My favorite teacher? The one who flunked me

By Ned Hickson, editor/Siuslaw News

Admittedly, I had a bit of a crush on my College Prep English teacher, Mrs. Fillers, who was young, inventive and extremely encouraging to the only freshman in her class of 25 juniors and seniors.

The first semester was a breeze as she allowed us to explore creative writing with few boundaries. Each week, along with our reading assignments, we were given a new list of 20 vocabulary words — usually with a theme — that we were required to use in a story. Most of my classmates crammed as many of those words into a single sentence as they could (The decrepit, cantankerous, ill-tempered man raised his wrinkled, weathered, sallow fist in a show of furious and frustrated rage over losing his car keys…”)

I, on the other hand, fleshed out 15 to 20 pages of handwritten storyline, usually with the last five to six pages devoid of vocabulary words.

I got good grades but, as you can probably imagine, was rarely asked to read my stories in class due to the time constraints of a 45-minute period.

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Investigating the latest crisis: Flamin’ Hot Cheeto addiction

I thought I was nearly undetectable in my “school teacher” disguise; obviously, I was wrong.

Being a journalist can be dangerous. Especially when it involves middle schoolers and their snack food. I knew this when I approached my editor, who can also be dangerous, particularly when her candy drawer is found empty, even though she keeps it locked with a key hidden in a folder labeled Extra Work for Reporters.

In spite of this danger, I asked if I could go undercover to investigate what Fox News reported as “a growing crisis in schools across the country — and we’re pretty sure that country is somewhere in the U.S.”

What I’m talking about, of course, is the growing crisis of “Flamin’ Hot Cheetos” addiction.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, a teacher in New Mexico wants to ban Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from school due to the snack’s complete lack of nutritional value and its addictive nature.

“But Twinkies are fine,” she added. Continue reading