Beginning this year, Lincoln Park will award teachers that exhibit tranquility, harmony and overall create a seemingly safe environment for students. It’s no doubt that Dan LeRoy, the head of the Writing and Publishing department, was the first and only pick, and I had a chance to interview him to learn more about his peaceful teaching tactics.
First of all, how many years have you been teaching here at Lincoln Park?
I know we just met, but, already, you’re pissing me off.
I literally have three blocks a day with you.
And I can’t wait to burn you up and leave your ashes! Cremation: what’s the tea?
Please, just answer the question. How many years have you taught here?
I dunno. I don’t care.
Okay, what is it like to teach at Lincoln Park?
It’s just one trial in the bigger, never-ending trial of life. [It’s all,] “I got trauma.” I gotta tell you, that’s not interesting to the general public. Evolve or die.
Obviously, you weren’t always a teacher. What did you do beforehand, or, rather, what influenced you to be a teacher?
Woah, woah, woah! Hold on there, Tex. It’s simple: I was a teenage Gary, and I’ve mastered serial killing. [I was] ready to take on my next challenge: anthropology. But let me clarify one thing about the rumors of my past: I’M NOT A FURRY.
And thank God for that. What’s an average day in the classroom like? Do you have any special rituals you do before class in order to create that peaceful space you’re known for?
Go to Europe. Vape at a ‘futbol’ game. Besides, we don’t want to introduce kids to blood, guts, and dismemberment. Maybe we do, and that’s a mistake [not to do that].
One thing the award calls for is a “curriculum which encourages both academic excellence and self-care tendencies.” How do you incorporate that into writing?
Well, thinking hard is good… I think.
Uh-huh. My next question is–
Shoot me at the end of the block, please.
Are you okay? You seem a little distracted.
I’ve been hearing random screams all day. I’m fine with it.
‘Kay. So learning how to become a teacher takes time. What did you do to, for lack of a better phrase, “hone your craft?” There’s many people out in the world who think they’re teachers when that’s false.
Ah, Mr. Geagan, you’re indicting the whole teaching profession. I love it!
Uh, Mr. Geagan graduated last year.
Yeah. You will see that he’s a miserable lookin’ bastard.
You probably shouldn’t speak that way about a former student.
I make the observation that he’s a FREAKIN’ WEIRDO.
Back to the subject: how does it feel to receive this award?
You guys and your chipmunk lore. It makes me feel like a lot of things make me feel: nothing.
I’ve heard that your son, Grant, campaigned on your behalf for the administration to give you this award. Perhaps you’ll dedicate your success to him or give him a gift of some sort?
[Grant] will get a treat if I don’t boot him across the roof. Anyways… I love animals.
Are you looking forward to the ceremony they’re throwing in your honor?
Oh, hells bells! Son of a b*tch! I don’t have time to cringe [’cause] there’s enough crying that goes on around here. We don’t need an assembly for that. If you start crying, get the hell out.
[He pauses and looks wistfully out the window.]
HUHUUHUHUHUHUHUH i’m TrAsH.
Yeah. Anything you’d like to tell the staff and student body of Lincoln Park?
I’m doing a public service here. Nobody knows that, but that’s what I’ll tell the authorities.
And what about to aspiring teachers? Any words of encouragement or advice you’d like to give them?
You come for the education. You stay to get offended.
What are some parting words you’d like to give to the students of Lincoln Park who have presumably helped you to get this far?
If Dr. Seuss’s wife was here, I’d tell her the same stuff I’m telling you: we’re all dirt, but some of us are just dead.
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