My Bible teacher is cool. At least I think he is—I’m not the coolest kid in middle school, so my judgment might be suspect. But I’m not the nerdiest, either, and if I compare Mr. Scott with the rest of my teachers, he comes out near the top. He likes to stand in front of his desk and lean back against it, legs crossed and locked, and smooth his thin tie over and over, pulling it flat and taut against the stomach of his short-sleeved shirt. His shoes have pointed toes, and the thinnest laces I have ever seen.
Mr. Howard, one of my science teachers, wears the same brown bellbottoms every day. He likes to remind us that God created us, not random chance. He says he doesn’t try to be cool. He also says he can hear an AM radio station inside his head because of some bad dental work. He’s right about the cool thing, though—Mr. Scott’s way out in front.
Which is why it’s so awkward to be reading this sex-ed book with Mr. Scott. He’s standing at the front, cool as ever, tie as smooth as ever. I’m squirming in my seat, and I’m not the only one. The title is shiny gold letters on a white background, and the author—a famous preacher with bifocals and a comb-over—is smiling for no good reason. Mr. Scott is trying to get us to discuss one of the chapters about sex.
“You know,” says Mr. Scott, smoothing his mustache east and west with the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, “God likes to give us good gifts to enjoy. Sex is an awesome gift. He tells us that once we put sex in its proper place we can enjoy it as much as we want.”
I think back to the previous afternoon, when I watched Mrs. Scott coaching the girls volleyball team. Mr. Scott has a point.