The Prescotian Webzine

Roy Taylor by Glyn Phillips

Roy Taylor was one of the most affable of Masters. Biology lessons to O level were a sheer pleasure. Easy going by nature, with a great sense of humour, Roy seemed to be almost unflappable.

Personally I preferred the animal kingdom to the plant world, but even so Roy's teaching of botany was superb. From soil types to seed germination, root development, growth of shoots, leaf types, buds and flowers, pollination, seed dispersal, development of stems, branches and trunks, formation of bark etc, Roy covered it all in great detail. Explanations were clear and supported by top-quality drawings on the board. The basic essentials for plant growth were demonstrated with the classic seed growth experiments, dark, dark alternating with light, permanent light, water, no water etc. The mechanisms within plants for the movement of water with nutrients and minerals was dealt with in great detail as were the phenomena of transpiration, photosynthesis and respiration.

We must have spent at least a whole term on it, maybe two. Having completed the lengthy task Roy asked if any of us were unclear about anything. There were a few seconds of silence. Then one of the class, who will remain unnamed, with a very perplexed facial expression asked "'T'. How do trees sh*t?"

Boys were banging their heads on the benches in stunned disbelief. Roy's face was a picture of absolute deflated incredulity. Given the chance to retire on the spot he'd probably have taken it. And who could have blamed him?

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