Willie B. and the Fly

Willie B. and the Fly


This is one of a series of Willie B. stories. He was a student in my very first class and one of the kids I liked the most. This was because he was a ingenuous and truly nice kid with a great personality. I hope he finds this some day and contacts me. 

Willie’s name was Willie B. Gunter (I have no idea what the “B” stood for, I may have known at one time, but the mists of time have obscured it) and he was an African-American 7th grader at the time of this story. Nobody called people African-American in those days and I strongly suspect that his family had lived in New Jersey longer or as long as any of my ancestors.

Anyway, this has no bearing on the story, it could have been a 12-13 year old of any race or color.

One day, I was in the middle of a math lesson, one which I thought was going well and being received and understood by the majority of my class of 38 students. Yes, that’s right, the school board decided to save money and only have one 7th grade homeroom (they could go up to 40 before the law mandated a second class!!) and that was mine! It was self-contained meaning I taught everything to this class, Reading, Math, Science, Art, PE, and so on.

To get back on track, any time the class was responding well, was a good thing and it was really going well this particular day. That’s when Willie B put up his hand. Wow, I thought, Willie B, has a math question on the subject we’re discussing. So I asked,” Yes, Willie B., what is your question?” “Ummm, never mind” was the reply. I was a bit perturbed, but these were 12-13 year old kids and I always tried to make allowances. 

Soon, his hand was up again and it was insistent and pointing at me, so once again, I asked, “Yes, Willie B.?” and again he hemmed and hawed and said; “Never mind”. I still had not reached a boiling point and continued the lesson. But, once again, you guessed it, Willie B. is waving his hand and pointing very excitedly and insistently. I was now at the end of my patience with the interruptions and declared firmly; “WILLIE B., What is SO important that you KEEP interrupting OUR class??”

With an exasperated voice, Willie B. meekly responded, “Mr. Nipe, your fly is open!”

Davdan @ 2008-2018