Mr. Len McDonald taught Religion. He reminded me of Spock, the fictional half-human, a half-Vulcan character from Star Trek. Not only did he look like him but he sported the same bowl-cut hairdo.
Me and my classmates affectionately called him Lenny.
Lenny and I had a fluctuating relationship. I think he liked that I asked a lot of questions and appeared genuinely interested in learning about religion and faith. But I also think that he thought I could be a bit saucy and disrespectful toward him.
In fact, he was the only teacher who ever assigned me detention.
But I think he also liked that I was a strong student. I passed all the tests, didn’t skip class, and did well on assignments.
For one assignment, our class was asked to research a denomination other than Roman Catholic. My friend, Monica, and I had to make a presentation on the Mennonite culture and religion.
Apart from visiting my uncle in Waterloo, Ontario, where he pointed out a horse-drawn buggy, I didn’t know much about Mennonites. I’d have to do all my research in the library.
But Monica had a bigger plan.
Besides creating a great presentation, she wanted to make “Real Mennonite Cookies” to hand out to the class. Trouble was, we didn’t know if they had such items.
So we made it up.
Monica’s mom had a German recipe for Fried Rosette Snowflake Cookies. The recipe called for eggs, sugar, flour, milk, almond extract, salt, oil and confectioners sugar. They were cut with iron moulds and deep-fried. Then dusted with powdered sugar.
We stayed up late into the night to make sure we made enough for the whole class.
The next day, we presented on the Mennonites and handed out the delicious cookies. Our classmates ate them up.
And so did Lenny. He gave us an A+ on our presentation.
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