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Bob Clark


John


The author (he's looked better)

WHY ENGLISH WAS JOHN'S FAVORITE SUBJECT
by Mike Blakesley

Originally published May 20, 1989
in the Forsyth Independent-Enterprise

I heard a few weeks ago that Bob Clark and his wife Jeanne are retiring after many years of teaching in the Forsyth school system, so I've been trying to remember a hilarious anecdote about them to write about. Wouldn't you know it, I've come up with one.

I never had any classes with Mrs. Clark, but Bob was my English teacher when I was a junior. His English classes were interesting, and I was especially pleased with the fact that he never made us diagram sentences.

There were, of course, a few students who didn't appreciate Mr. Clark's classes very much. One student in particular, who I'll call John because that's his name, sat right in front of me.

John was a very tired person. At least I assumed he was tired, because within five minutes after Mr. Clark started talking about the world's great literary works, John would fall asleep on his desk.

For the first few weeks of school, Mr. Clark would wake John up, but he soon realized that his efforts were futile and just let him sleep. John would snooze away, oblivious to all sounds except the sound of the bell, which signaled that it was time for lunch.

One day John must have been recovering from a rough night, because he fell asleep before Mr. Clark had even finished taking the roll. And at the end of the period, when the bell rang, John, instead of slowly coming to life as usual, continued his peaceful slumber. The rest of the class was heading out of the room on the way to lunch, and I was just about to shake John awake, but Mr. Clark said "He needs his rest--just let him sleep."

So I walked out, and so did Mr. Clark, and he locked the door.

After lunch, I couldn't resist, of course. I had to go by and check out Mr. Clark's room, and there John was, still snoring away. The students for the next period were just beginning to file into the room. I had to get to my next class, but I waited just long enough to see John being shaken awake. He looked around the room like somebody who had been dreaming it was Saturday.

Then he came walking out with a kind of dazed look on his face, and the last I saw of him he was running down the hall after the bell rang, heading for his next class. I heard he was late and got detention.

He didn't sleep in English for about a week after that.

[NOTE: Bob and Jeanne Clark still live in Forsyth. John lives in Glendive, last we heard.]