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The Adventures of an English teacher in the Colegio Colombo Hebreo of Bogota!
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Hebrew transliteration… of the answers to an English Quiz!

Eduardo Ratner, que en paz descanse, was brilliant!   One day he finished the exam in half the time of the others, got up, handed in his paper, walked up to the black board and began to write in Hebrew.  Fortunately, I had already learned to read enough Hebrew to see what he was doing:  He was writing the answers to my quiz questions in a Hebrew transliteration!  “Eduardo!  OUT!” I ordered. One of the few times I threw somebody out of class.

I understand that on other occasions the students would write the answers to exams in Hebrew transliteration and then write on the board, “NO BORRES”, (Do Not Erase).   Of course, the Physics and Chemistry professors had no clue as to what was written in Hebrew.  The upside of the situation was that the students had to study at least some subjects in Hebrew!

So, soon, the Rector had to tell all new teachers to erase anything written on the blackboard in Hebrew before an exam.  But that didn’t stop the creativity of the students.  Danny Camhi of the class of '87 explains that they simply made special posters with flowers and Hebrew and placed them on the walls.  That was for a history exam.  How ingenious!  I don’t think the Hebrew teachers had thought of that.  They studied hard!  (Hebrew that is).

Thrown out of class?

Let’s see.  Did I throw anybody else out of class? Claudia Burstyn reminds me that I threw her out of class in fifth grade!  Really?  I can’t imagine that I would do such a thing… such a lovely and innocent young lady. Claudia, can you please remind me WHY I threw you out of class.  I am sure I had a good reason.  Must have been talking.

Claudia explains it this way: My story is that you sent me to Dr. Avella with Marky Rausch one day because we were talking non stop in class, then proceeded to give me a 2.5 on my report card. At the time report cards were hand written, and it was written in RED! I never failed anything else in my life... The RED ink was embarrassing enough for a lifetime 🤦‍♀️

Sorry Claudia. I remember none of that.

Then there was Richy Smulevich.  Now THAT I can understand.  Once in awhile he NEEDED to be thrown out of class.  “Gringo P....”! said he.   “Excuse me?” said I.  “No entender,” said the gringo.

Of course there was Ronnie Anchilavsky.  There was no way I could NOT throw him out of class.  He would come twenty minutes late and then sit down to talk and bother my otherwise “well-behaved” students.  (Well, you know, relatively speaking).   That was the Class of ’90. “Ronnie!!!  Why did you come?!  Go to the library!”

Detention in the Library. What a nice place to have detention.

Sandra Leventhal admits that she and Eduardo Ratner were not only great friends, but also partners in crime. They were often in the Library together for detention. One day, while they were bored in the library, and starving because they hadn't had lunch, they devised a plan. They would sneak out of the library and go to Etty's Rancho and see what there was to eat. If Eduardo could lift a metal covering, Sandra could stretch her thinner arms through the grates and pull out several pieces of cake. So far so good. Eduardo pulled up the covering. Sandra pressed her arms through, touched the cake.... Then suddenly Etty and I showed up with a school guest, Eduardo dropped the covering on Sandra's arm, and she was caught! Con las manos en la masa! Criminal!

"Oh my God!" was always Sandra's favorite phrase. Can't you hear her saying it?

Talking about cake, this one is legit.