Learning that I would be out of my high school classroom for a lengthy period of time, I decided t o be open and honest with my honors 11th grade English students about my impending prostate surgery. They accepted my honesty with the aplomb of mentally accelerated secondary students–and a little tittering.
Mrs. Alvord, the lady I chose to substitute for me during my absence, was short and feisty and intellectually acute. I knew she would be able to meet the challenge of my students while I was recuperating.
According to her report, several weeks into my recovery, one of my male students blurted out in the middle of class, “Hey, we hear Mr. Cooper had a sex change,” to which Mrs. Alvord replied, without missing a pronoun or a participle, “That right…and I’m the new Mr. Cooper.”