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There's more from Dale Connelly at The Morning Show


by Bud Buck, 9/8/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed. Though actors are losing out to real people in the TV business, there are other professions in dire need of fresh talent. Schools, for instance, are looking for teachers, and as Bud Buck reports … assistant principals.

(sfx: bell rings and student murmur fade up, hold under, hubub gradually fades)

Bud: As an Assistant Principal, Victor Polk has come to believe that he can "write his own ticket" in the job market.

Victor: I went to Northwestern, I did graduate school at Indiana, I'm certified to teach in 20 states, but my education isn't what makes me effective as an assistant principal.

Bud: What does make you effective?

Victor: The students are convinced … I can put them in a headlock that will make them black out so they forget everything that has happened in the last 24 hours.

Bud: Wow, that sounds like a handy thing to know.

Victor: The word is … if I call them into my office, I will erase the contents of their brains with the pressure of my forearm against their neck … by shutting off key arteries for just a few seconds at a time, making it impossible for a student to be able to remember to file charges against me.

Bud: Can you really do that?

Victor: (lying) Of course not. It's all in their imagination.

Passing student: (fade on) Hello, Mr. Polk!

Victor: (testy) Are you talkin' to me?

Passing student: (quick fade off) No! No sir! I'm going to class now!

(sfx: milling students fade out)

Bud: Victor Polk and his ilk come from the old school of Assistant Principals … the dreaded enforcers who were to be feared and obeyed. He is exactly the sort of administrator most schools today are sorely lacking. Meredith Crumpet is director of placement at Sensitive Teacher's College.

Meredith: Education happens best when the student trusts the teacher COMPLETELY. At yet … it IS helpful to have at least one person in the school administration … who the students believe to be … criminally insane.

Bud: And that's the Assistant Principal?

Meredith: Well, I think … I think the important thing for students to remember is that … the Assistant Principal … can only be held in check by
other administrators and teachers, who are your friends and allies in this struggle against evil. So … behave. Do what you're told. And we will be able to … keep the monster in the box, so to speak.

Bud: The need for truly frightening Assistant Principal bad guys in high schools across the nation has led an increasing number of out of work actors into the field of education.

(sfx: various make up implements being picked up and put down on a tray)

Dirk: Yes, I've played Hamlet. I've played Richard. I've done a very menacing Iago. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.

Bud: (vo) Dirk Kirk is one thespian who has made the switch. He agreed to talk to me only after I was able to assure him that this report would only appear on public radio, meaning none of his students would ever hear it.

Dirk: I rather specialize in dark, brooding characters … I was a strong contender for the role of Hannibal in "Silence of the Lambs - The Musical."

Bud: Why would you throw all that away to be an assistant principal at a high school?

Dirk: Ah! Well! One can play a classic part for a paying audience and still go home wondering if the character lived for them on stage, or were they just being polite, you know what I mean?
But when I … create … my current role … assistant principal Malloy here in the halls of Mary Shelley Senior High School … there is no safety net.
I, alone must make them believe … Believe in the polished facade of a professional educator, and also in the demented maniac underneath.
Neither one of which is real, by the way.

Bud: But how do you know if it's working?

Dirk: It's true, there's no applause. But there is a certain … "delinquent" segment of the school population that I watch for my cues. If they stop their chattering when I walk by … if they watch me carefully … if they shrink away in fear … that … is like the sound of a thousand standing ovations! Plus, I get health and dental.

(sfx:bell rings, hubub up again)

Dirk: If you'll pardon me, I have to go lurk in the shadows.

Bud: And so … the classic villain role of the Assistant Principal is making comeback, thanks to a new generation of idealistic educator/actors who are determined to use their gifts to strike fear into the hearts of youngsters who desperately need something to dread. Will it work? Time will tell!
This is Bud Buck!

(sfx: hubub fade)


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