Bad Things Happen When…


I grew up in a small school district where we had about 20 kids in each grade. Teachers would often teach similar classes for more than one grade. So we got to know our teachers pretty well and (unfortunate for some) they got to know us and our parents well. Just about every teacher does something that sticks with you through the years. Maybe it is the project we did in first grade to memorize the major body organs or a 3rd grade field trip to the ice cream plant, and others have a style of teaching you will never forget.

I remember walking into the first day of Mrs. Shoffner’s 7th grade Life Science class. Being a small campus (K-6 in one building and 7-12 in the other), I had seen her around and heard the stories. If I remember correctly, it was right after the 1st period Junior High Basketball practice. We had to walk all the way across campus (now I look back and say that was a breeze compared to college) and we were all fueled up by the time we got there. Being seventh graders, we thought we knew everything. We had just moved up with the “big kids” and were in “high school” now. One of the first things Mrs. Shoffner said was, “Bad things happen when 7th graders stand up.” What? Really?

We went on through 7th grade, learning what bad things would happen… Come my 8th grade year, Mrs. Shoffner taught my Art class. We did our sketches of classmates and covered all the fun history of Art stuff, all the old painters, and things in Europe we read about but never see. What was part of her spill on the first day of class? “Bad things happen when 8th graders stand up.” Wait a minute. Now I know we were the 8th graders who knew everything, but that saying was supposed to be for the 7th graders. Well, come to find out, she was right. Bad things did tend to happen when anyone (no matter the grade level) stood up in class.

Now if you have even made it this far, you are probably wondering what this has to do with agriculture and why we are taking a trip down memory lane. Well, hold your horses.

I was in the bull barn this weekend, cleaning up and fixin to head to the house and off to church services. Just as I’m about to walk out the door two of the barn cats find themselves in an all-out-brawl. This is one of those genuine catfights with hissing, hair flying, and cats stirring up the dust. Next thing I know, all 100 bulls pull their heads out of the feed bunk, tuck tail and head for the outdoor pens, running and bucking. First thing in my mind… “Bad things happen when bulls get excited.” Sure enough, there were a few broken boards and a snapped wire.

Funny how certain phrases stick with ya, but this one sure is true. Something is bound to go wrong when 100 12-month-old bulls get excited and start their romping. No one was hurt, and everything got put back in its place. But I sure had a good laugh thinking back to the days in Mrs. Shoffner’s class. So just remember “Bad things happen when…” You can fill in the blank.

Do you have a “Bad things happen when…” experience to share?

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