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Maggiore 1 Brandon Maggiore English 1001.98 Melissa Trosclair Daigle Firsthand Portrait Virtually Like Father Like Son I did not necessarily need another older brother/father-figure, but my shop teacher seemed to inhabit this job title well. He was a short man, roughly 5’9�, in his mid-40s. The students and I referred to him as Coach, as opposed to Mr. because it just sounded better. Coach Hollier was a simple man with a complex life. His laid back poise and restless attitude showed this quality in many situations. He managed a consistent attire. It seemed as if he wore the same clothes on the same days every week. The outfit I remember most vividly was the jungle-green cargo pants dressed up with a dark orange, almost pumpkin colored, polo shirt. Typically, he would have sawdust sifted in his grayish-black hair and caked all over his clothes. He was a determined individual and an unquestionably hard worker. His hands were usually filthy and tough with calluses, complimenting the nicks and cuts on his knuckles from handling splintered, construction-grade lumber. Periodically, his petite wounds were covered with band-aids, but he usually just let the minor gashes bleed and dry up. Coach Hollier was obviously not the type of person to worry about appearances; he was more concerned about everyone’s safety, including his. He could always be seen with his safety goggles on, his shirt tucked in, and his damn earplugs shoved tightly into his ears. I had a phobia for those ear-plugs. When class would end, he would always find me and incorporate a systematic way to throw his used, pink ear-plugs at me. It was disgusting, but for some reason, that daily ritual was the basis of our relationship.


Maggiore 2 Coach Hollier was a man of ease and somewhat laziness when it came to big projects. He did not use discipline very often; however, students still showed him respect and consideration. I, on the lighter end, took full advantage of this unique quality in Coach Hollier by simply doing whatever I wanted. This lack of regimen may have caused me a few problems here and there, but I always got the job done. It was the spring semester, and the head football coach came to Coach Hollier in need of a favor. The football coach had a specific job for the class. He needed us to spray paint his practice football field. This meant painting the yard lines for him, and he needed us to adequately use up as much of the field as possible. It seemed like an easy task for the class to handle, but it ended up being a bit more aggravating that we anticipated. My shop period was the first class of each day, which meant it was the crack of dawn when the whole class went outside to work. In addition, it was mid-January, which made the humid Louisiana air blistering cold. So one could imagine the amount of torture our class was enduring while working in the freezing cold temperatures, as tired as we all were, and not even getting paid. We all worked hard for about the first two or three days, but then I noticed everyone’s exhaustion and boredom start to surface. One of the students wandered off towards the tennis courts. Then, two more students walked aimlessly in the same direction. After about five minutes, I suddenly noticed that Coach Hollier was missing too. I was extremely puzzled, so I left the spray-paint behind and went to investigate the confusing situation. To my surprise, I saw my teacher and about four other students playing wall-ball on the pavement side of the racket-ball partition. The group of adolescent minds, including Coach Hollier’s, were playing with a raged, lime-green tennis ball that a classmate found in a nearby bush. Determined not to be left out, I joined the wall-ball game even though I ended up getting out as quickly as I hopped in. The practice football field project was ridiculous; it was a week-long assignment that took us almost a month


Maggiore 3 to complete. The head football coach was furious with our shop teacher, but Coach Hollier just replied in a dumbfounded, yet innocent voice, “We got the job done though!” Coach Hollier also had this despicable and uptight side to him. He was the type of person that always had to be right. It was early one Monday morning. I walked into class exhausted from my normal weekend activities. I decided to cross my arms on top of my desk and bury my face into the dark shadows beneath my long sleeves. I had performed this action plenty of other times in his class, and he never seemed to care before. Well, for some reason, Coach Hollier’s attention was locked on yelling at me that morning. “Wake up son, or I’ll write your DANG butt up. I’m not gonna accept that crap this year!” I awakened immediately, slurping up the dangling drool that was trailing down to my soaking wet sleeve. My half-opened eyes stared up at his red face, and I replied with a slight stutter in my speech, “ Wwwhaat you talking about, I’m not even freaking sleeping.” For some reason, he thought that I was planning to sleep throughout the entire class period, at which time I tried telling him that those were not my intentions. Coach Hollier kept interrupting every time I opened my mouth to speak. His imitation threats shot out of his oral cavity, along with some saliva, and he stubbornly hollered, “A whole bunch of little zeros add up to one big zero!” The whole classroom went silent; in fact, I think I heard the harmonic sound of a cricket for about three seconds. My classmates and I started laughing hysterically while wiping the tears of glee from our e bnnm./;vju.lvkh.yes. Coach Hollier stood his ground and kept the overwhelming frown upon his face. He usually is so down to earth and so easy to joke with, but for some anonymous reason, it seemed as if my teacher woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. Regardless of Coach Hollier’s bipolar discrepancy, he did have a good heart and was always willing to lend a helping hand. If it was not for his knowledge that he shared with me, I might


Maggiore 4 have had difficulty completing my senior project. A senior project is a mandatory proposal that every senior at Destrehan High School has to complete in order to graduate. It consists of a research paper, a visual project, and a speech for a panel of community judges. I chose Coach Hollier as my mentor for my senior project because he had extensive knowledge on my chosen topic. My topic was “Considerations for Building a House,� and he knew a lot of helpful information about it. He was my architectural drafting teacher as well. He let me borrow a variety of textbooks to aid in the guidance of my research paper. In addition, he purchased some balsa (model) wood for me so that I could build a small scale replica of the house design I created on the computer program, AutoCAD. This is a complex program that allows one to draw sketches of detailed house plans on it. Coach Hollier explained the program to me thoroughly. I now feel that I have mastered AutoCAD, which will be a tremendous aid in some of my college courses. After my first three years of high school with Coach Hollier as my shop teacher, having him as my mentor changed my perspective of him. I no longer thought of him as a teacher, but as a friend. The corny jokes and meaningless arguments were no less than faint memories. Coach Hollier has taught me to be more laid back. I still keep in touch with him via telephone, and I even see him at high school football games whenever I go home to visit family. He is a funny human being that I find comfortable to be around, and I shall never forget the passive and almost useless class time that we spent goofing off.


Virtually Like Father Like Son