I like to think back on things I've learned from French over the years. Sometimes I learned from observation. Like the time I got to witness his first school suspension. He'd had his fair share of detentions and timeouts, but this time things really blew up.
French was always a cool guy. He'd be the last kid to finally break down and wear a proper winter coat, gloves, and god forbid a toque. People would ask him why he'd be wearing nothing but a jean jacket to school in December. He'd never really say. The closest we ever got to an answer was: "I run hot." It was just his thing...you gotta be cool to be cool.
Just before Christmas break French showed up as usual; dressed for fall. This teacher with the unfortunate name of Mr. Bird decided to take French on. Mr. Bird dragged French to the lost and found bin and tried to force him to take and then wear mitts, a scarf and a toque before he was allowed outside for recess. French balked to say the least. There was no way he would put on these smelly old items. Mr. Bird would not drop it. He was really pushing French.
Finally French snapped and grabbed a old orange toque out of Mr. Bird's hands. This crazy teacher had been trying to put it on French's head. French jumped up and jammed it tight over Mr. Bird's head. Then he yelled: "I hope yah get lice yah crazy old bird". French ran off and didn't come back to school that afternoon. He got a two day suspension for this incident. Or in French's words: "a longer winter break."
On my mental continuum of teachers my scale goes from Mr.Bird on one end to French on the other.