Friday, April 1, 2011

Doc


This past Monday, our Principal called us down to the library where she informed all current Chemistry students that our Chemistry teacher, who throughout this blog post will be referred to as Doc, had decided to take an early retirement. Now, Doc was a very loved teacher who had taught at our school for a very long period of time. His goal was to instill in his students the desire to achieve their best and the realization that it doesn't matter anymore how much they tried, but how much they did. The students that Monday morning in the library had mixed reactions. Personally, I had known about this situation prior, so my reaction wasn't in any voice. I didn't begin to exuberantly yell or say "WHAT?!", but instead I put my head down in disappointment. I stared around and looked at compared the different reactions based on students of different classes- the honors class, the college prep class, and the academic class. Most of the students in my honors class were in disbelief, it was half joy and half disbelief for the college prep class, and the academic class students simply told each other that they would miss him but that now the class would be much easier.

I want to go back to Thursday morning. I'm standing around in the back of the room, writing my notes. Doc's attempting to teach the class how to do "ICE" tables for solving equilibrium constants, but everyone in the class seems to accuse him of doing the process wrong according to the textbook. He becomes agitated and tells us to close his book, as he is trying to teach the way it's done and nobody is letting him finish. I remain quiet and observant of the class, pretty much how I normally am. I see the arrogance of some of the girls in my class as they roll their eyes and slam their books shut. Doc begins to talk and explain as one of the girls cuts him off saying thats not how you should do it. Doc slams the marker onto the board and sits down, saying "I'm done. I can't teach you guys if you guys can't be teached. That's it".

Thursday afternoon, we have his period for the second time. We walk inside and I notice he isn't there. This is kind of unusual as Doc is never late to his class, he's always sitting behind the huge stacks of papers behind his desk. Around 5 minutes pass and he finally shows up and walks into the room with a bunch of papers in his hand. He puts them on his desk and immediately goes to the board, saying, "Take out a sheet of paper. You told me I wasn't doing it right so it seems like you guys know the right way to do it." He puts around 5 problems on the board, giving us 3-4 minutes to compete each. Once everyone has made their attempts, he tells us that this quiz will not be graded, and sends a student up to the board. The student does the problem right, but no one else in the class including myself understands it. She approached the problem a different way than Doc was teaching it. The period goes by, as Doc stands on the right of the room, not even a foot away from where I am standing, telling us that he can't teach us so he assumed we could teach each other. Well, that didn't work either. The bell rang, and little did the class know this was the last time they would learn from Doc again.

As we walked out, I had a feeling that something was wrong, and after observation of the class and his reactions I knew something happened. Him and I were the last two to walk out of the room, so I decided I should tell him something true that would make him feel a bit better. He walked outside and stood outside his door, and I stopped their with him and said, "You know Doc, I understood it the way you were teaching it and I didn't understand it the way the book explained it. I just thought I'd let you know if it makes any difference." He replied, "You know, Aadil, your class is simply unteachable. And there's no other way to say it. You're alright though. Keep doing what you're doing." I gave a laugh and apologized on behalf of the class's rude reactions and he said it was all okay and gave me a pat on the back.

This was when I knew that Doc was leaving. I sensed it. I knew something was going through his mind and he had finally reached his breaking point. As I walked to my locker and gave one look back, but he went back into his room. This was the last conversation I had with Doc.

Friday comes along, and he's gone. A substitute is there and teaches the students how to do ICE. What's hilarious to me, is that he's teaching it the exact same way. The same students that would cry and lie about how much they miss him on the following Monday are the ones wishing that this substitute was Doc's replacement (if Doc would have ever left). These same students who showed such shock on Monday, are telling this substitute they wished they had him instead of Doc. I find it so hilarious, that it pisses me off. I tell another student in the class that Doc left, and they don't believe me. They all just thought he took the day off.

