Tuesday, September 23, 2008

profanity, continued

My freshman year at Cordova High School, I walked into freshman English (Mr. A's class), and was shocked to see the board covered in a list of swear words. Evidently I wasn't the only one, and the laughs and titters began as people filled the room. As the tardy bell rang, an older gentlemen walked in and hung up his hat. He was wearing cowboy boots, dress pants, dress shirt, and a bolo tie. He quietly called roll, asking each student about older siblings or relatives who had attended Cordova. No one talked out of turn.
We received our textbooks, went over what items were needed for class, and then went over class expectations. The last expectation was that we would use language appropriate for professionals. After all, that was what we were in school to learn to be. Mr. A (short for Mr. Alexander) then proceeded to go over each slang word on the board (without saying them), explained what swear word it represented, and why it was uncouth and inappropriate for a student of our school to use it. He also made it clear that he never wanted to read or hear any of these words in his classroom. The remainder of my four years at CHS, I heard a lot of profanity, but NEVER past the downstairs entrance headed to Mr. A's classroom, in his classroom, or directly outside of it. This quiet Church of Christ elder was quiet, conscientious, and made his first lesson one that I doubt any CHS Advanced English student ever forgot: professionals are not potty mouths.

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