September 10, 2008

Writer's Workshop Wednesday

As it is each Wednesday, go visit Mama Kat and magically get transported back to your favorite English class.

I am sooo becoming a slacker in my old age. I want so badly to participate and be a good student and turn in the work, but I haven't got the time to write a lengthy essay on any of the 3 topics. DAMN YOU, JOB. I'm doing it anyway.

Here is my rushed assignment result:

Teacher Issues

I have only ever had 1 issue with a professor/teacher. Well ok, 2, but the time my British Lit. professor called me a "brainless sorority girl," and threatened to fail me for alleged plagiarism (which I did NOT commit, by the way), I kind of went a little berserk and may or may not have written her a strongly worded e-mail, calling her incompetent and accusing her of wasting my (parent's) money, and threatening to go to the Dean to report how uncomfortable I felt, what with her pushing her personal religious beliefs (she was Jewish...not that there is anything wrong with that!) on our entire class.

I am pretty sure that was more scary for her than it was for me.

For the record, she apologized, and I made an A in the class.

I was pretty much a big dork in high school and all my teachers loved me because I did all my stuff, and in college I more or less tried to blend in and flirted my way to a higher grade when I got desperate and had skipped too many classes to actually EARN my A.

However, the moment in time that will forever be burned into my memory as The Moment I Realized I Hated School, was my first day of first grade at Thompson Elementary School. My teacher's name was Mrs. Williams (or Mrs. Henry, or Mrs. Edwards...it was Mrs. "Man's First Name Here"), and she was a gigantic specimen of a woman. She was loud and covered in makeup, and I honestly don't think she liked kids much.

I was never a clingy child, but that first day, my mom could not peel me from her thigh. I wasn't going in. Mrs. Man's First Name Here was terrifying.

She stood at the door and beckoned us all in by crooking her finger in a "come hither" motion, while chanting "Come IN, my Pretties," like the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. I was a bawling mess before I even crossed into the classroom.

I sat in the back row and sobbed in horror with another little girl named Ashley. We would bond in those first few miserable days and remain best friends through 8th grade, occasionally reminiscing about the nightmare that was the first month of first grade. We got yelled at and we were called "weak" if we tried to hug her or if we didn't know the answer to something. It was wretched.

MRS. HARDY! THAT was her name! Yikes. The pure recollection of that gave me chills. Mrs. Man's First Name Here? Whatever. Clearly, there are portions of that time in my life I have trained my mind to block out.

Anyway, the whole Mrs. Hardy thing ended rather anti-climatically. We all went home on a Friday, anxious to be free of the witch that held us hostage all week long, and when we come in on Monday, we were greeted by a smiley, beautiful, blonde woman named Ms. Wattenburger. No matter none of us could pronounce or spell her last name through most of the year--she was happy and young and pretty and she let us color and never yelled and HUGGED us. We were all in love.

Ms. Wattenburger would later become Mrs. Tolerico (she was nice, but she looooved to torture her kids with the hard last names) and remain a favorite teacher of mine forever. She saved us. She treated us all as her own. She was a Godsend for 24 little 6 year-olds who's careers as school-haters were very much on the way to being solidified.

Thanks Ms. Wattenburger/Mrs. Tolerico. I hope you're doing well.

Mrs. Hardy, frankly, I do not care how you've been, but I do hope that you no longer cackle like a witch when speaking to very small children. It's more damaging than you know.

3 comments:

Krazy Armstrong K's! said...

WOW, shes sounds scary! Glad my bad teacher experience didnt happen until college! lol

Diane said...

Great story! I had a perfect mental picture of Mrs. Hardy (and thanks for that, btw!). Glad you were rescued!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

so funny - My first grade teacher looked like a man as well - Mrs Astleford - NO JOKE- I will never forget thatname. She was a meanie - she used to rap your head with her ball point pen!

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