WHATELY, AB – In a failed attempt to build a casual, respectful rapport with his students, newly hired grade 8 teacher, Mark Dickerson, regrets allowing that one kid in his class to nickname him ‘The Dick’, a name which he now realizes he will be cursed with for the rest of his career at Whately Senior Public School.
“I thought it was a way to become the cool teacher,” explained Dickerson, not realizing the laughter and loss of classroom control that would soon follow in its wake. “But after the seventh or eighth time a student addressed me as ‘The Dick’ in the span of a couple minutes, and their held-in chortles and smirks, I started to realize it was not coming from a place of hip, student-teacher camaraderie, but instead sarcastic derision that will make my life terribly difficult, possibly forever.”
“As soon as he wrote his name on the board I put my hand up,” said Tyler Bremner, 13, the student who coined the nickname, chuckling. “And I was like, ‘uh, Mr. Dickerson, do you mind if we just call you ‘The Dick’?’ And he was like, ‘yeah, I guess you could call me that,’ and then, like, 20 people put their hands up. I don’t know how we held it together.”
“If we had all laughed when Tyler asked if we could call him The Dick, The Dick would have known that letting us call him The Dick was a bad idea,” explained Moira Cranston, 13, commending her fellow students for not laughing at Tyler’s first comment, making Mr. Dickerson feel for a moment that he was doing a good job, only to cruelly take it away from him later. “But we all kept it together, and now we are allowed to call him The Dick, and he can’t take it back. I feel we all learned something that day, even if it wasn’t what The Dick wanted to teach us.”
“It’s hard,” said Dickerson, having to then wait a minute for his entire classroom to stop laughing after a student in the back yelled ‘the Dick is hard!’ “Sometimes they are genuinely asking a really good question, but they start off by saying ‘Excuse me, The Dick?’ and I just have to pause and collect myself before allowing them to proceed.”
At press time, Dickerson was inconsolable after realizing how far away July is from now.