Mr. Norris At Sierra Vista


I was trying to recall details about what we jokingly called the Mentally Gifted Monkeys program, which I participated in. This was at Sierra Vista School in La Habra, in the early 70's, and once a week we were entertained by Mr. Norris, who had a fascinating waxed mustache with ends that pointed laterally. He often taught about extra stuff we would not have learned in school at that time, like the tragic Romanov family, glass making, and what have you. Sometimes he would lapse into strange reveries of beautiful women who all had to have, he declared, 'thin lips." I never did understand that, but he did.

I was wondering if anyone else remembered their experience with Mr Norris or even shared the class with me. I just Googled MGM and was surprised to find this site. Now I will back up and read more about the mysterious program I participated in. I don't even remember how we qualified to be in it. My brother and sister, both older than me, were also in it.


fourfelines fourfelines
41-45, F
5 Responses Aug 4, 2009

I too remember Mr. Norris and his old painted truck. He stimulated my interest in science and promoted investigative thought process very creatively. I was his student at Walnut School in La Habra. I recall one particular project where we tried to create environmental sludge. Lol

I remember Mr. Norris talking about the pregnant black women in the south who ate clay. He brought some of this clay in for us to taste. Yes, it tasted like dirt.

Not instill but I still

Mr Norris introduced me to a higher level of thinking: always look for more, what's the back story. Instill have and treasure a book from the Puddlejumper (he allowed us each to take one). I remember the yearly trips the Huntington. I take my most deserving students there every year. I love museums because of those trips; and I travel all over, but usually only to those places with great museums. He still has an impact on my students as I attempt to instill the lessons he taught me. He and Mr Yoshina have had the greatest impact of any of of my teachers, professors or mentors.

I, too, had Mr. Norris, but across town at Tierra Rica Elementary. I absolutely loved the classes. I remember that we purified sewer water, cast lead soldiers, blew glass, and earned points for learning about history. I don't recall any stories about women with thin lips, but do remember Mr. Norris acting out Huns attacking...He had a wonderful old bread truck that he allowed the students to paint on, called the puddlejumper. It was stock full of scientific equipment and books and if you answered enough questions correct in class you got to pick something out of the truck.<br />
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And while I do remember being made fun of for being smart and in the program, I don't remember it being any worse than being smart and being made fun of in the regular class--and it was a whole lot more fun. <br />
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Before I transferred to La Habra, I had been in MGM in Brea at Laurel elementary with Mrs. Currier. Maybe it was a gender thing, but in her class we made puppets, put on a show, and travelled to LA to see Richard Chamberlain play Cyrano de Bergerac. Very different, but also a wonderful time.<br />
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