Friday, January 13, 2006

"A Mean Teacher" by Mitch Sisskind

What happens when a teacher is more difficult than her most difficult student? Is there any room for forgiveness here? This rather droll story gives us an unlikely glimpse of modern education (circa 1970). Read by Jonathan Strong.

Mitch Sisskind is a licensed gemologist (believe it or not) who is from Chicago but now lives in New York City; he is a former high-school football coach, and a teacher himself. A collection of his stories, Visitations, was published in 1984 by Brightwaters Press. This particular story was originally published in a 1971 collection of experimental fiction called Anti-Story, which is as fine a guide to what the 1960s wrought in the world of literature as any. One wonders what they call "anti-stories" nowadays. Oops, we forgot--that kind of stuff just doesn't get published anymore!

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