Sunday, April 4, 2010


Note: There will be a few stories about an English teacher by the name of Mr. Knight. He was a most colorful character and will be featured in coming days. I do want to share a short story that I had forgotten about. The class in question was a couple of years ahead of us, so I was not present to be a witness. This was sent to me by a student that was in the class when the following occurred:


The Knight family moved from Waupaca, WI to Prairie in the summer of 1974. At that time, there were four children - Tim, Dan, Mark, and Jane. Ben was added in 1977 and Ruth in 1981.

Mr. Kenneth Knight taught English and was a bit of a legend when it came to providing fodder for crazy stories. As it happens a group of girls came across a plaque which they thought would make a fitting presentation for their favorite English teacher. This group of rather naive (maybe not?) girls made arrangements with him to make a formal presentation in front of the entire class.

The plaque read:



The guy that sent me this anecdote told me that he about fell out of his desk laughing, Mr. Knight had a good laugh while turning beet red. What else could he do?

© 2010 Stephen J. Rendall - All rights reserved.

(Thanks to Tim Knight for supplying the photo of the original plaque!)


  1. Once while bounding up the back stairs by study hall, Grace Detweiler and I were laughing and running and just being teens, i guess. We met Mr. Knight at the top of the stairs. "Girls, girls, consider life's brevity," he intoned. "Ah, but consider the LEVITY!" I bantered back. We went on our way rejoicing, and I thought I heard him snicker too.

  2. One time Brent Austring and I were chatting before class, and Mr. Knight came in and said something to this effect: "When Mr. Austring and Miss Engels are done talking we'll begin class." Without missing a beat I said, "Yeah, we'll be done in just a minute," or something along those lines. I think it took longer for the class to stop laughing than for our conversation to end...

  3. Yes siree! Several years ago, one evening sitting around reminiscing, Byron reminded me about the above plaque; I just about fell over laughing. In his rendition however, it was one of our fine young men English students that had found said plaque downtown and thought it would make a good appreciation gift for our teacher. My lips are sealed, I will name no names. I have since used this story to teach my own class in Mental Health Nursing about the importance of context, meaning, and the power of assumption! My my...we were all so simple, so trusting,.....