Day 3: Share your most memorable school memory.
I have a lot of great memories of my school years, everything from grammar school to high school, but as far as memories – unfortunately the not-so-positive always stand out the most. Isn’t that terrible? And then of course all of senior year of high school. I do have a funny story though about one of my teachers. The poor dear.
I’ll keep him nameless, because this post might be rather negative. But, he was my 6th grade teacher and at the age of, about eleven – I wasn’t too savvy on the ways of man, but I could tell that something was really going on with Mr. F. Mr. F was a relatively handsome man, if I could tell handsome in a late twenty-something man, but he seemed to be. All his face was in order, proper nose placement and all that, he also was trim and of a good height. I was excited to go into 6th grade and have Mr. F as my homeroom teacher, because he was known to be somewhat of a comedian. I really liked funny teachers.
There was one thing that I noticed almost right away about Mr. F., he really didn’t like girls. Not in the least. So much so, that he rearranged the classroom a few weeks into the school year, placed small bookshelves in the middle of the classroom and separated the girls on one side and the boys on the other. The boys were placed on “his side” of the room. Obviously no one thought this was odd except me, who had to cram my neck to see over the bookshelves every time he would speak.
Looking back on the memory, it was obvious that Mr. F. was gay in hind-sight. I don’t think I new the concept of gay though at eleven. He had “flunked” out of the seminary and had a very trendy room mate, of the male persuasion that would actually attend school events with Mr. G., kind of like a date. He had long hair and like to roller blade. I had never seen anyone roller blade up close before, so it was a very poignant memory in my eleven year old mind.
As you can tell, Mr. F and his roommate made an impression on me. But, the problem arose as the year went on, I think Mr. F. was going through an identity crisis. We, after all, were Catholics, devout supposedly. Mr. F had wanted to be a priest and now taught at a Catholic School, run by nuns and a very very fire and brimstone parish priest. The strain became obvious as he harassed his girl students more and more. I’m really surprised that he didn’t just set us all outside and be done with us. I always wondered why he taught at our school, considering there were a few all-boy Catholic schools that he could have gotten a job with and then he wouldn’t have to deal with any sort of vaginas – considering those schools were even run by Brothers and Priests.
I digress. as per usual.
There came a point when Mr. F. singled me out. It started when he found my amateur comic book that I had been writing. It was about high schoolers – and there was some kissing. They were also sketched with big tatas – since I hadn’t mastered the fine art of the female body.
Mr. F. wanted to expel me from the school because of lewd and pornographic illustrations. I’ll love my dad forever, because he laughed at Mr. F. and told the principal that this was nonsense. Luckily she agreed and life went back to normal. Or so I thought. See, after that – Mr. F. didn’t like me at all.
He made this known when during free time I was reading The Stand and he mocked me in front of the class, telling the other students that “Rachel likes to show off.” And basically said there was no way I could read this book. I just grabbed my “mommy’s copy to make everyone think I was smart.”
I was in tears, when I went home and my parents were back in touch with Mr. F. The conversation was kept under wraps – but it led to Mr. F. actually giving me a test on The Stand to see if I really read the book.
I never found out my test results. And it taught me a valuable lesson, that sometimes, no matter what you do – some people just won’t like you – for just being what you are, a girl, a [insert race] girl, a [insert economic placement] girl…or just because you were standing there at the wrong time and showing the wrong emotion.
A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.