Part IV : Snippets of Somers Teachers
Mr. Carr, Mr. Connolly and Mr. Holland
I never had the pleasure of going into Mr. Carr’s inner sanctum and receive introduction to his paddle. That said, us Junior High students did all we could to not get to know Mr. Carr any better than you did. But he knew you. In transit, he’d look you in the eye, call you by name and always asked how you were doing. In other words, he gave us the respect we were due, and the sincerity had a message that was clear as day. Mr. Carr cared about every single one of us and that was really the foundation of the pulpit he sat on for the students of Somers Junior High.
When I got to the high school in 1978, Mr Connolly was the football coach. So by definition, he had to be a tough guy. But as a teacher he was more a pussy cat and hinged closer to goofy in his demeanor. Right up Connolly’s alley, me and Bill Miller used to sit in the back row of his Calculus class in 1982. In keeping, Mr. Connolly mostly let us slide. So much so that during a test, he let us know that Senioritus was a perfectly acceptable condition. “Mr. Miller, will you please move your test paper to the right so Mr. Monetti can copy off you,” he doled the sarcasm.
But Connolly really thought he put me to the test one morning after absconding a Spaulding that had come loose from my grip. I pleaded that we needed the bounce for playing handball at lunch time so he gave me a chance to redeem. He heard a trivia question of the way to work, and offered the ball if I could answer correctly. Of course, I was game, but he assured I would never get the right name.
All pleased with himself, he sprung the impossible on me. “In World Series history, which player has the most lifetime at bats?”
Ready to pocket my ball and almost before the question exited his lips, I made derivative of his overconfidence.
His jaw just about dropped to the floor and Connolly was forced to comply. Of course, he wasn’t going to keep it in the first place, but a nice memory nonetheless.
I only have one snippet I can share of Mr. Holland. In the 1981 Yearbook, he participated in a QA in which I remember the first question.
Q: How have you helped the Class of ’81 find themselves?
A: I didn’t know they were lost.
That’s a pretty good summation of our esteemed Chemistry teacher, but I do have a pretty detailed account from one of my classmates. Mike Aiello compiled the Holland Quotes as Holland left us in stitches throughout junior year. The Class of ’82 Grad breaks them down as an R&Q - - reason and quote.
Reason : Bill was playing with a Navy Sticker.
Quote : Bill if you don’t put that away, I’m going to wrap it around your face.
Reason : Pulls out 200 proof ethyl alcohol from closet.
Quote : Reserved for the Chemistry Teacher.
Reason : Vapors still burning at end of a test tube.
Quote : No problem, just blow ‘em out.
Reason : Joke
Quote : But who’s going to remember these acids other than Bill.
Reason : Bill’s hand in front of projector.
Quote : You do that again, and I’ll cut your fingers off above at the elbow.
Reason : As Mr Holland pours distilled water into beaker…
Quote : Distilled water runs deep.
Reason : Cautioned the class that bottled fluid is toxic.
Quote : I don’t want anyone licking the ethyl alcohol around here.
Reason : Student falling asleep
Quote : You’re practically asleep there Leslie. You’re snoring is keeping everybody awake.
Reason : Dangers of alcohol lecture
Quote : Alcohol doesn’t make you smarter or a better athlete - even though you might think so while you’re drinking.
Quote : If you drink alcohol, you won’t have worms.
Reason : Talking about John Lennon’s dead body.
Quote : It looks better than Richie does.
Reason : Student complaining about sulfur smell in classroom.
Quote : Well, ah…I didn’t smell until you got here.
Reason : Mr Holland playing with copper sulfide.
Quote : This test-tube has diabetes.
Reason : Lighting Bunsen Burner.
Quote : Ah, there’s my old flame
Reason : Bill’s head in the way of film projector.
Quote : Bill you’re obviously not watching the screen.
Reason : Punchline
Quote : After the Civil War they said they wouldn’t draft me anymore.
Reason : After hearing blood curdling scream from the hall.
Quote : It must be a really poor lunch today.
Reason : Looking at one of the students and drugs came to Mr Holland’s mind.
Quote : For those of you who are in the area of taking drugs, this is called laughing gas.
Reason : Mark picking gray hairs out of Joe’s head.
Quote : I didn’t move Bill so you could play with his hair.
Reason : After Mark has taken a dive out of the (ground floor) window.
Quote : MARK, WHERE’S MARK?
Bill : He had to leave.
And the ongoing signature moment from 1980/81
Reason : Misidentifying Mike as his brother Joe
Quote : Ya know Joe.
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