Tag Archives: Longwood Central School District

Throwback Thursday: My 7th-grade crime story!

“Renaldo!”  I wrote this story in the 7th or 8th grade.  It was my attempt at an organized crime thriller.

The story has everything!!  Ziti!!  Cocaine!!  A main character whose name is “Scab!!”  Famous cops who go by a single name — like Madonna or Prince or something!!  The phrase “genius detective, pride of the police force!!”  Possibly a degree of confusion about when the Great Depression occurred!!  (I chose to set the story in the 1920’s, for some reason, and confusingly stated that “jobs were scarce” at the time.  Hey — I’ve told you people before that I was never the smartest kid in the class.)

Anyway, enjoy (?) this antique Nolan prose.  Thanks once again to Carrie Schor for passing along vintage stuff from the Longwood Central School District in New York.

Postscript: admit it — you saw the headline “7th-grade crime story” and thought this would be about me committing a crime in the 7th grade, didn’t you?  But I gotta find out about a couple of statutes of limitations before I write about those.



A - Copy

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Who was your favorite teacher? (Today is World Teachers’ Day.)

It’s World Teacher’s Day.  Or it was, until the clock struck midnight more than an hour ago.  It is sadly ironic that I am late for this, as I was so often late to class.

If you can, please pass this along to give a little recognition to someone in a uniquely demanding profession.

My single favorite teacher in New York’s Longwood Central School District is a little tough to choose.  I believe it would be a tie between two men.

The first was Mr. Greiner, who taught sixth grade at Ridge Elementary School.  He reined in a very strange, hyperactive boy long enough to actually write down his bizarre monster stories — and to do so legibly.  He could be firm, but also kind.  And the encouragement he offered was priceless.  I wrote my first presentable short story in his class, entitled “When A Bear Growls.”  It was about famous hunter Hank Brown’s deadly battle with a legendary grizzly, and it had enough blood and guts in it (and a shotgun!) to please and surprise my classmates.  They ate it up!  It was the first time in my life I’d ever felt “popular” at school, and it reinforced my love of writing.

The second was Mr. Anderson, who taught AP English to 12th graders at Longwood High School.  I remember him as a soft-spoken man, and I believe that he was simply so articulate that he just never needed to raise his voice in order to get his point across.  He had a visible, genuine love of literature that was contagious.  He knew how to push his students enough to prepare them well for college’s vastly greater demands.  But he was also sublimely easygoing and relatable.  So you could confide in him, for example, that you thought that William Faulkner really sucked.

I hope that both Mr. Greiner and Mr. Anderson are now very happy in retirement, and know that their students still hold them in the highest esteem.

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