This substitute wasn't just a substitute, he really was Doc's replacement. The kids wished for it, and they got it. So why so shocked on Monday when the news was told? Why cry? Why lie about how much you are going to miss him, when you are contradicting what you said?

That Friday, I went all the way in the back of the class, pissed off, and secluded myself.

On Monday, we headed to class where our new teacher, the sub from Friday, was teaching. Everyone looks around and sees that Doc came in over the weekend and cleaned out his entire room. Took all the things he wanted, but surprisingly threw out his coffee maker. He left all the chemicals and posters hung.

People asked me if I was shocked, people walked around sluggishly, and I said no I wasn't. They asked me why, and I told them that I knew it. And they thought I was being boastful about, or lying about it. They were making the assumption that he told me, and I was boasting about how he only told me. Well guess what, he didn't tell me. All of the students who disrespected him told me. His face told me. His reactions told me.

Doc was the most accredited teacher at our school. He had the most experience, and deserved respect. The way that 16 year old kids were trying to prove him wrong that day is what pisses me off.

Another thing that pisses me off is seniors who don't go to our school, weren't eyewitnesses of the situation, were being held as credible sources for what caused Doc to leave. Rumors spread around that there was an altercation between him and the principal, that he was "forced out" by the administration. Well, you know what, it doesn't matter how he left, it is clearly apparent that he had been poked around so much that he had finally reached his breaking point. I don't care by who, by what- I just know that he is glad to be home spending time with his beloved family and grandchild.

He has moved on, now we should move on.

So these illogical "Doc Days" and "Doc T-Shirts" and "Videos for Doc" aren't going to prove anything accept your ignorance of the situation. If Doc was at school, I admit, he would respect you for the respect you gave him, but he would tell you all that these attempts are illogical and stupid. I thought they would prove something myself, I admit it. But now it has gone too far. It's been a week and people are still stuck on how he was "forced out". If he was forced out he wouldn't be happily enjoying his retirement right now.

The guy retired. Of course he deserves our respect and of course the kids who are being hypocrites are pissing some of us off, but the only way Doc would like it to be done now is to move the hell along and pass his class! If you really claim to know Doc, you would know that he has the capability to stick up for himself and doesn't need hypocrites who claim to respect him but clearly don't, wearing a picture on their shirts. The kids who did this for commemoration deserve my respect, but the kids who did it just because everyone else was doing it is wrong.

Respect the man with words. Send him an email. Leave him a call. But then, let it go, move on, pass the class, and remember the great memories you had with him.

Personally, I left him a voicemail:
Hey Doc,


It’s Aadil.


I gotta admit, I know it’s only the first day of you not being here but it really isn’t the same without you.


I know I can’t blame you for leaving early but I’m really upset that you weren’t able to leave on a high note.


I only wish we were able to at least handshake or at least be able to say a proper goodbye.
But now the only last memory I’ll have with you is you patting my back and saying that our class was unteachable.


I can’t blame you, because I understand what you mean if I put myself in your shoes.


I don’t know if you noticed but I did kind of observe the class from the back of the room and I noticed the constant frustrations leading up to this day. I can’t say it was unexpected.


The thing that really pisses me off though is how disrespectful people can be. We were all called down to the library where the Principal told us about your early retirement, and many students out of arrogance began to joyously yell they knew it and wanted it to happen.


I know you can’t make them LIKE you but they at least could have respected you for your credentials.


Honestly, I should have said this last week when I had a feeling it was the last time I would be your student, but I want to express my sincere gratitude towards you for being a great teacher and great role model.


One thing you said that I keep close to my heart is that you can’t try, you can only DO. I really keep that in my heart and you’ve left a great impact on me.


So, I guess that’s it… on behalf of the people who I know will miss you, we feel a great loss in the staff and thank you for your years of teaching. We wish you best of luck in your future endeavors.


Hope to see you again sometime soon. Bye.
Make a better move. Show him your respect, because there is no point in showing each other how much you respected him.

-That's the TFAT.

