Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Michael Andemeskel ’11
I was one of those uninspired students who waited until senior year to take physical education and was stuck in a class with rambunctious, uncomfortably energetic and suspiciously happy underclassmen. Coach Sherman is a larger than life character, tall and imposing with broad shoulders and a full head of hair. He has a firm but soft voice that was prone to acting like a candle in the wind; it would wane in and out of existence every other week. One spring day Coach Sherman decided to herd us into the classroom under the boy’s gym so we could watch a movie he was fond of. It was one of those lazy afternoons at the end of the marking period. Some students were doing late work. Others were in supplication for a passing grade. A few were dozing off and all the while The Temptations movie was filling the room with soul music. Towards the end of the period, as students started gathering their belongings and shuffling towards the door, Coach Sherman abruptly broke into a song with a student as the movie began its final scene, The Temptations performing “My Girl” in an empty theater. Suddenly the room erupted into a hoarse recital of “My Girl.” Here was Coach Sherman leading a group of 15 and 16-year-olds in a 60s soul song. People were twisting, clapping and snapping in unbridled joy, with guilt-free unrestrained singing and gay strutting. The mood gripped me and I joined the fray, singing and dancing merrily with the rest of the class. The scene, like high school, was brief, initially awkward and confusing, but once the strength to sing and dance was found, it became a sweet, memorable moment.