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Subbing Notes: Student Glad Heidelberger Lost Election

Precy Bysshe Shelley
O, to spend my day with thoughts and thinkers, with words and souls….

I substitute-taught today—economics and British lit. Students in the latter are reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm. While students diligently completed their worksheets (grammar! vocab! reading questions!), I paged through the C.M. Woodhouse introduction, which quotes Percy Bysshe Shelley, who wrote in 1821, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”

A student acknowledged my unsuccessful bid for Legislature between classes. He came up to me in the hall, bumped my fist, and said, “I’m glad you lost.”

“Really?” I said, my smile unbowed.

“Yeah, now you can sub more for us.”

Perhaps Shelley was talking about teachers.


  1. grudznick 2016-12-09 21:00

    As much as I know that Mr. Novstrup, the elder, is a respected and accomplished fellow in the legislatures, for one, I am kind of sad you lost, Mr. H. I think you would have brought great entertainment.

    You should be sure to point out to this young student fellow that he is also lucky that the IM #22 was declared unconstitutional on many grounds, for if it had not been you would be a criminal for being paid wages to teach and then you would probably stop your days of gainful employment teaching and the kid would be without you again.

    The kid is double lucky.

  2. Robin Friday 2016-12-09 21:07

    ummm. . .do these students have any classes in logic, critical thinking, consequences?

  3. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-09 22:02

    Smart kid.

    The young man probably recognizes that when we send legislators to Pierre we don’t send them for entertainment. We send them to handle the affairs of state with responsibility, dignity and to be scandal free.
    If you want entertainment in Pierre, Stace Nelson will likely provide it.

  4. grudznick 2016-12-09 23:12

    Mr. C, your wisdom shines through again. We do not want the legislatures to be sideshows and I do fear our common young friend Mr. H would have been the barker at the small caucuses. But you are also righter than right that we will have Mr. Nelson to be ineffective and entertaining. And he will do it well.

  5. Flipper 2016-12-10 00:19

    That’s beautiful! I think you can do a better job helping to shape young minds in the classroom rather than from the alternate reality in Pierre.

  6. John 2016-12-10 01:38

    Wish I’d had a teacher like you.
    Yet, wish you had won; but the task was on the nature of cleaning the Aegean Stables to convince regressive Brown County to return to it’s once democratic, liberal, open-to-immigrant roots. All this petty nationalism is truly the revenge of the spoilt grandchildren and great grandchildren of immigrants.

  7. Porter Lansing 2016-12-10 06:46

    Think of all the kids who can tell their kids, “Once, I had a teacher who became the greatest Governor South Dakota’s ever had.”

  8. grudznick 2016-12-10 08:05

    Even Peter Norbeck was a bit of a fast-talking arm-waver back in the day.

  9. Timoteo 2016-12-10 08:08

    What a nice thing for a kiddo to say!

  10. mike from iowa 2016-12-10 08:35

    Times have changed. Freshman English, 1967, our teacher was a statuesque, married brunette with an affinity for tight sweaters and showing off (at least to 14 year old eyes) massive amounts of cleavage. Not the best teacher I ever had, but one of the most memorable.

    Cory is most likely much more knowledgeable over a wider range of subjects. She had an easier to pronounce name. And a last name that rhymed with truck.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-10 09:27

    Robin, they do when I’m in the room. ;-)

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-10 09:30

    Mike, I do occasionally wear sweaters to teach, but they all have high necklines.

  13. Vickie 2016-12-10 09:51

    Cory I’m really torn. I love how your student reacted,but I also wish that you had won your election. Darnit!

    P.S. I’m proudly wearing my Heidelberger shirt today! :D

  14. mike from iowa 2016-12-10 10:02

    Good for you, Master. At my age I am more likely distracted by squirrels instead of …. you know.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-10 10:04

    Thanks for flying the colors, Vickie!

  16. Vickie 2016-12-10 10:39

    Very proud to do it Cory!!! :D

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