Monday, October 20, 2008


Let's head north on I-75, beyond the smells of Frankenmuth chicken and out of the capitalistic grips of the Birch Run outlet mall. Now let's plop down in the ol' stompin' grounds, Saginaw. A gem in the midst of this city is Tom Roekle, a former grade school and high school chum who now teaches math and coaches varsity girls' basketball at Valley Lutheran High School. I searched my digital files and could not locate a picture, so I used clip art I thought would capture the essence of Tom's personality.

Recently a house in Saginaw was purchased on E-bay for $1.76 Do you think it was my old house on 2220 Stark? Nope. Your old house sold for $5.01 on “Houses-R-Us”. It was actually $5.31, with tax.

The proud, new owner said, “I don’t have any plans on moving to Saginaw.” In one sentence convince this woman why this might be the biggest mistake of her life. Governor Granholm says that we are one of Michigan’s “coolest cities”.

Many of my students haven’t braved moving beyond the secure walls of the suburbia that is Macomb County. What are the students like at Valley Lutheran High School? Most of them are farmers. After all, once you get north of Oakland County, that’s really all there is up here, farms……and igloos.

You graduated from Valley the same year I did, 1981. What’s it like to teach at a high school you attended? My long term memory has been permanently damaged from constant banging my head against a wall when one of the teams I coach isn’t performing well. I’d love to make the comparison for you, but it just ain’t happenin’.

Every year the local radio station WHNN would sponsor a raft race through the swirling toxins that make up the Saginaw River. Did you really expect to win with your cross country shoe design and the slogan, “Takin’ it to the streets”? We were thinking internationally. The theme would’ve been a perfect fit in Venice.

You are the head girls’ basketball coach at Valley. What’s the upcoming season looking like?
We’re looking at going 27-0, and winning our first-ever girls’ basketball state championship. It’s the same outlook every season.

In a battle royale, that is girls basketball, could the Chargers take the Mustangs?
Wouldn’t that be the Chargettes vs. the Fillies? Tawas vs. Arthur Hill would be the Squaws vs. LumberJills.

Word on Freshmen Avenue is that you won’t arrange a battle between North’s freshmen girl hoopsters and Valley’s 9th grade squad. What gives? Fear.

What’s the biggest difference between students when you first started teaching and those of today? Mostly the hairstyles. You don’t see many mullets on the guys, or the big, puffy hair of those ‘80s girls.

Finish this thought, “A great chapel includes…” law, gospel, and a few good laughs.

What’s up with the Cheeseman Road photo? Mr. Bear has it on his mantle.

Math or English? Math. It’s universal.
Word problems or short stories Short stories. Not as frustrating.
Ed or Gary? Red. It contains both of them.
Wozniak or Bay City?Little Lord Sackelroy.
Running or Cycling ? Running. Much better for inner peace.
Under Armor or Wool? Under Armor has 2 labels. Makes it illegal to wear in high school. Stupid design.
New Balance or Saucony? Brooks.
Bye, Bye Birdie or The Glass Menagerie? Hello, Dolly.
Flashy or fundamentals? Stick to the basics, and do them well.
Interlochen or summers in Saginaw Blind River, baby.

1 comment:

Josh Evans said...

Scintillating. But to say English isn't universal? That's heresy.