Before the Governor of Massachusetts closed schools due to the coronavirus, Mr. Johnson faced rooms of mostly uninterested students asking him things like, “If Isaac Newton was so smart, why is he dead?” You see, Mr. Johnson taught science to 7th graders at South Middle School in Brockton. And now he’s basically tech support to ungrateful children and their parents.
“Have you tried turning your child’s laptop off and then on?” he asks several times a day (typically to the same parent).
Mr. Johnson also answers emails with titles like “How do I keep my kid seated for more than 5 minutes?” and “Does my son always smell like this?”
Tele-teaching is tough.
However, every morning, lunchtime, and evening he treats himself and showers in schadenfreude.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines schadenfreude as enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. What the dictionary doesn’t mention is how wonderful it is to shower in 110 degrees of karma three times a day.
Seventh-grader Billy Paterson loved to make a penis out of paper and walk around class with it. Classmates thought it was great. When Mr. Johnson addressed it to the boy’s father, he got “Boys will be boys.”
Billy Paterson’s dad is now working from home and discovering the joys of his boy for the first time up close.
Student and future star of “I want to talk to your manager” Emma Caufield is explaining to her parents why learning about “stuff” is “stupid.” Her folks are discovering the wonders of watching their child shrug her shoulders millions of times a day.
COVID-19 has taught this teacher many things. Mr. Johnson now knows karma tastes like day drinking Captain Spiced Rum and Coke in his bathrobe.
Of course, he hopes the kids will learn all the “stuff” that will help them succeed in life.
Right now, he’s ordering another bottle of rum and then jumping into the shower.