Before he became a master grammarian, Professor Tashman trudged along a number of other career paths: He was a cook at The International House of Pancakes, quitting after five straight hours of frying bacon.

He raked sand traps at a Jewish golf club in Stamford, Connecticut. He worked as a busboy and waiter at the defunct Steak ‘n Brew chain of restaurants . As a cab-driver, he drove psychopaths to Carnarsie and rescued damsels from jealous boyfriends. As an apprentice photo-retoucher (in 1984, way before Photoshop), he delivered 23,145 bottles of wine as Christmas gifts to art directors. He sold fruit and nuts from a vending cart on the street, his boss advising him to rig the scale.

He taught kindergarten for two years, second grade for one year, and junior high school for seven years.
They won.
He thinks “me and my sister” is more interesting than “my sister and I.” He believes if everyone spoke and wrote correctly, the city would be filled with boring yuppies.
He believes everyone–except Brad Pitt and Matt Damon–has an interesting story to tell. He is against the death penalty–except in the case of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and all English actors whose name begins with Clive, Colin, or Hugh. He believes only one Greek god still lives, and her name is Sandra Oh. He thinks it is ok to read your sister’s diary. He believes the world is divided into chocolate addicts and sex addicts.

He loves stationery stores and French fries. He thinks the most interesting thing about public schools is that–against all odds–they have managed to make both art and earth science boring.

The 1999 Mets were Professor Tashman’s favorite team. He hates chess. He is upset that Hellboy didn’t win the Academy Award.

He has taught Lucy, his daughter’s dog, to write kick-ass letters.


4 comments so far

  1. Cliff Steward on

    Hi Billy,
    When I was booked, they didn’t give me a copy of my mug shot 😉

    If you need help,I’ll be here day and night today and day only for the rest of the week. I hope that you’ve had smooth sailing with the videos. I’ve made progress with that photopress add-on I mentioned — see especially the right side column of my blog. I’ve also modified the header/title to be less theoretical and more specific.

    Keep in touch.
    — Cliff

  2. gary a tashman on

    I don’t remember my grammer very well

    Memories of my great grammer is more vivid

    My guess is that my my grammer is related to you

    That’s ok though since I probably won’t remember this email tomorrow


  3. holly dunivan on

    this page is perfect. i have real bad grammer and am a chocolate addict.

  4. Yash on


    I took your summer class a couple years ago and find myself still thinking of the things you taught us. Unfortunately, the least of them are about grammar. The most of them are about how you calculated to maximize your profits as a cab driver; how you had us write an interview paper of someone working at minimum wage (I choose my mother and learned more than I ever knew about some of the hardships she faced when we were younger); about this mysterious chocolate shoppe in brooklyn that made their own chocolate, of which I still wish I had written down the name of; and the numerous jobs you have had over the course of your life. You challenged us with articles everyday and yet you choose articles with character and meaning. I will never forget the lesson about cocoa beans and how it is truly linked to child labor and enslavement. You had my respect as a professor from the beginning of class, but after introducing us to such a vision, you also earned my admiration.

    I think that if you could leave a mark on someone’s thinking in just a month of classes, it’s really remarkable. You didn’t teach us english, you taught us about life.

    Thanks for that, and have a happy Thanksgiving!


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