Mr. Woodcock Summary
For students at Forest Meadow Middle School, P.E. class is not playtime, but rather an exercise in mental and physical humiliation administered by the tough as gristle Mr. Woodcock. Run more like a military boot camp than a gym class, Woodcock's physical education class takes on a new meaning where no child's flaws or weaknesses are safe from the torture and embarrassment that follow the sound of the despised teacher's whistle. For John Farley, author of the national bestseller Letting Go: Getting Past Your Past, the painful memories of being in Mr. Woodcock's class have since been replaced by the self confidence gained from becoming a successful writer and motivational speaker. When a last minute cancellation on his book tour gives him an unexpected day off, John returns home to surprise his mother, Beverly, with the news that he will be awarded the small town's prestigious "Corn Cob Key" during its annual Cornival Festival. John's jubilation quickly turns to angst when he discovers his mother has fallen in love with Mr. Woodcock. Forced to spend time with his old nemesis, John must endure the familiar sting of his former teacher's sharp tongue and intimidation tactics all over again. Ignoring the pleas of his hard-nosed book publicist Maggie to get back on tour, John extends his visit in an effort to disrupt the relationship between his mother and Woodcock, but with each passing day he finds himself regressing deeper into the insecurities and awkwardness that plagued his youth. Mortified and panic-stricken by the inevitability of his mother marrying the one man he truly despises, John enlists the help of his old school mate, Jay Nedderman, in a last-ditch attempt to take down Mr. Woodcock. The result is a series of hilarious confrontations that lead John to discover that one's past is often hard to escape.