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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Unique humor and stories helps students learn

Teacher keeps students awake with humor

Class was never boring with now-retired science teacher Bob Kucer. Kucer would often enjoy giving his students a hard time with his witty humor.

Junior Eric Taw fondly remembers one of Kucer’s many quick-witted moments.

“Once my parents gave me a Christmas present to give to him and it was a box of See’s Candy,” Taw said. “He just looked at it and said, ‘What kind of poison did you put in this?’ He was really funny that way.”

Another memory Taw recalls is Kucer’s good-natured way of joking with students during class.

“There was this one time where Mr. Kucer showed us a video and it paused because it needed to buffer. Someone said it needed to reach its buffering capacity,” Taw said.

In response to the student’s chemistry pun, Kucer laughed and made an irreverent gesture.

Kucer’s sense of humor served as a valuable asset during his years of teaching. It kept students aware and engaged throughout the 95-minute block periods.

“Humor keeps people awake and paying attention for the next joke,” Taw said. “That way they pay attention for the rest of the class.”

Science teacher makes carbohydrates interesting

The science department is popular for having quirky and witty teachers, each unique in their own way, but none are quite like science teacher Lisa Cochrum.

Sophomore Abhi Dankar has plenty of memorable stories about Cochrum, his freshman biology teacher.

The class had been learning about the food pyramid and what foods were necessary to keep healthy, prompting Cochrum into one of her colorful stories.

“Ms. Cochrum was climbing a mountain and was really scared,” Dankar said. “The man climbing above her had stopped and she was really confused.”

The man had passed out and was blocking Cochrum’s way.

“She knew that he needed energy, so she grabbed her bag, pulled out some chips and fed him,” Dankar said. “Eventually he got up and continued climbing.”

Dankar admits that the story may have been a little exaggerated, but still “stuck with me because I was sort of amazed that she saved him like that.” 

Cochrum is well-known for her crazy adventures and stories, but not remembered as often for the lesson behind them.
Cochrum’s story not only entertained the class but also made it memorable that carbohydrates are necessary to function.

“I still sort of laugh about it to this day, just because it’s so crazy,” Dankar said. “Her stories really do have a big impact on the classroom. It became everyone’s favorite class.”
A grossed-out group of freshmen

Senior Maggy Liu recalls a particularly memorable story from her freshman year biology class with Kristen Thomson.

“It was the end of the year, so we were on the reproductive unit and were talking about pregnancy,” Liu said, “Mrs. Thomson wanted to show us how far the cervix had to expand in order for the baby to get out.”

Thomson took her hands, measured a centimeter and began to expand them.

“She just kept making these ‘I know’ faces and saying things like ‘Oh, you think it stops here? It gets bigger. It gets bigger!’” Liu said.

When Thomson’s hands reached 10 centimeters, she looked around the classroom with a “completely self-satisfied face.”

“It was as if she was totally pleased with herself for grossing a class of freshmen out,” Liu said.

Even though she was horrified in the moment, Liu does admit that it helped her learn.

“Three years later and I still remember that story,” Liu said. “It definitely made an impact.”


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