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Subjects I liked in High School
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 by Frank Shortt
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When one writes about High School, over 70 years removed, it is sometimes even difficult to remember who taught what! Here are some memorable ones.

I loved History and learning about the westward expansion of America as we know it. Unfortunately, our history teacher was also the football coach. Most of the jocks chose his class because they knew that if they were on the football team they would automatically receive a passing grade. What I learned was from the questions at the end of chapters as most of the period was taken up with the jocks asking questions about the past games and how they could overcome the mistakes they made. The rest of the period would be about the next game. At the end of the period, just before the bell, the teacher would say, "answer the questions at the end of the chapter and turn them in at the next class!" All the rest of us "Non-jocks" and the female students would have to go to the library during study hall period and dig out the answers.

Typing was enjoyable only because the teacher was very pleasant and was one of the youngest and best looking teachers in the school. She was very patient with the less apt typing students, such as I, and I ended up typing 45 wpm on the old manual Remington typewriters. This has been a boon to my writing ability ever since. After learning the hand placements, the rest seemed to come easy.

I was endowed by the Creator with having a good singing voice. It was somewhere between a tenor and alto. I could mimic Ferlin Husky and Roy Orbison while singing their songs. The music teacher took me under her wing only because my last name was Shortt and made sure I was included in whatever group she chose to use for church singing, operettas, plays, etc. Usually in the operettas I ended up doing bird calls as I was very talented that way. My music teaching has benefitted me in several ways during my lifetime.

I was good in General Math but when it came to Geometry, Algebra, and the higher math, I was lost! I am certainly glad that I chose to take Bookkeeping and Accounting under the tutelage of Mr. Graybeal. He was one of the kindest human beings I had ever met. One might even say he was a little unassertive. Bud Pruitt and I used to make paper airplanes and sail them out the upstairs windows in Mr. Graybeal's class. He would merely say, "Boys, I would suggest that you stop the nonsense and pay closer attention to what you are supposed to be learning!" He was so kind that we paid attention to what he told us. Had I been from a more well-to-do family, I could have easily gotten a college scholarship in Mr. Graybeal's class. He often told my parents that I was one of the best students he had ever had.

Mr. Graybeal came up to Virginia from the Hills of North Carolina. He had great credentials and easily gained employment at Garden High School. He would be part- time teacher and also Accountant for the school. After serving the school faithfully for several years, he was asked one day to do some "jiggling" of the books which was totally against his upbringing and ethics. He chose rather to leave the school and seek employment at another county in the area. He ended up only being able to do substitute work at that district. Sadly, he was given a bad name at the place of his last employment. He survived only because he was a great Accountant and was able to obtain some part-time bookkeeping jobs. He remained my friend up until the day he died and I could see that he was persecuted only because he was a man of integrity! I am thankful to say that I was able to send him some money so that he and his faithful wife could eat healthful food on a regular basis. He was cheated out of his retirement!

Needless to say, Bookkeeping and Accounting was my favorite class in High School. Mr. Graybeal had the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen in my eighty years. I used to look forward to receiving correspondence from him because of the treat of reading his letters. He was a gentleman, a great friend, and an upright human being!