12 comments:

  1. "Carrie, Sorry I had to retire before the school year was finished, it was not my decision to do so."

    The above is just one sentence from an email he sent me. Yes, he retired on his own will. Right.

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  2. Doc left on his own yes. But he left because he didnt want to deal with the bull shit the administraion was giving him. Having to submit daily lesson plans? really a teacher of over 30 years and more having to do that is rediculus. i might of benn a shitty chem student but i learned more than chem from Doc. i learned life. how to work through it and how to give it my all even if i still failed.
    " If you really claim to know Doc,you would know that he has the capability to stick up for himself and doesn't need lunatics wearing a picture that could be on his obituary on his heart." THan i suposse you know how he cried when he found out that we were doing that out of respect for the greatest teacher that collegium has ever had.

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  3. I participate in "Doc Days" in order to commemorate his career. He was one of the most respected and influential teachers at our school and he rightfully deserved to be remembered as so. I don't like how you criticize those who are "ignorant" to the situation. They could say the same thing about you. We are all entitled to our opinions, however. I hope Doc is enjoying himself where ever he is.

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  4. I don't believe Doc left on his own. I believe they forced him out. I believe he definitely was pissed off at a lot of things, but if you really know Doc you would know that he would not just leave his students. He would have pushed through until the end of the year for us. It sometimes seemed like he didn't care for us, but he always did. I know that he would have pushed through, but he wasn't given the chance.

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  5. @Carrie: Thank you for that info, I was misinformed.

    @Anonymous 2: You are right. I apologize if I said anything that offended you. The lunatics were the people wearing that picture that on the day that he was here were the ones that were pissing him off and claiming to be smarter than him. The people that deserved the right were the people with the intent to commemorate and remember Doc for what a great person he was. I know I came off wrong by making that statement, it definitely sounded way more accusatory than it should have, and I apologize.

    @Anonymous 3: You definitely had the right to wear his picture around because you weren't being a hypocrite as those who were wearing it after disrespecting him a week ago. You bring up a great point, I forgot to claim that I may be ignorant of the situation as well. But the entire point of this article was to tell everyone to move along now. There are students who ARE in essence "protesting" the administration for him to come back, and I don't find that time-worthy. In reality, it is truly about ourselves and whether or not we pass chemistry- and if we have to adjust, we have to adjust.

    @Anonymous 4: That's a great point. He definitely cared for his students. But I believe otherwise, but that's still just my opinion. I'm not saying my opinion is the right one, I'm only again saying that we should indeed commemorate him and show respect, but not fight for his rights.

    --

    If he wasn't forced out, then we have no argument to propose as it was his own will. If he was forced out, then of course we have the full right to make our voices heard, but its still a better decision in the long run to move on and pass the class. Evidently, I believe he wasn't forced out, because Doc has been in contact with his students CONFIRMING Ms. Lake DID say she wanted him to consider remaining active in school. Doc is remaining active as he has offered many of his honor students free tutoring because his expectations remain the same. To me it doesn't matter how or why he was forced out, it matters to me how we react to it. Commemoration is great. I was wrong in this entire paragraph, and it was only because I was so fed up with how much people who disrespected him at first were commemorating him now:

    "So these illogical "Doc Days" and "Doc T-Shirts" and "Videos for Doc" aren't going to prove anything accept your ignorance of the situation. If Doc was at school, I admit, he would respect you for the respect you gave him, but he would tell you all that these attempts are illogical and stupid. I thought they would prove something myself, I admit it. But now it has gone too far. It's been a week and people are still stuck on how he was "forced out". If he was forced out he wouldn't be happily enjoying his retirement right now."

    That entire paragraph was wrong, and I have no shame in admitting that.

    Thank you all for your opinions, I really appreciate it. It gives me a better sense of understanding, and you guys an opportunity to share your opinions.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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  6. I made a strikethrough in the post and bolded some of my statements that reflected my intention of the post.

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  7. "The way that 16 year old kids were trying to prove him wrong that day is what pisses me off."

