Monday, January 27, 2014

Mr. Series - A Way to Humble Brag about Myself

My mind has been incredibly active as I'm falling asleep for the past few weeks. This is also probably why I've felt tired non-stop for a month. I lay awake, thinking about stories I'm working on or projects I need to accomplish, or a few nights ago I started thinking about my old gym teacher Mr. Series.

Note: I'm not sure if that's how you spell his name. I'm a bit too lazy to go grab a yearbook to find out. But if it's spelled wrong, it's probably better he can't search for his name.

Mr. Series was that TV gym teacher. He was a little short, was hairy, going bald, always had a windbreaker or hat on, and always had a clipboard with paper in his hand even though I never saw him write anything in there.

Mr. Series would probably be locked up today for making inappropriate comments toward girls. He would always tell the little girls how beautiful they were or play flirt with them by singing Frank Sinatra. It was really innocent and obviously a joke, but today, someone mentions that to their mom, and the guy is getting cuffs slapped on him.

He used to get a ton of crap from kids too. I remember he showed up to the neighborhood pool one summer with a bad toupee, and the kids didn't let him live it down. And instead of becoming a bitter gym teacher that made you run laps, he smiled... and made us climb the rope.

He used to hold movie days once a month in the gym. For two dollars he would project Mel Brooks movies in the gym, and sell popcorn and snow cones for quarters. This was done on Saturdays and he definitely didn't get paid for it.

I won the Presidential Physical Fitness award twice under Mr. Series.

He used to nominate me for many awards, mostly dealing with sportsmanship.

He used to hold me up as the bastion of how a sportsman should be. I was naturally talented in most sports (I know, huge surprise) but I never flaunted it. I was the guy that would pass the soccer ball if someone had a better shot. I would volunteer to play for the obviously worse team to even things out. And when intramural hockey happened, and I scored 12 goals because I was the only one that actually played hockey, I didn't rub it in the other's faces. Instead, I showed them how to take a wrist shot or explain the positions.

I don't know if I would've grown up to remain that way if it hadn't been for Mr. Series' positive reinforcement on me. Even if he wasn't giving me tangible rewards for my good work, he often would just say it. And it wasn't just to me, he managed to give positive feedback to just about every kid.