Times Have Changed

For better or worse, the things you could do years ago no longer fly. For example, travel with me to 1969.

That was when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the Mets won the World Series, and Miss Salerno chased Joe Sergio around our second grade classroom with a ChapStick.

Miss Salerno, who was just recently out of college, once had my father come down to inspect my messy desk. That’s another story, but the only thing she found more annoying than my desk was Joe Sergio’s chapped lips. Finally, one day she couldn’t stand it anymore. Miss Salerno took matters into her own hands and set out to apply the waxy balm herself. He took evasive action. A chase ensued.

If a teacher did that today she’d be yanked out of the classroom and put on paid administrative leave. She might even end up on the news. The student? He’d be sent to the school psychologist. Part of me longs for the days when teachers had more authority in the classroom, but I guess the ChapStick thing was a little over the edge. Even worse than the time she tried to cut his hair.

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