Mine was an 8th grade English lit teacher. Who was yours?
Read about Gambino – and then write about your school teacher experiences.
The Stage Struck English Teacher
by Randy Mazie
Mr. Gambino was our pock-marked 8th grade frustrated English teacher and failed Shakespearian actor. Every kid in class knew his frustration as we had to suffer it every third period, Monday through Friday. No audience in history ever had to attend a play a day like we did.
Gambino read us Shakespeare. Strike that. Gambino acted out every role and every word and every scene of every play of Shakespeare. He stood in the front of our class like it was his own Elizabethan stage. The intensity of his readings would include his famous flying spittle into the seats of his imagined audience – us!
Horrified, we muffled our giggles.
We had never seen anything like this; never any teacher or any classroom ever. Gambino had longish hair, greasy and clumped together liked fingers gone awry, flopping up and down against his shirt collar, while his deep baritone voice rose and fell, coordinated with his head thrusts to and fro, and flailing arms giving credence to his laudable performances. Every dramatic gesture, each tic and twist, would make our eyes roll and heads shake in disbelief.
This was no way to learn English lit. It was the only way for Gambino to find fulfillment. Though we graduated, Gambino remained, still awaiting his imaginary applause at the end of every class, stage struck – and stuck.
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