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31-Oct-2015 09:31 by 8 Comments

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Detective Duffy admitted he felt compelled to reach out and touch tiger as he was removed from the tower block.When I was in high school, at Horace Mann, in the Bronx, in the nineteen-seventies, everyone took pride in the brilliant eccentricity of our teachers.

From the earliest days of college, I found that stories about the teacher who massaged boys’ necks as he lectured on the corruption of Tammany Hall, or the teacher who urged boys to swim naked in the school pool, were guaranteed to amaze and appall.Though he was only in his mid-thirties, a graduate of the University of Michigan, it was rumored that he had been a paleontologist and had taught at Yale.Administrators told students and their parents that Horace Mann was incredibly lucky to have him, however odd he might be. “The ten greatest racehorses of all time.” Or, “This is the list of the ten greatest movies ever made—but you won’t find ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on it, because it’s off the charts!He was the person I admired more than anyone else in the world.” Fife pulled away, and, he recalls, Berman grew angry. “He accused me of denying what I wanted,” Fife told me.(Berman maintains that the entire scene never happened.) “Why are you being willful, Mr. “I said, ‘I’m sorry if I sent out the wrong signals.’ I was more embarrassed than anything else.” Fife says Berman told him that “I was apparently not the person he thought I was” and left the room. The next school year, he signed up for every elective Berman taught—Russian literature, Milton, and Melville.Last June, the published a wrenching story detailing allegations of sexual abuse by two beloved Horace Mann teachers of my era.

The article, written by Amos Kamil, a 1982 graduate of the school, also reported on inappropriate behavior by a third teacher, and pointed out that, even though complaints had persisted from the nineteen-sixties into the nineties, the headmaster for much of that time, R.There were about a hundred boys in each class, and, with notable exceptions, we loved the place.We competed so keenly that when the school stopped ranking us some industrious students set up a table in the cafeteria where classmates could report their grades.This was the ultimate invitation: personal attention from the master, who would go over a student’s writing line by line, inquire about problems with his parents, and perhaps tutor him privately in art history or Russian.Like other teachers, Berman took students on long field trips, and one spring break he invited Fife to join him and ten other boys on a trip to Washington, to visit the National Gallery of Art.On the first day, as the boys unpacked at a hotel, Fife was alone in his room when Berman entered.