The Most Insecure Homosexual to Ever Teach a Class

It was the summer before my senior year of high school and as the good student that I was, I kept myself busy at Fordham University. I was part of the Upward Bound program which recruits promising minorities in the Bronx and gives them a taste of the college experience. The whole summer I was dorming and following a college rhythm there, though generally with another group of students.

So, the first month went by pretty smoothly, although we didn't have an SAT teacher for our 8am class. That entire month, we awoke at 6am, and then after 7am made our way to the cafeteria for breakfast -- if the edibles served at Fordham can be labeled as such. After a rewarding meal one casual morning, we all made our way to a presumably empty classroom at some point after 8am.

Out of the blue, this cliché homosexual is waiting in the classroom, and barking at everyone as they come in, purporting to assert his authority. Señor Lagos was a last-minute-replacement, and apparently no one informed him that he was dealing with elite students who had decided to attend a summer program at a prestigious university. As soon as I entered the classroom, Lagos immediately profiled me; I was dressed in my surplus-bin all-black, topped off with some of my dead father's hand-me-down shoes. "This is the big, heavy metal misfit that I have to put in line in order to intimidate the others," that insecure homosexual must have told himself.

Lagos was balding, trying to hide it under a cheap hat that only highlighted his agrarian Cuban roots and accentuated his massive farmer's belly, made all the more hideous by his stained teeth and horrible attempts at speaking French. As soon as I sat down, Lagos started shouting in a very aggressive tone, demanding to know why I was late to the class no one had been informed was being taught. If I learned one thing after having no choice but to issue a beating to many of the kids around my elementary school -- this was before I became a good student -- is that the best way to avoid trouble is by simply not paying attention to the angry nut shouting on a street corner and trying to start a confrontation with anyone who makes eye contact. Accordingly, I avoided eye contact with Lagos and simply remained quiet, which made him all the more enraged and insecure.

To this day, I remain firm in my conviction that people speaking in an aggressive, animalistic tone to a stranger should be ignored in the same way a barking dog is ignored. I ignored Lagos and after he calmed his feathers, he began to tell anecdotes completely unrelated to his job as SAT teacher. There was that time he was in the UK to teach and sitting in a classroom, waiting to see how the students reacted to a disgruntled, disheveled, overweight homosexual sitting in their midst. One of the British students presumed that Lagos was the janitor, and Lagos exploded. In reality, however, to confuse him for the janitor and not a random homeless passer-by was no slander on the part of the poor Brit, it was a compliment.

As a person of color who taught in Korea, I can truly say that if you sit in your class before meeting your students and in order to start a confrontation, that you perpetuate the stereotype of a ghetto drama queen and do a disservice to the gay community.

Nonetheless, Lagos truly proved his low-grade ghetto status just a few days after showing up as last-minute substitute from the garbage bin. I suffer from ADHD, and often daydream, maybe smirking into a window or two from time to time. A few days into his reign of tyranny, and half-way through one of his non-lessons, I was looking out the window when Lagos screamed at me, scaring me out my daydream, and demanding to know why I wasn't paying attention to his queer diatribe. I did not respond, and Lagos grew wildly infuriated, demanding that I: "get the hell out of his class and never return!"

As I walked out of the class, I told him: "I got a 1300 without you, I'll boost my score and get into Yale without you!" I thereafter wrote a letter to the director at Fordham, detailing how Lagos dedicated parts of his class to highlighting his love of alcohol, and I also quoted an incriminating statement that he made to the class regarding how a certain group of minorities has a propensity for alcohol consumption. The director was shocked that her top student would suddenly get expelled from a class, and did not hold the expulsion against me.

For the rest of the summer, Lagos did not allow me back into the SAT class. I studied on my own with a book I found in the library, managing still to not only be the top student at Fordham that year, but to also fulfill my threat of getting into Yale. Though I loved Fordham and would not be today where I am without all the great people at Upward Bound, I must say that Lagos represented the type of lowlife, project scumbag that makes me not want to return to the Bronx.