    This quote right here proves you didn't know Doc. Doc wanted his students to question his methods, point out issues, and argue about grades. That's how you learn. Now doing it obnoxiously is uncalled for, but Doc taught something more important than respect your elders.

    One thing to pull from him is not to respect people automatically. He told me about this job at a paper mill and how he questioned his boss and upper management on many things. He told them they were flat out wrong and came very close to being fired.

    One of the things Doc tried to teach is to trust yourself and what you are doing. When he questioned his boss on the placement of the ventilation for chemical fumes, he didn't just say it was wrong. He told the guy exactly how it should be fixed because he was confident in his own knowledge and knew he was correct on this matter.

    Only a few students in Doc's career actually got to know him and learn from him, but the number is very, very small. Many people, including you apparently, claim to have learned what Doc tried to teach, but you didn't.

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  8. Hey Erin,

    "Many people, including you apparently, claim to have learned what Doc tried to teach, but you didn't."

    I had never, in this entire article, claimed to learn EXACTLY what Doc had tried to teach.

    In fact, the reason I said "If you really claim to know Doc, you would know that he has the capability to stick up for himself..." WAS because even I don't know Doc- but this was a universal fact.

    He also told us the stories of him at the paper mill, and he even told us the story about the chemical fumes. Yes, of course, Doc did try to teach to trust yourself and what you are doing. And I agree 100%, he wanted his students to question him. However, the '16 year old kids' who I am talking about WERE trying to prove him wrong in an obnoxious manner, not even letting him explain what he was doing. Turns out, he was doing ICE tables the right way, but people were too impatient and ignorant to realize that. Even I, at one point of the year, was tempted to keep cutting Doc off and accusing him of doing the problem wrong- but it turned out he almost always was doing it right. Funny, this applies- Doc even taught me how to be patient!

    Sure you can make the claim that I don't know Doc, but honestly there is no point- because I agree. I don't know Doc as well as some students do, and I never claimed I "knew" him.

    But yes, I do make the claim that I LEARNED from him. Probably not EXACTLY what he tried to teach, but I still learned from him. I want to quote something from an email he sent me today. He said, "Stay safe, work hard, and remain focused on your goals."

    That sums up what I learned from Doc, whether I "knew" him, or not.

    Thank you so much for taking the time and reading the blog post. I really do appreciate all of your remarks.

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  9. Aadil,

    I agree with you 100%, and I'm sure Doc does too.

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  10. Doc cared about us students more then any of us understood. I've heard stories told by fellow teachers about how he would get all choked up just reading emails from his students thanking him. I have so much respect for Doc, though my behavior did not show it all the time. It was not until he left that i relized the impact he really had on me personaly. I had to work hard just like any other student in his class, but this was new to me. I would always settle for okay when it came to grades, but when i had to work that hard for just an okay grade it gave me a lesson i desperately needed to learn. Something i thought i knew but obviously did not, and that is simply hard work. I feel bad that i acted poorly at times and wish i could apologize to him face to face, but i wont being seeing him for awhile. Even while he is not around im still learning things from him. He is a teacher and a better person

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  11. i know i already told you this aadil but i think the people on this should read it & realize how rude theyre being .

    i dont appreciate how most people are repetitively slamming aadil about what he is saying . you guys just dont wanna face the truth that we WERE rude & disrespectful . honestly , i admit that i was . & i dont know doc well enough to know if anything written on here is incorrect . & it pisses me off that all of you guys are trying to tell him i know doc better . dont you realize how hypocritical youre being ? youre saying that he doesnt deserve to say what HE thinks but you do . no you really dont ; everyones entitled to their opinion . NO ONE knows for sure what was going through docs head except doc . & honestly , i think you guys are being just as rude to aadil right now as you were being to doc his last day .
    BY THE WAY ; im not pointing this towards EVERYONE commenting , just most of you .

    sincerely ,
    renee williams (:

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