The Teacher Tip

What Could You Do if You Had Enough Guys?

April 17, 2017

From Teaching Day By Day: 180 Stories to Help You Along The Way

by Donald H. Graves


In May of my junior year of college something spontaneous occurred that I’ve never forgotten. Just after dinner on a warm spring evening my two roommates and I lazied our way back to the dormitory, lingering by the tennis courts to chat. One of us posed a simple question: “What could you do if you had enough guys?” My roommates were physics majors. One of them whipped out his slide rule and began calculating. “Yes!” he crowed. “If each person in the junior class had a hammer and chisel on a scaffold, we could dismantle the brick wall at the south end of the dormitory in about forty-five minutes.”


We rolled on the grass with laughter. Our laughter attracted a crowd, with more and more students stopping to listen to our wild speculations about what you could do if you had enough guys. Within thirty minutes there were fifty or sixty students calling out their own wild answers and laughing hysterically. When the laughter finally died down, everyone went back to the dorms to study. Final exams were only a week away.


At midnight the bell signaling the beginning and end of classes suddenly started ringing. Spontaneously we poured from our rooms, half dressed, still dressing, one question still on our minds: “What could you do if you had enough guys?”


We raced across the campus. Ten men picked up a VW bug and placed it on the library steps.Milk cans were hauled up flagpoles. The president’s front door was nailed shut. Huge empty boiler tanks were rolled across lawns and placed in strategic locations to disrupt campus traffic. There was certainly power in numbers that night, the power to disrupt.At two a.m. we retired to our rooms.


I’ve often pondered the events of that night, the surge of energy that brought with it the feeling of sudden power.


What could happen if enough teachers and educators came together and speculated about what we could do for our children?

To learn more about Teaching Day By Dayclick here.


The Heinemann Teacher Tip app is a free download.