Free Chocolate on Fridays

by Bill Newman

We had a third grade teacher named Mrs. Bock. She was a gray haired woman in what seemed to be her 60's, on the heavy side and walked with quick jerky steps. Mrs. Bock was what everyone wished their grandmother was. Everyone of her pupils loved her. No one ever had anything but good to say about Mrs. Bock.

Each Friday morning we were given tests on English, spelling, arithmetic and the other subjects that Mrs. Bock taught. Each test consisted of ten very easy questions. We had all morning to answer the questions, about three times more time than we needed. After lunch we were given a reading assignment to complete while Mrs. Bock graded the papers.

When the test results were announced various bars of Dairy Maid chocolate were given out. The chocolate came in red, blue or gold paper and was either plain, with nuts or with nuts and raisins. Your grade determined the kind of chocolate you got. Mrs. Bock had only three grades excellent, good and very good. Everyone went home with at least four bars of chocolate.

No one ever knew from where or how Mrs. Bock obtained all the chocolate bars she gave away. There was all sorts of speculation about Mrs. Bock's source of supply, some guessed legal and some otherwise.

In later years when I met any former students of Mrs. Bock, we would always agree about three things, we loved Mrs. Bock, the candy was delicious and we didn't learn a damn thing in her class.

How often it came true, the teachers we disliked the most were the ones we later recalled as the ones that were most successful in teaching us something.


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