Last week I wrote about a beautiful young lady who convinced herself I was a Jaguar owner and who was deeply disappointed to discover I drove a 1985 Toyota Tercel. Writing about her reminded me of another beautiful woman I encountered in a gas station, and since there's not much education news for me to write about I'll share this story.
In the late 80s/early 90s I was attending a branch of the University of South Florida, at Ft. Myers, Florida. It was a junior/senior college that shared space with Edison Junior College (although I believe that name has changed). The branch of USF only offered two degree programs at the time, business or education. The education program was outstanding, so much so that I'm having a difficult time believing so much of the press being written about colleges of education and what a poor job they are doing. Sadly, this branch of USF does not seem to exist anymore or was absorbed when Edison junior College became Edison College.
Besides classes we also had to do 3 levels of student teaching. Only it was NEVER called student teaching, it was ALWAYS referred to as internships. Level I was for the first semester you were officially in the program and it required you to spend 6 hours a week at an elementary school to make sure you knew exactly what you were getting into. Level II internship was for the semester you graduated and it required 12 hours a week teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher. We were required to teach whole class, small group and individual lessons. Level III was for your final semester but it was more than what most people get in a typical program. For starters, we were required to begin work when our supervising teachers did. For those taking it in the fall semester that meant beginning the week before school started, an incredible opportunity for a future teacher to see. I took it in the Spring semester, so I was required to report on January 2nd, even though the university's semester didn't start till two weeks later. We were also required to spend two months running the class completely, while most student teachers are lucky to get 3 weeks of doing so.
In the fall of 1989 I was a Level II intern at an elementary school in Punta Gorda, Fl, about a 30 minute drive from the university. One afternoon, on my way to class, I happened to stop at a gas station for some snackage to hold me over to dinner. We were required to wear ties and a nametag that declared us as USF interns, so I was dressed nicely. Actually, we had been told we were expected to be the best dressed people in the building.
While waiting in line to pay, a gorgeous young lady in Daisy Dukes (an old pair of jeans cut EXTREMELY short) came in, squinted at my nametag and asked, "Intern? That's like a doctor, isn't it?" Now let me just say that I'm a very ordinary looking guy, most gorgeous women don't pay the slightest bit of attention to me, so when this beautiful young lady asked me if an intern was like a doctor I did the honorable thing.
I stood up straight, straightened my tie, sucked in my stomach as far as it would go, and told her the God's honest truth. Yes, an intern IS like a doctor.
And NO, I didn't have to blow it by getting into a 1985 Toyota Tercel to drive off. This was my pre-Tercel days. I drove a 1975 Plymouth Gran Fury. It had a 318 cubic inch V8 and could go from zero to thirty in a few seconds and still get 24 mpg on the highway.
Hopefully, she didn't see me drive off in it.