Wednesdays for my Wife: Hicks in the Classroom

My mother used to tell this one about her father, my grandfather, John “Hicks” Connelly.


Hicks was a math teacher par excellence, who taught both at Loyola University Chicago and Loyola Academy, which was for years on the Loyola campus. He was a no-nonsense kind of teacher, tough but fair, and didn’t put up with adolescent hijinks, not even from his oldest grandson, who’s named after him. (I speak from experience.)

He usually came home in a pretty good mood (my aunts and uncle can correct me if they wish), but this one day, he got home sullen and didn’t want to talk. My grandmother, Walkie (real name: Genevieve, nickname: Wally, called Walkie by her oldest grandson), finally sat him down and said, “John, something’s bothering you. Please tell me what it is. Did something happen at school?” And he told this story:

It seems that he walked into his classroom and, as he usually did, put his foot up on the chair. He noticed that a few of his students were giggling and pointing, and assumed there was something on the board behind him. “Knock it off!” he ordered, and for the entire period (which I think would have been 55 minutes in those days) taught the class standing with his foot up on the chair, never turning around to look at the board.

The period ended, and the boys filed out of the room. The last young man to leave the room stopped at his desk. “Mr. Connelly, your fly is open.”

Walkie, who had a tremendous sense of humor, busted out laughing, and when my mother (who was in high school, I think) got home, Walkie made him tell her the story. I think he finally saw the humor in it.


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

17 thoughts on “Wednesdays for my Wife: Hicks in the Classroom”

  1. I love your memories and so glad your mom shared these funny stories about your grandfather and our dad. Keep them coming.


  2. Hi John – what a wonderful story .. bet the kids live on it to this day – gets everyone laughing uproariously … as too the family and Hicks … cheers Hilary


    1. I have a bunch of younger cousins who have never heard a lot of these stories, and the older relatives are happy someone is taking the time to write them down…



  3. Just “met” you on the A to Z Challenge page, and was intrigued by your story, enough so to visit your blog. Loved it! I love your daily “themes”. Great job. I am really inspired by people who blog daily. It’s all I can do to post once every two weeks, lol…that’s why the A to Z is a REAL challenge for me! Glad to have found you; keep up the great work!


    1. Something you might want to consider is getting as many entries out of the way as you can ahead of time and schedule them to release on the correct day. That way, you don’t have to worry about coming up with something each day. That’s the way I handle posting daily, get as much done ahead of time and lined up in the scheduler. Glad you like my blog. Thanks for stopping by!



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