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Diane Clark Remembered

Charles Rector's Weblog; Jul. 25, 2015; By Charles Rector
Type: Commentary

Diane Clark Obituary

I just found out that last month my 9th Grade English teacher Miss Diane Clark passed away. You are not supposed to write anything bad about people after they die, but she was such a piece of work, I'm going to write the truth about her anyways.

Miss Clark was one of those persons who give public school teachers a bad name with her outrageous petting.. For instance, on a 10 point Short Answer on a test, let's say 2 students both wrote the same exact answer. Her pet would get 10 points while a student, such as myself, who she did not like, would get 5 points.

On grammar assignments and on the grammar portions of tests, Clark simply wrote down how many points were docked for errors without even so much as marking the errors. This made you wonder if there really were any errors or she was simply screwing around with you.

When we had classic works of literature to read such as Bram Stoker's Dracula or Homer's The Odyssey, we had to read dumbed down versions, not the original works. Also, at the start of each book, she always made threatening statements about how we were not to read Cliff's Notes and if she found out that we did, then there would be serious consequences. However, when a student asked her a question about one of those books that she could not answer, she would get out her copy of the relevant edition of Cliff's Notes and read aloud from it.. This was one of those things that gives rise to the adage of "unclear on the concept."

Her favoritism also showed on tardy slips. At my high school, if a student had was sent to the principal's office for a tardy slip more than 3 times a semester, then that student would get a 3 day suspension. If one of Clark's pets was several minutes late, there was no problem. However, if a student she did not like either walked in the room when the bell rang or was in the room, but not seated, they were sent to the principal's office.

Worst of all, was how she handled writing assignments. She simply wrote down the grade on the cover sheet without any statements (such as good job!) or corrections to the text. As for the papers themselves, they looked pristine, just like Clark never folded the pages over to read them.

One of my friends who had Clark was in a family was moving to Oregon that summer. She got all A's from Clark which made her suspicious. After all, what are the odds that you will receive the same exact grade on every test and assignment? On the final written assignment, that was supposed to be a 7 page paper on the theme of "what you learned this school year," my friend submitted a paper
that was loaded with all sorts of grammatical errors and misspelled words. There was also a run on sentence that was about two pages long. That was on the actual written part of the paper for the last couple pages or so were completely blank.

And just how did Clark grade this intentionally awful paper? She gave it an A just like she did with all of my friend's other work. After the last day of school when all of the grades were sent in and it was too late for Clark or anyone else to engage in grade retaliation, my friend and her parents brought the matter to the attention of the administration. However,since Clark had over 20 years of seniority combined with her position in the teacher's union, her position was safe and secure. I doubt if she received even so much as a single black mark in her record. She went on to continue teaching impressionable youth for another decade and a half.

With people like Diane Clark teaching our young people, its no wonder so many kids drop out and so many of those who do make it into college have to take remedial classes.

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