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January 3rd, 2011:

SALK Day 3 – The Ruth-Mr. D Story – Part 1

When I launched Sponsor A Law Kid, Darvin and Jane DeShazer were among my first sponsors and they asked to sponsor my entire first week.  After my blog about Mr. D the mushroom master, they said I could write about whatever I wanted.  I decided to take the next few days to share part of the Ruth-Mr. D story.  I’m not sure he remembers our first conversation.

Iguana iguana close up small
Image via Wikipedia

Mr. D teaches sophomore biology and AP biology at St. Vincent High School.  One of his rules is you can earn extra credit in his biology class by keeping a plant or animal alive in the classroom.  When I was a freshman, my sister was in his biology class and kept an iguana named Gomer in his classroom.  Gomer needed fresh food and water every day and he came home on the weekends.  It was common for me to take him out of his terrarium and place him on my shoulder.  Sometimes he would jump from my shoulder to Mom’s and scare the bejuzus out of her – kind of like this guy.

One morning my sister was sick, and she asked me feed Gomer for her.  I had never been in Mr. D’s classroom before.  His room was intimidating to a small freshman like me.  Not only was it at the far end of the senior hallway, it was one of the biggest classrooms in the school with tall heavy lab tables instead of traditional desks.

I entered Mr. D’s room shyly and saw Gomer in his terrarium.  My fear evaporated as I opened the top to change his food and water.  Mr. D was back in his prep area and didn’t really see me come in.  I called out, “Is it ok if I take him out?”  By the time Mr. D looked up to see (1) who this unfamiliar voice belonged to, and (2) what she was talking about, I had picked Gomer up and placed him on my shoulder.

Mr. D seemed surprised by my presence in his classroom.  He asked,”Does that belong to you?”  I explained that Gomer was my sister’s and that I was feeding him in her absence.  I was lucky that my sister was one of the smartest kids in his class, so her reputation proceeded me.  I think he thought that was a precocious freshman who didn’t know that he had a rule against taking pets out of their cages at school.

I think he came to appreciate my bold nature when he had me as a student for the following three years.   He was probably glad when I was a sophomore that Mom decided that it was better for me to have a cactus instead of an animal for extra credit.

Click here for Part 2 of the Ruth-Mr. D story.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsors are Darvin and Jane DeShazer. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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