I am not always very fond of teachers. In fact, they are often the bane of my existence. However, Mr. Ford has always been one of my favorites. He is a math teacher and is somehow capable of making math fun, for everyone. He has a very unique teaching style and is often mentioned by fellow students as a favorite teacher.
Every year, my school names a “Teacher of the Year”. Mr. Ford has somehow never had the distinction of winning this award. We thought he was a shoe in this year. All of my friends voted for him and we thought the rest of the “election” was just a formality. The principal scheduled an all school assembly for March 20th to name the “Teacher of the Year”
We all gathered in the school gymnasium for the event. The entire school was there and there was also two local news stations there to capture the event. Mr. Ford was quietly sitting in the last row of the bleachers and acting cool and collected as he usually does. The jazz band was also there and they were playing some interesting music and the ceremony began. Principal Skinner made his way to the podium and thanked everyone for attending.
Principal Skinner then called the four nominees to the stage. Mr. Crenshaw, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Brown, and our favorite, Mr. Ford. “Without further ado, I’d like to name the winner of the “Teacher of the Year Award…drum roll please.” The jazz drummer began his drum roll and Principal Skinner said, “And the winner is…Mrs. Rose!” What!! Everyone was stunned. Mrs. Rose is the worst. She is old and crabby and a poor teacher. How could this happen? Was the election fixed.
Anyway, everyone felt so bad for Mr. Ford, that they all pitched in and raised enough money to rent him a Limousine for an evening so him and his wife could go out to a nice dinner. Instead of taking his wife out to dinner, Mr. Ford drove to each of his students house and gave them a ride in the limo as a way of saying thanks. What a great guy!
I wasn’t too sure what to think when I woke up at 6am that fateful day. I was already pretty unsure of this whole “camp” thing. Now I don’t have anything against the great outdoors, but there was something about this particular campsite that didn’t sit too well with me…or any of the other campers for that matter. For starters there was a foul odor. I mean come on. We are in the middle of the woods and there is a strange odor? That just doesn’t make any sense. Some of us thought it was coming from one of the overweight counselors, but that’s a conversation for another day.
So anyway, I woke up inside my muggy tent and was dripping wet with sweat. I miss my air conditioner I suppose. A loud horn was sounding throughout the campsite summoning us to the mess hall. I removed myself from my sleeping bag and waddled outside. The sun was blaring and I swear it was already 100 degrees outside. I decided to skip brushing my teeth. That was probably a bad idea as it tasted like a bear took a dump in my mouth…lovely. I spotted a couple of pals walking towards the mess hall, so I went over to meet them. It was good to see familiar faces.
We made it into the mess hall and the odor of scrambled eggs and bacon slapped us in the face. This might be alright after all. The counselors were all sitting at a table in front of the room and had already begun to eat. The fat one had quite a large plate of food in front of him. I grabbed a cup and filled it with some punch from a large Gatorade cooler. I sat a table with my pals and patiently began to wait to be served breakfast. One of the counselors stood up in front of the mess hall and lead everyone in a morning prayer. I’m not even religious, but what the hell…I joined in. They finally brought us our food and we began to chow down. It tasted a little goofy, but we were all hungry so we scarfed it down.
Everything seemed to be going fine, but about 15 minutes into our meal, my friend Joe got up and ran to the bathroom. Then, Susie got up and followed suit. I looked around the room and there were about 20 kids racing to the bathroom. Here is where the fun started. You see…there are only two bathrooms! The foul odor of vomit began to fill the room and before you know it, my stomach was starting to turn. Within minutes I was on my knees vomiting. The mess hall soon became a river of puke. Everyone was barfing. It was disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Needless to say, that was the end of camp for me…and everyone else for that matter. They ended up cancelling the entire week and our parents had to come pick us up. My mom arrived in her buick and I was glad the windows were tinted because the bright sun did not help matters. I was sick for days and the doctors said I had food poisoning. I will never go camping again.
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