Life is funny

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2003

You’ve heard the expression hundreds of times. A question here, &uot;Funny ‘ha ha’ or funny serious?&uot; I have some episodes you can read and decide for yourself. Here we go!

I mentioned in a column long ago my dad insisted his daughters attend parochial school even though the school was in the next city. His sons attended public school in our own city. One day brother Bud (one year younger) and I were sitting and talking and I asked him what he thought the parochial school bit was really about.

His answer floored me. Here it is: &uot;Sis, he claims as his reason all the wickedness out there. True reason, he doesn’t want you to meet guys like me. We’re out there.&uot; You decide.

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Episode 2: When I finished high school it was assumed I’d go to Salem Teacher’s College. No such thing as &uot;Would you like to go?&uot; Dad’s family had three members who had attended years before. One brother became superintendent of schools in my city. A sister became first female principal in Cambridge, Mass. Second sister was most prize-awarded as best first-grade teacher. At Salem it was known they left marks so high heaven was in the low area. Then in came this Coyne, to Salem, land of the witches. I brought along excellent marks but would seem like nothing compared to the first Coyne there.

My courses were fine. I could handle them easily – except one. I hated it and its professor. Cut it as much as was safe. Professor was aware.

One morning I met him in the hall. We both said good morning and I tried to get away fast. I was stopped by his saying, &uot;Miss Coyne, I have a proposition for you.&uot; Now, you know where my mind went leaping. (Stupid me.) I saw faculty teas on the arm of the professor I couldn’t stand. ice water thrown on my thoughts of jealous classmates with his next remark. &uot;I shall pass you in this course if you promise as long as you’re in this college never to take any course I teach.&uot; I came to – and promised. Got a C when all other courses were A and B+. Couldn’t explain it at home. He could have given me a D! Vote: ha, ha or serious?

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.