In 10th grade Lit, Mr. Carson taught us that the best way to sleep covertly while standing upright is to lean stomach-first against a cabinet in the back of the classroom, and place a chalkboard eraser between your chin and chest. This technique is best employed when your students are giving 15-minute oral presentations on Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
In his waking hours Mr. Carson rewrote the example sentences in our vocabulary books so that they provided context within the scope of 70’s pop culture. I learned that the word “avarice” is a synonym for “greed”, and that many consider Avarice Films Inc.’s undisputed masterpiece to be Debbie Does Dallas. I thought it was a Western, and my dad worshiped John Wayne, so I asked him if he’d heard of it. He had, but to the best of his knowledge it was not a John Wayne movie. We then had a father-son moment.
Mr. Carson also taught me that all epics begin in media res and that the adventures that shape our lives are no exception.