Every day, for no reason at all, Mr Savage, a dark-haired short little man with a great big ego, punched Eugene on the shoulder. Maybe he didn’t like the way he sat in his chair or that he wore glasses or had curly hair and a Robert Mitchum dimple in his chin. Maybe he didn’t like that Eugene was bigger and smarter than he was. Or maybe it’s just that Mr Savage had to live up to his name by intimidating his seventh-grade students.
Well, like clockwork one day, Mr Savage marched over to Eugene and punched him harder than usual on the shoulder. Suddenly, like a mad dog, Eugene jumped out of his chair, shook his fist in Mr Savage’s face and snarled, “Now, hit me again!”
And sitting across from him still as a mouse on the outside, I was jumping up and down on the inside and yelling, “Yeah! And that goes for me too!”
He must have heard me because Mr Savage left Eugene alone and started bullying me.
Day after day Mr Savage singled me out, asking me questions in hopes that I’d give the wrong answer. And day after day, escaping embarrassment and humiliation of looking like an idiot, I just sat there, my mouth clamped shut, shooting green-eyed daggers at his head.
This didn’t sit well with him. So one day while the students and teachers were lined up to go to their classrooms, Mr Savage approached me and snarled sarcastically, “What’s the matter with your mother? Is she an invalid or something?”
Dumbfounded and wondering what the heck invalid meant, I blurted, “Yes sir, she’s in a wheelchair.”
Suddenly, the hall fell silent as teachers and students turned their attention on us. And before I could utter one word of explanation, Mr Savage stormed off, his face blazing like fire.
God had my back that day. I didn’t know Mr Savage had written my parents requesting a conference with them because I was failing Social Studies. It wasn’t until much later I discovered that daddy wrote back telling him about mom’s back injury and that if he wanted to talk to them he’d have to come to the house.
Like a Mighty Warrior, God became my hero that day. He grabbed the savage beast by the horns and gave him a swift kick in the butt. And from that day forth, Mr Savage never bothered me again.
Yes, I failed Social Studies, but Mr Savage utterly failed the art of teaching.
“Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.” Psalm 7:15,16 NIV