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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Slice

When the family name is a strike against you

Got an email from my friend Vince Eberly. He addressed the matter of how older siblings can influence teachers' expectations of you.

"When I entered 9th grade at Ferris in the fall of '68, the schedule at that time was 'college like.' We had seminars, large groups (lectures in the auditorium) and labs. The days were broken into 15 minute modules, and no two days were alike.

"We reported to the auditorium for our first large group of the required social studies class, and the teachers assigned us seats alphabetically and spaced apart so they could easily take attendance for the class. As they read out the names, one teacher, Mr. Burkhart, read out my name, to which I responded with 'Here.' He gave a look that burned right through me, and asked,

"'Do you have me for seminar?'

"'No.'

"'You're lucky. Now sit down.'

"It would appear that my older brothers had besmirched the family name.

"Thirty plus years later, I ended up working with his wife at University High School. She was a counselor there. I told her the story, and she asked her husband about it. He had no recollection, but it's forever etched in my mind."  



The Slice

The online home for Paul Turner's musings and interactions with disciples of The Slice.