Students post memes on teacher’s door

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The Egyptian Sphinx towers over the arid terrain, its form weathered by time, and yet still imposing as it had been since its construction during the great pharaoh Khafre’s reign, thousands of years ago. Its body resembles that of a lion’s, and its head is none other than that of Oviedo’s resident sarcastic AP World History teacher, Mr. Wainscott.

In each era of the progression of mankind, Wainscott’s face appears again and again in various representations of history’s greatest epochs- replacing that of the infamous French general Napoleon Bonaparte astride his horse, a samurai warrior, George Washington and many more. He rises from the seas in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and boards ships bound for the New World. Appearing as the personification of America’s Manifest Destiny and the humble 1950s Russian proletariat alike, Wainscott’s stern face graces numerous portraits of history, which in turn grace his classroom door.

His sophomore students often notice the humorous images when entering class, though only a select few truly know the story behind these mysterious pictures.

I have taken it upon myself to tell you this story.

It all started when I was but a sophomore myself. I had been sitting next to a close friend of mine in Wainscott’s class, towards the end of the year. As friends are wont to do, the two of us were laughing and joking about the things we’d learned in AP World History, a subject we were both enthusiastic about. The birth of every historical revolution, as we had learned, started with an idea, and naturally, the Wainscott Meme Revolution was no exception.

When my friend said something along the lines of “Wain Train,” the revolution began.

Still giggling at these two nonsensical words, I snapped a quick picture of Wainscott on my phone, using Snapchat to place a sticker of his face onto a Victorian etching of an Industrial-era steam train. To two sixteen-year-old nerds, the historical had become the hysterical.

We spent the rest of the day leafing through the textbook, finding the most dramatic photos and artwork to improve with the image of our teacher’s face. Caesar Augustus, Rosie the Riveter, even the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl (whom we had henceforth dubbed “QuetzalWainscottl”) soon all displayed the likeness of Mr. Wainscott.

After some discussion (and a lot more childish giggling), the two of us resolved to give Wainscott the original “Wain Train” picture at the end of the year. We scrawled a nice note on the back, signed it, dropped it on his desk, and ran.

For a long time afterwards, the Wainscott Meme Revolution was kept somewhat of a secret. Occasionally, my friend and I would send Wainscott memes to each other over the summer, and I ended up showing a few to some fellow classmates, much to their somewhat bewildered amusement.

By the time junior year had started, I had taken it upon myself to take two history classes- AP US History and AP Art History. The latter, as you can imagine, provided me with a plethora of material. Using the old Wainscott sticker from the previous year, I began working, taking time in between classes and after school to make a meme every now and then. And the story would have ended here, if not for Spirit Week.

As Oviedo students know, during Spirit Week, near anything can happen. Couples propose for homecoming, teachers show up in ridiculous costumes, everyone makes memories.

In my case, these memories included printing out about seven or eight Wainscott memes and taping them to the door of the AP World History classroom.

I had to be especially careful about it, as I didn’t know how Wainscott was going to react if he saw me decorating his door with memes depicting his face on various historical figures. He was known to be especially strict with students, and even after I had passed his class with decent grades the previous year, I did not want to get on his bad side. Quickly, I slunk around the door, careful to avoid the window, adhering the memes strategically with Scotch tape. After all, it was Spirit Week, and students did all sorts of weird things around that time.

Spirit Week came and went, and I became curious about the fate of my memes. My last period of the day was a ways down the hall from Wainscott’s classroom, so I traversed there after school, along with my friend who had assisted in sparking the Wainscott Meme Revolution, just to check if they were still there.

To our surprise, the memes remained outside the door. Even more surprising was the fact that Wainscott was outside the door as well.

As eloquently as we could, we explained the situation. Astonishingly enough, he wasn’t peeved at us. Rather, he was amused, telling us he quite enjoyed the “QuetzalWainscottl” picture especially.

The year progressed, and so did the Wainscott Meme Revolution. More and more pictures began accumulating on the door, and on the day before the AP World History exam, I’d constructed a poster with a Wainscott meme representing each unit in the course, arranged on a historical timeline.

Another year began- my senior year of high school. The memes were still on the door, even after most teachers had taken down their decorations. Upon my visit to Wainscott’s classroom before school, he told me that he was planning on using them to make a large historical timeline for his classroom.

The Wainscott memes are silly and fun, but they have indeed revolutionized my time at Oviedo High School. Not only do they serve as a reminder of all the fun memories of taking AP World History for my friends and I to look back on, they also encourage education among AP World students today. Although not everyone shares my fascination with history, I’m sure that the memes will let Wainscott’s students know that history doesn’t have to be boring or “nerdy”. It can be enthralling; it can be fun. And besides, who wouldn’t feel inspired after looking at an image of Wainscott wielding a Roman gladius in full battle armor?