I find it an odd thing that only later in life have I acquired nick-names. I never had them as a child. I have also acquired my names almost exclusively from children. It was a Latchkey boy that first called me “Big Grumpy”. Greg (a child at heart) called me “Mad Dog [or Dawg]”. Now my first graders at Tanigawa call me “Andrew Magnum”. I am not sure how to take the name.
At first glace I didn’t much care for it, but then I realized “Andrew Magnum” is a fantastic name! I’m obviously the teacher that has seen too much. The system has taken everything and everyone I care about. I am surrounded by impotent pencil pushing coworkers trapped by the system and punk students who exploit the system at every turn. I have been in this situation for so long that I have snapped. I don’t play by the system’s rules anymore. I am part educator part vigilante. I am not afraid to drop the hammer and dispense some indiscriminate knowledge. I’m a loose cannon who is willing to “educate with extreme prejudice.” I am always being called into the Principle’s office to receive lectures on my rogue teaching style. But when the chips are down and those kids need to pass the high school proficiency tests, Principle Nishi yells, “Get me Magnum!” No one knows why I continue to teach, something just refuses to die within my tortured instructor’s soul. I am scared and hollow; I have seen too many good students not pass the tests. Only the love of a select few students and a promise to never fail another that truly wants to learn keeps me from loosing humanity in total. I am a broken man; that somehow manages to be a hero. Perhaps in the end I will find redemption and be made whole again, or perhaps I will cross a line and loose my job -- the one thing that truly still matters to me. This is the story of the tragic rogue anti-hero educator Andrew Magnum: Tanigawa Middle School’s Best and Worst Hope.
I think that is Andrew Magnum’s story. So I stayed up far too late and made an “Andrew Magnum” icon. It will now proudly represent all school related stories.