August 2nd, 2005
Mr. J.C. Roth taught high school physics at Uni High — USDHS — University of San Diego High School. I have no idea what years he taught there, but he was a great teacher who I totally underappreciated.
I got semi-famous at school for this caricature, perhaps my best caricature ever. Roth had a wonderful face and for all his New York gruffness, was a very kind man. He had moxie and chutzpah and when I think of the best teachers I have had in my life, I think of him.
He was smart and engaged and did not take any crap. You could not fall asleep when Roth was teaching.
I remember when we had a guy in our class who was voted “most likely to succeed” and was in the yearbook for that. Mr. Roth said very seriously, something like “that’s great, though my experience is that those kids tend not to do so great, it’s true” — totally deflating the kid and not something you would expect a teacher to say. Roth was totally not joshing the guy. He was telling him his experience, which — well, who knows how many years he had been teaching?
People liked this caricature so much they would ask for photocopies of it. I wonder if any of my old classmates still have a copy?
Further, I wonder what happened to Mr. J.C. Roth? He reminds me now of the character of Kramer from Seinfeld. I remember Roth talking at one time about how the best way to drive is barefoot, so you can get maximum sensitivity from the car. Why that has stuck with me, as opposed to the lessons of Newton’s laws of motion? Well, that was Mr. J.C. Roth.
And here he is wit’ you pee-puw.