You Suck, Sir
Chronicles of a High School English Teacher and the Smartass Students Who Schooled Him
• The third book in the Robin’s Egg Books imprint of literate humor titles curated and edited by writer-comedian Charles Demers is You Suck, Sir, a memoir by Korean Canadian writer/actor/podcaster Paul Bae about his twelve years teaching English in a public high school, starting in 1995. As a way to improve his teaching skills, he started to keep journals of his daily experiences, but these journals grew to include not only notes about his own performance as a teacher, but his observances of his students interacting with him and with each other -- funny yet insightful anecdotes that reflect high school life at its finest and not-quite-so-fine, and the unique relationships formed between the teacher and his students, based not so much on respect, but understanding.
• The book is comprised almost entirely of dialogue between teacher “Mr. Bae” and his students. The spare, non-descriptive approach underscores the deadpan humour in their various interactions, on subjects ranging from sexting and personal hygiene to relationship advice, 80s trivia, and poor excuses for bad scores and tardiness. It’s a book that will remind many readers of their own high school experiences -- the naivete, the self-doubt, the false bravado. It’s also a perfect book for teachers.
• A former youth pastor as well as teacher, Paul is now agnostic as well as a prominent stand-up comedian and, more recently, dramatic podcaster. He co-created and co-writes the podcast The Black Tapes (http://theblacktapespodcast.com/), a docudrama about a journalist investigating paranormal activity which some have likened to a podcast version of The X-Files (which was chosen among Apple Podcasts’ “Best of 2015” and was optioned by NBCUniversal to develop as a possible series). Paul also writes and produces the podcast The Big Loop (https://www.thebiglooppodcast.com/), an anthology series that explores otherworldly stories from around the globe (chosen among Apple Podcasts’ “Best of 2018”).
• More recently, he is director of the new Marvel Studios podcast Marvels, which debuted in November 2019 (marvelspodcast.com).
• In January 2020, he was profiled by Forbes magazine on transitioning from being a youth pastor to a high-in-demand podcaster (the article mentions the book): https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshuadudley/2020/12/31/how-paul-bae-lost-his-faith-as-a-youth-pastor-and-found-himself-through-podcasting/#4a82c8442d52
• Publicity by Beth Parker PR.