two years. He is one of those teachers who just makes your time special.

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