Monday, September 25, 2006

Calling Mr. Michael Petko

Recently I have been looking online for a Mr. Michael Petko who taught middle school in Florida in the early 90s. If you have Googled yourself and found my blog, Mr. Petko, read on. Everyone else, humor me.

Back then I was Jennifer Presley. I was a student of Mr. Petko's for 2 years--sixth and seventh grade. We had quite the personality clash. I would have sworn that he moved up to teach 7th grade that second year I had him *just* to irk me.

One time he threw me out of class. Another time, though he called me to the front of the room. He used to teach at a podium. And I stood there and he quietly asked if I hated him? This was toward the end of seventh grade, and I was taken aback. I had becomes used to Mr. Petko by then and he had shifted from being a demon in my eyes to a "cool" teacher. It was on the tip of my tongue to say,"You're a hard teacher to hate, Mr P."

But I didn't say it. Some experiences from his class have stuck with me through the years longer than say, any ones I had in Math class. (Sorry Mrs. Swope). I do remember being quite terrified of my English teacher, but that's another story.

I remember watching the news in class when we were at war and had just gone over to Kuwait. I also remember something that made me laugh, and still does to this day. I remembered it again recently and told my husband about it.

We were in class and Mr. Petko mentioned Muslims. I was confused. "Muslims?" I asked, "Isn't that what you make sheets of?"

Now it was Mr. Petko's turn to look confused. I referred to one of the Little House on the Prairie books, where the character said the made bed sheets of "muslim.' You have to hand it to Mr. Petko--he didn't laugh at me. I would have laughed at me. He simply said "muslin," kind of shook his head, and continued with the lesson.

So, that's about it. I have been wanting to find Mr. Petko and tell him, if he even remembers me, that I was a snarky little brat in his class. I deserved to get sent out of class that day, and I didn't hate him. I had fun in his class. I also remember making those little 3-D paper globes. I think he was were a good teacher.

I tried to find him at the school but he is no longer listed on the staff. I just wanted him to know.
I know I complained numerous times to friends and family about him, and him asking me if I hated him was thought-provoking. I simply said no and sat down.

I hope he sees this and the knowledge that I, a student he might not even recall after teaching thousands, (or worse yet, someone he recalls to this day as the bane of his existence) think he
was a good teacher, and that it brightens his day.

Jenn, walking down memory lane.

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