By: Kyle Lin and Natalie Le, Apostles of Mr. Kannengieszer
Everyone at Central knows of the infamous teachers of each department, whether you are or were a student of Ms. Dragomir, Mr. Sheik, Mr. Humes, or Mr. Kannengieszer, just mentioning their names, draws looks, groans, and the response of “I’m sorry.” Having these teachers often feels like you’re entering an exclusive society or a cult within the setting of Central High School. As a student of Mr. Kannengieszer, I feel as if my life has been signed away to the cold, unpredictable, and intimidating depths of English. If there was an iceberg for English at Central, Kannengieszer’s class would be in the depths of the Antarctic, hidden to the naked eye until it’s so cruelly exposed when you enter his domicile at Central.
You feel the tears embedded into each person’s soul within the room, and the distraught silence when writing your new magnum opus, bringing joy to his soul. We live in perpetual fear of a possible reading check – the great beast that consumes our grades to feed Kannengieszer’s smiles and tears away our sanity. We all strive to achieve that level of respect and fear from others, yet we desperately yearn for praise from the great Kannengieszer. Just the word “satisfactory” brings great bliss to my soul, as if the skies opened up to heaven, and I, myself, deserve to stand next to a god. Then you see the feedback, and your heart sinks, and suddenly, you’re more broken than when your first love rejected you at the alcove. The words “phrasing,” “wordy,” “unclear,” “how,” and the infamous simple question mark, are forever embedded into your memory and personality, making you question all of your life decisions from the moment of inception until now. “Am I good enough?” is a frequent crisis that leads one into a spiral of existential thought, until one questions the meaning of life itself. “Is it worth it?” a daily and utterly normal calamity in my world; the answer of which lies in the bliss of his words, “yeah.”
With the never-ending reading passages and thousands of analytical paragraphs, your soul, as both a writer and as a person, were torn apart, only to be reconstructed once more, and rebirthed into a stronger being. Perhaps it’s not the torture of the constant mind-numbing analysis and writing, that makes one faster, stronger, and more resilient. Why would that help? Maybe it’s Kannengieszer himself, tapping within your spirit and pulling from you thy inner Shakespeare through his dry wittiness. Naturally, it’s not his heavy-handed grading, or the harshness of his words, that create a tempered spirit, rather you are constantly your own greatest enemy, asking yourself , “why” you suffer so, as you learn the “how,” by uncovering the mysteries of the spoken tongue. In his great mercy, you’ll find yourself standing merely at the gates of hell, but not quite within its depths, and you will undergo the “hero’s journey” to be forged, and cast a new person, one who wields English like a hero wields their blade. However, despite the constant tears that result from his projects and essays, the dreams of becoming that hero, are forlorn, a mere wish to be, but not who you currently are. Until one day, you find yourself standing at the gates of a New Year, unwittingly wielding a blade, passed down from master to student.