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The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 2/3

I don’t recall this student’s name so I’ll call him “Wanna Be”, and he was convinced he was going to be a big league pitcher. He often disrupted the class by announcing that baseball scouts were already watching him and his future was guaranteed.

Wanna Be saw no reason to read the assignments, study for tests, or do homework and he failed both semesters.

In the mornings before first period, I’d often run into Wanna Be before he had his liquid-sugar breakfast and he was a friendly guy—nothing like the surely, moody monster that walked into my fifth period after lunch with a 64 ounce Coke in hand.

The sugar he consumed at lunch often resulted in glazed eyes, a slack jaw, slurred speech and a serious change in behavior.


Liquid Sugar is Toxic

The student snack bar, which was more of a fast food outlet that served mostly French fries, pizza slices, nachos smothered in cheese and hamburgers, sold 64 ounce Cokes for less than a dollar.

Near the end of my teaching career, the high school also had soda machines installed in the hallways to make money for the school district. The vender split the profits.

One morning, I ran into the truck driver stocking the machines and asked how many sodas the students drank.  I recall that he said he stocked an average of 2,000 cases a week in the machines at Nogales and a case held 24 Cokes—that’s 48,000 Cokes a week at one high school. The high school had about 3,000 students. You do the math.

To be fair, the machines also sold water but most of the students hooked on this liquid candy hated water and had no qualms saying how horrible water tasted.

Continued on April 28, 2011 in The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 1/3

When I decided to write this post about one of the students I taught at Nogales High School in La Puente, California, I thought of The Natural, a baseball movie starring Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, and Glenn Close, where an average baseball player comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.

This is what Hollywood does best—the stuff dreams are made of.

Then I Googled “baseball movies” and discovered a Site listing almost 200 from A to Z (there wasn’t one for “Z”, but “Y” had Yankees West and The Yankles.

If you love baseball as many Americans do, you may want to visit Boston Baseball.com.

I even searched for “Baseball Movies” on YouTube, which resulted in more than five-hundred thousand hits, and I was sucked into watching a few clips.

I could have watched baseball videos for hours on YouTube. I suspect entire movies are there ten minutes at a time.

However, that wasn’t what I wanted to write about.

I wanted to write about one student of the thousands I taught.  He was in one of my ninth grade English classes.

He hated water as many Americans do, and often started school with a liquid breakfast followed by a liquid lunch and a bag of greasy French fries. Then he arrived at his English class—my fifth period.

Continued on April 27, 2011 in The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 2

____________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to Crazy Normal, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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