The real encounter with Mr. Suranovich

The story on page 129 of Favorite Sons about my encounter with Mr. Suranovich is true. He snatched me away from the arc welder and marched me down to the office when he found out that, as a senior, I had taken just one year of general math.

What followed, in retrospect, was quite funny.

Mr. Suranovich made me drop metal shop and go to study hall, where Mr. Scherich was to tutor me in Algebra I. This was a lovely arrangement, as Mr. Scherich didn’t want to be bothered, and neither did I.

About two weeks into the tutoring session, members of the fall play cast of Mame came in with a problem involving the stage set. Always anxious for a diversion, I listened and when they left told Mr. Scherich, “I can make that for you.”

Mr. Scherich, always anxious to rid himself of me, said, “Be my guest.”

That was my last day in study hall. I spent the rest of the year in the auditorium building stage sets. Mr. Scherich at one point said, “Mr. Yocum, this is not advancing your understanding of algebra.”

“It’s all math. Measuring, cutting angles. Why, it’s practically geometry.”

He just walked away.

Later, he would tell a friend of mine, whose identity I’ll protect, “You and Yocum were the two worst math students to ever graduate from this high school. There were worst math students, but they never graduated.”

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5 Responses to The real encounter with Mr. Suranovich

  1. Sherry says:

    thats too funny Robin! I remember Mr. Scherich very well.

  2. Joyce McGough says:

    Robin, you have just popped my bubble. I always thought I was Mr Scherich’s worst math student. I just got my copy of your book and can’t wait to read it. I’m waiting for a period of uninteruppted time because I know once I start I won’t put it down until I’m finished.

  3. Dave Probert says:

    When I read about Mr. Suranovich accosting you about your lack of ambition to go to college I could believe it. He was never a bit shy about telling me that if I did not apply myself better in college than I did in High School I would flunk out for sure. I did have a little trouble though picturing him as a baseball coach. :-) I did really like him even though he scared me to death. I was never a big Mr Scherich fan though probably because I did not like Math.

  4. Kim Nichols Kuthy says:

    Going to have to get this book and read it. To bad Mr Suranovich isn’t around and he could see that we did OK. Has any one told Mr Scherich about the book?

  5. Robin says:

    Kim: I don’t know. I haven’t seen Mr. Scherich in years. If he’s still in the Valley, I’m sure someone told him.

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