Friday, September 4, 2020

Andy Young: Making a good first impression

By Andy Young


At the start of an ordinary school year I introduce myself to my new students at our initial class meeting. But this year nearly 15 percent of the young people assigned to me have opted to do education remotely, at least for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully though, like the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and the folks who manufacture America’s best-known hemorrhoid treatment, I believe in being prepared. That’s why I’ve got the following introductory statement ready to go for the home-bound sections of my Grade 12 English classes.

Hi everyone! My name is Mr. Young, and I’ll be your English teacher this year.

By now you’ve all seen your first assignment, which is to introduce yourself to me and your classmates in 400 to 500 words of thoughtful writing. But since I’ve always believed that what’s good for the Goose is good for the Gossage, let me tell you a little about myself.

I’m pretty easy to spot; after all, how many 6-foot-6-inches, 250-pound, blue-eyed English teachers with six-pack abs, a 31-inch waist, and a full head of wavy brown hair are there at our school? Speaking of appearances, here’s a quick “heads-up:” if the person currently on your screen looks like he has bloodshot eyes, a receding hairline, or a slight limp, you are probably having a problem with the pixels on your video screen. Contact the technology department about getting your defective laptop replaced as soon as possible.

Every morning from 3 to 6 a.m. you can find me working on my next best-selling novel. I also like to stay physically active, although that’s getting increasingly humbling. I can barely bench press 350 pounds anymore, and the last time I ran a mile it took me an embarrassing 4:15 to complete. In my spare time I volunteer at the animal shelter, the food pantry, and the Make-a-Wish foundation, though never more than 50 hours a week.

I’d love to show you evidence of my past, but alas, all my vital personal documents were destroyed in a tragic fire some years ago. I tried reproducing some of them electronically, but some slip-ups occurred. For example, in attempting to re-create my college diploma I inadvertently typed “1980” (the year I was born) in the space where my year of graduation belongs. I also neglected to emboss that replica document with the Phi Beta Kappa designation I earned.

I was a decorated college athlete, but the evidence of that disappeared in the same catastrophic flood which destroyed my other personal articles. Gone but not forgotten are the newspaper articles quoting Coach Rupp saying I was one of the finest basketball players he ever coached at Kentucky.

Oops. Did I say Coach Rupp? I’m sorry. I meant to say Coach Pitino.

Passionately wishing to serve the country I love, I tried enlisting in the military after graduation, but sadly was deferred due to some pesky bone spurs. Fortunately though, they were only temporary. These days I’m a scratch golfer. In fact, I often scratch myself while on the links.

I have a beautiful family, but alas, all our precious photos were lost in the deadly earthquake I referenced earlier.

If you want to succeed in this class, arrive on time, bring an open mind, and be determined to do your best every day.

Oh, and if you want to get along with me, there’s one thing you should never do: lie. Nothing is more important than telling the whole truth. No one likes an exaggerator; in fact, I’ve heard 150 percent of Americans utterly detest embellishers.

Okay, maybe it was 125 percent. But you get the idea. <


No comments:

Post a Comment