How Can One Man Be So Powerful?

A Biographical Piece on Mountain Ridge High School’s Most Omnipotent Teacher


Aden Schulze-Miller

Tucked away in a small nook on the first floor of the E-Building, lies one of Ridge’s most unassuming teachers. First impressions might lead one to believe that Mr. Racine is but an average, humble man, and while this is accurate in many ways it’s by no means an encompassing statement.


Michael Racine is one of Ridge’s more distinguished teachers; as of now he’s on his twelfth year at the school, though he’s been teaching for fourteen years. A family man, Racine has been married to his wife, Joy, for fourteen years. He also has three children; Natalie (grade 7), Micah (grade 5) and Jenna (grade 3). Regarding his personal education, Racine has “toured all valley colleges,” eventually finishing at Ottawa University (Phoenix) with a Secondary Education degree in English. He has both coached [basketball] and taught ever since graduation, eventually settling on just teaching English classes.


Getting into teaching was an innate goal for Racine, who has always been into literature. He’s also been a sports fan to this very day, (one of his favorite films being Field of Dreams), foreshadowing his later endeavors in coaching. While going through school he considered teaching to be a cool idea, and just as he is admired by his contemporary students, he also admired many of his teachers growing up. Originally, Racine went for a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, though there was a gradual shift, and his ideals for a career went “from making money, to doing this instead.” While initially he split his career between coaching and teaching students, he shifted his focus to strictly teaching. For a while, he taught both history and English, though as of now he teaches only English classes: English 3-4 Honors, and English 7-8. Secondarily, though perhaps just as importantly, he also sponsors Ridge’s A.F.A. Club. These factors have shaped Racine into one of the most renowned teachers at Ridge.


Capturing the hearts of one’s students, while ideal, is an arduous task at the best of times. Nevertheless, Racine manages to do so with relative ease; why is this? It comes down to a variety of factors, the most prominent being his remarkable individuality and personality. He has made it quite clear that he values the importance of being oneself in the classroom, and encourages new teachers to do just that.


“Figure out a way to be you, and still have a functioning classroom,” Racine stated concisely.


Racine has always made an effort to connect with his students, and speak to them with little condescension, for the most part. Appropriately, he’s received multiple student “certifications” which regard him highly. His desk alone is littered with gifts from his classes over the years; the most notable and fitting of which being an actual Infinity Gauntlet.


Truthfully, the Gauntlet itself is merely a display piece, as Racine has full control over his powers without the need for it. Thanos himself struggled in his effort to adorn the magical artifact, whereas Racine was able to do so with relative ease. While he was initially unsure of where exactly he derived his powers, he soon concluded that they were directly retained through his personality.


“Fueled by my intense sarcasm, I think that really, that builds into energy over time,” Racine postulated.


Racine’s humor and sarcastic tendencies have proven to be a favorite amongst even the most stone faced students, and he wields his personality with pride. The onslaught of witty jokes alone give his classes a lot of flair, which in turn lifts the spirits of students and keeps them motivated.


Although his classroom retains a lighthearted nature, Racine takes pride in showing his students the value that comes with absorbing various forms of English literature. He was very adamant on the importance of teaching classic works, expressing his belief in their merit within the classroom.


“These books are considered classics for a reason, and have value to people,” Racine stated.


From Beowulf to Wuthering Heights, Macbeth to Brave New World, Racine, alongside the English department, have made a strong effort to expose students to a plethora of different classic reading materials. He has emphasized the importance of learning this material for AP tests, let alone the personal enjoyment that the more bookish students might receive. Nonetheless, Racine has made it clear that he’d love to have more “freedom of choice,” and to be able to incorporate more contemporary or pop culture into the classrooms, thus showing the value of both older and newer mediums.


To think that a man of such capability, one who has accomplished so much could possibly have any regrets in life would in most circumstances be foolhardy. Then again, Racine has a history of defying expectations.


“I wish I had done more, earlier on in my career, to give myself more opportunities,” Racine said with an honest, and serious tone to his voice.


Beyond the casual, easygoing figure that he’s usually depicted as, Racine has undeniably lived a long life, like much of the staff at Ridge. Consequently, he has undoubtedly missed the shot on many chances from his past. Like all of us, however, he’s had the chance to grow from these experiences, and thus he retains plenty of valuable advice to offer his students. Racine insightfully relayed his beliefs that working hard and dutifully were key factors that led to success, granting small but potent bits of advice to his students:


“A lot of achievement is really just paying attention,” Racine stated. “We always assume that people are really good at the things they choose to do.”


Both of these statements, bold and thought provoking as they are, are mere crumbs that have fallen from the universal pie crust which is Racine’s wisdom.


As expected, Racine’s power has had a tendency to occasionally rub off onto students over the years. Some of the resulting students have gone on to do amazing things, such as one graduate who is “trying to cure Alzheimer’s,” as well as others who have gone on to service the impoverished in third world countries. Alongside this there have been troubled students (such as one who could supposedly literally pass gas on command), but even so Racine has made his best effort to be fair to his students, granting them multiple chances and opportunities to succeed in his class.


After all of this, it’s probably fair to say that Michael Racine is the most powerful man in the world. He’s lived a long, and interesting life, one that definitely deserves to be recognized.


Racine’s humor and wit have intertwined with his enjoyment of teaching and inspiring his young students to form a classroom experience like none other. Due to his efforts to continuously help others succeed, and his offering of advice to those in need, Racine has earned his spot as one of the most beloved and respected teachers at Mountain Ridge. Just be careful not to get on his bad side, as he doesn’t need the Infinity Gauntlet to snap your grade in half.


Happy early 40th Birthday from the Newspaper Team!