Blacksburg High (and my former life)

So, I was talking to my great friend Craig Brians, Virginia Tech Political Science professor, the other day and he told me that the roof of the gym at Blacksburg High School has collapsed.  My response: "I've been a substitute teacher in that gym!"  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but that's obviously quite a dramatic event. You can watch security camera video from the school here and also check out this photo gallery

That had to close down the whole school due to fear of further structural collapse and now the High Schoolers are finishing their year at Blacksburg Middle School (where I actually did the bulk of my substitute teaching) from 2:30-8:30 every day.  Ouch.  Beats having your High School fall on your head, though.

And, if you are curious about my illustrious career as a substitute teacher for Montgomery County public schools, it's like this.  Our last year of grad school, we lived in Blacksburg as Kim had an internship at the Va Tech Counseling Center.  In the Fall, I was fortunate enough to get a gig teaching 2 sections of American Government at Roanoke College.  In the Spring, no such luck. I had finished my dissertation in February and was doing a some research for my adviser, but I really needed to get out of the house.  Thus, my career as a substitute.  The weirdest part was after I had defended my dissertation in mid-March and I'm trying to stop 6th graders shooting spitballs at each other while watching a video and thinking, "I've got a PhD, Damnit!."  Anyway, the best part about those months of substituting is that to this day I am still grateful that I have the opportunity to teach college students and simply not worry about classroom management issues.  In many ways, teaching in high school is much harder than what I do.

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My next career?

So, I had the Chief of Police of Cary, NC out to my class on Criminal Justice as a guest speaker on Wednesday.  She was awesome.  Great guest speaker and clearly an outstanding police chief.  I certainly feel safer knowing she's in charge.  Anyway, after class she was talking about the physical requirements to being a police officer and told me about the POPAT (Police Officer Physical Agility Test) and mentioned that she had to do her annual testing the next day.  To my great surprise, she invited me along.  You know I couldn't pass that up.  

The test basically requires you to: run 100 yards out; 100 yards back; pull a 150 pound person from a car and drag them 50 feet; up and down 4 stairs three times; through a 50-lb weighted door; 20 pushups and 20 sit-ups; steps again; crawl through 40 foot tunnel; 20 and 20 again; 100 yards out and back again; drag the person one more time; and you're done.  All that in 7:20 or less. 

There were about 6-8 other police officers who took the test.  I tied for second best with a time of 5:20.  Had a great time hanging out with some of Cary's finest, too.  If this whole Political Science professor thing doesn't work out, you'll know where to find me.

 

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