PITTSBURGH — High school English teacher Dennis Schneider disregarded yesterday’s lesson on George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 in favor of “rocking the hell out” to Van Halen’s diamond-certified album of the same name, the 34-year-old himself confirmed earlier this morning.
“Look at these kids! They’re dying for something that’s got some balls to it,” said the fill-in instructor, his hands clutching suggestively near his thighs. “Sure, Orwell masterfully illustrated a window into the future of surveillance states and mechanisms of mass control, but who were the guys setting the world on a fire with a cocaine-fueled, uptempo shuffle about an affair with a high school teacher? You know it: Van Halen baby,” he continued, flashing devil horns with his hands.
Schneider highlighted the guitar solos of Eddie Van Halen to encourage students to think outside the box.
“Nobody — and I mean nobody — could listen to an Eddie riff and just think, ‘Yeah, its ok.’ You have to start tapping those toes and banging that head,” said Schneider. “And, yes: there are obvious, direct parallels with Georgie’s book and our current administration, but there are also deep cuts in Van Halen’s 1984 that need to be appreciated for the masterpieces they are.”
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Meanwhile, full-time English faculty were uncertain about the substitute’s alterations to their curriculum.
“It’s bad enough overhearing [Schneider] falsetto his way through half of the Shakespeare unit,” said long-tenured instructor Jarrod McCarthy. “And with the AP classes, he opened the discussion up to all ’80s lyrics. I mean, what is there to analyze about the lyrics of a song titled ‘Lick It Up?’ I don’t know how something called ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’ is qualified to teach homophones, but it sounds… unpleasant.”
Head principal Patricia Mannington hasn’t decided whether Schneider will continue, after receiving numerous complaints from parents.
“We generally find it healthy for teachers to let their passions show in the classroom,” said Mannington in a post on the school’s website. “That said, I share concerns over certain material introduced into some of our English classes — especially because we all know that 5150 and the rest of the Sammy Hagar era is far superior to anything David Lee Roth or George Orwell could have ever cooked up.”
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Article by Chuck Kowalski @Chuck_K_Sports.