Friday, June 16, 2006


Mr. Hough (David) was a history teacher at Washington high school. I had him as a freshman. I had him for 1st hour, during the 1st semester. I sat at a table with Mark Schreiber. Tammy Behrmann sat in front of me. Class of 1987's Doug Defere sat on my left.

I'll be up front. I thought Mr. Hough was an asshole. He was just mean. He was quick to snap at you, and tried to rule by fear. He did not relate well to students - at least in my opinion. Mr. Hough was one of the teachers who would belt out, "This ain't L.B. Clarke" at the drop of a hat. Geez... what a worm.

I had an occasion to speak to my 7th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Schambureck five years after I'd had him. He mentioned that everytime there was some sort of teachers' meeting within the school system, Mr. Hough would rant and rave about how horrible L.B. Clarke was, and how much of a discipline problem the students were.

I must say that Mr. Hough did have the occasional good side as well. One day, we had one of the group home kids in our class. He was chewing gum. Hough told him, "Hey guy, get rid of the gum." The kid (I can't recall his name) answered back, "It's not gum. And my name ain't Guy." The two of them exchanged a few more words. Then Hough escorted him out of there. As he was leaving, the kid said, "By the way, it was gum." We didn't see him again for three days. But when Hough came back from Mr. Wood' office, he was jovial. He was joking around and was a delight. Those days were rare.

Hough showed us some slides from when he visited one of the WWII concentration camps in Germany. He even had a picture from inside one of the "ovens." He said it had a bad odor.

Hough used to mock his students sometimes. I recall Mark and I sitting and listening to one of his lectures, when he suddenly (in a "dumb" voice) said, "I don't need to take note because I have a photographic memory." Of course Mark and I (and anyone else who wasn't taking notes) immediately got out their pens and papers. It sucked sitting at a table near the front of the room.

If memory serves, Hough was into photography. I think he was in charge of the photo club - or whatever it was called.

Hough was completely bald. He may not have had hair anywhere on his face. I can't recall. He always reminded me of former wrestler Baron Von Raschke. See the photo below, and tell me I'm wrong.

Dave Svatek told me that Mr. Hough used to be in charge of leading all the pep rallies at the school. But he would get the kids so wound up and rowdy, that the school stopped him from doing it. I have no idea if that's true.

In November of 1985, I missed a week of school. I wasn't sick. But I played one at home. Anyway, my dad picked up my homework from school. I glanced at it all, but did nothing. Anyway, Hough provided a list of "materials" for which I should find information on. Not one single thing he listed was in our textbook. What the hell? Perhaps he discussed them in class. But it seemed like an awful lot of work. I ended up not doing any of it.

I ended up getting a "D" in his class. I never had him as a teacher again. Although I did run into him many times at the video store. He was always friendly. I think he carried a backpack wherever he went. Today I think he's retired from teaching. But I could be wrong.

Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing this photo of Mr. Hough. You can see him here kneeling in front of the graduates, at the ceremony on June 4th, 1989.


At Fri Jun 16, 04:00:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brandon P. said...

As Burt stated, Mr. Hough ruled by fear. I believe that stern discipline is important in shaping young minds but he took it way too far.

He and my mom were friends in the T.R. School System so he never really got on me but I wasn't his biggest fan. He did yell at me at one point when he asked the class if we knew who's birthday it was. I yelled out "Mickey Mouse". He opened up on me for that outburst. It had been Disney's anniversary the day before. It was on the news. He obviously didn't think it was funny.

We had Larry Daffner in our class. He was a regular target for Mr. Hough. Larry was having nasal issues one day. He was sniffling and wiping his nose on his arm. Mr. Hough didn't care for that so he told Larry to go to the bathroom and take care of the problem. On his way to the door, Larry sneezed and this big, long snot trail fell from his nose. Larry inhaled through is nose and it sucked back up to it's origin. Mr. Hough totally went off. Like that was Larry's fault. I though it was one of the cooler things Larry ever pulled off.

Mr. Hough was totally bald. He told our class at one point that he "didn't have one hair on his body" and winked. At least the man didn't spend money on razors.

At Sat Jun 17, 08:41:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

I once cracked my knuckles in his class. He said if I did it again, he'd break my fingers. I shoulda done it. I'd be living in a bigger house right now.

At Sat Jun 17, 03:54:00 PM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

I once put a Mr. Clean sticker onto the glass of his classroom door. I had peeled it off of a bottle of cleaner the night before. I knew that he would see it when he put the class attendence sheet on the little bracket. Mr. Hough did not like me at all. When he saw it he was pissed. He said that nobody is going to leave until they admit or say who did it. I don't remember what all went on but I had hoped that he did not find out it was me. He didn't hate it too much though because he kept it on there for awhile.

At Fri Jun 23, 11:31:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

I never had Mr. Hough, not that I'm necessarily complaining.

I guess my comment is just to vent about the whole "This ain't LB Clarke" remarks.

I understand the intent behind saying this, but I fail to see the need. By that I mean this was Two Rivers. A small city. There was one public high school and one public middle school...(still is that way as far as I know.)

To somehow try to legitamize the high school experience by cutting down the middle school (both the only public schools available) seems ridiculous to me.

Where else would the new high school students have come from? Not really a lot of options here folks.

So anyway, that's probably a trivial bitch but it bothers me, at least on a "lack of logic" basis if for no other reason.

At Wed Jan 10, 10:07:00 AM PST, Blogger Pewter said...

I do not know if I agree with the rule by fear thing. He laid out his expectations day 1 and to my limited/suspect memory didn't waiver. Strict, yes. Fair, yes. I'll take strict and fair v. unstrict and unfair or any variation of unfair. It is better to have the expectations defined than fly by the seat of your pants and have to figure it out as you go along. Sorry, I do not like ambiguity.

I spoke with him outside school on several occasions, including post graduation, and just talked about stuff. I liked him and he is near the top of my "good teacher" list. Yes, he is retired.


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