Solving Their Problems
It did not seem fair that the woman got paid and I had to be the one calculating her math problems. Math was way too much work and it seemed that if she was the one making money she should come up with the answers. She was just sitting at her desk anyway. Why not let us go out to recess and she could easily fill in the answers.
I admit, there were days, especially when the workload seemed overwhelming, that I preferred to make up numbers. What is 23 times two anyway? I wrote ten. Or, I wanted to write ten. I probably knew it was 46, but I did not want to make the effort. It hurt to think.
In art class the teacher sent me to the principal's office for refusing to outline the colored shapes I had drawn. That is a whole other tale. That got resolved quickly, in my favor.
The way I saw education until tenth grade was legalized torture. Forcing socialization and enlightenment upon young people is a waste of time, but it was the law. I had to be in school. So, I dealt with it by being as passive as possible, except in art class.
So, what happened in tenth grade? The young nun, fresh out of college, taught English and took me aside when she noticed I was reading books that weren't assigned. She asked me to talk about what I was reading and why had I read A Connecticut Yankee in King Authors Court four times? She was interested. So we talked more and she suggested other unassigned books. She let me take a day off school to attend a talk by a famous book critic. She opened a door and let me out. She only taught at the school one year, then was gone. Her photo is not in the yearbook.
What they say is true. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. I did not see until I was ready to see. I could not know until I was ready to know.
If I could have I would have begun again in first grade and paid attention, become a better sponge. But I wasn't ready. Later when I met that same nun I would have told her how beautiful she was and how she changed my life. But, I wasn't quite ready. Then I was. It is sad to not know the name of ones first crush.
Paris 2017 #89