Back when I was in elementary school, I was one of the first selected to be in the “Enrichment Program”. I was the only one in my fourth grade class to be selected for the pilot program, which was designed to inspire students that showed an interest in the less-traditional elementary scholastic subjects such as math, social studies and spelling. My interests included maps, roads, power lines, clocks, cash registers and acting.
Yes, I’ve been a square peg in a world of round holes.
“Enrichment” took us out of the ordinary classroom and into a seldom used alcove off the library where we were encouraged to explore our interests with the guidance of teachers that were trained to handle geeks like us. I guess the job didn’t pay well though, because in the three years that I participated in the program we had three different teachers. The first was Mr. Hazard who organised a tour of the local nuclear power plants. Other than that I don’t remember much about him, though I thought his field trip was nifty and a glowing success. The second teacher, Mr. Rayburn, was my first crush and I suppose there’s a hidden side of me that wonders what that bear of a teacher looks like today. (He was 6′ 2″, had a crooked smile and auburn hair and a bushy beard to match). My crush went to crushed when I discovered that he wasn’t around my third year of the program. The name of the third teacher escapes me, but I remember him being somewhat of a hippy with his long hair, liberal attitude and out-of-the ordinary beard/goatee combo.
I decided to give that last teacher’s beard style a whirl today. I’m liking the look, it’ll probably stay around for a while.