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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Writer's Post meets Silly Sunday: Energy & Heavy Evy

It amazes me how one word can trigger a flood of memories that basically have nothing to do with the topic at hand. "Energy is the ability to do work!" On one particular day, that's the phrase our sixth grade teacher made us shout before she'd let us out the door to blessed freedom from her class. Hopefully her ways are silly enough for a Sunday at Rhonda's Laugh Quotes.

Small hides the guilty.
Although I was just about the tallest girl in the class, this monstrous woman towered over all of us. You may recall my discussion of 5X5, my mother's "friend" who was five feet tall and five feet wide. On that same frame of reference, meet 6X6. From my child perspective, she just might have been.

Ralph M. Captain School
Our elementary school followed the idiotic seventies trend of open classrooms. With this design in place, I was able to hear and fear this teacher for two years before I was thrust into her classroom. Thank goodness for Mrs. R, the teacher's assistant who used to garner long lines to check SRA so that we could skirt around "Heavy Evy."

I'll never forget wanting to skip school on my birthday because of her weird practice of spanking kids over her knee in front of the class. She'd pat their tushes eleven times while counting in an annoying high-pitched squeal then smack the tar out of them on number twelve. I'm guessing that since two other girls shared my birthday, she left us alone for time's sake–or maybe she was smart enough to know that my dad would be beating down her door if she ever hit me.

Now that I'm a teacher, I see three types of kids: the ones that want a hug all the time; those that don't touch but will tell all about their lives; and finally, the type of kid who keeps as far away from the teacher as possible. Can you guess what type of kid I was? Yep! Number three, even with the nice teachers. This made her intrusive ways even more threatening.

There is one good out of this sixth grade experience. Heavy Evy, and her best-friend who taught me in grade four, provide great fodder for my novels. When you read about a mean teacher in my novel, think of Heavy Evy.

8 comments:

Jo said...

I never had a really bad or mean teacher. I guess on some level, I liked all of them. Some way more than others, but all were good for me.
I think I was very lucky.

Joyce Lansky said...

Yes, you are! Her best friend--rumored lesbian lover--was just as bad if not worse. I had that tyrant in fourth grade. Hated both of them.

Kathy said...

Joyce, she must have been something else!! The only teachers I couldn't stand was the ones that perceived that if you weren't a popular kid you didn't deserve their time or help. My 9th grade algebra teacher was one of those. Because of her, I gave up on math completely. I took the one year that was required in those days to graduate and that was it. My mom gave that lady a good telling off at a parent teacher conference because the lady refused to help me figure out algebra. She was always to busy in the hallway or helping the cheerleaders and the jocks to waste her time with someone who really didn't get it. She would be dismissive. As soon as I asked her a question, it was time to work...no more questions. Go sit down. You get the idea. Fortunately I had a great algebra teacher in college and I discovered I really wasn't a stupid head in math.

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

Joyce Lansky said...

That's just plain wrong.

Rhonda said...

Of course it is Silly enough. Thanks for the fun combination :)
Although the spanking part certainly would not fly today. Reminds me more a fraternity behavior. The "Small hides the guilty." was pretty funny too, as I looked at the photo and my first thought was "Why didn't she make that bigger!"

DUTA said...

Like Kathy, I remember especially the math teacher. I couldn't just read in the book, as with history and geography, and understand the problem . I had to have a thorough explanation , and I didn't always get it from the math teacher. She was rather impatient. So I kind of felt frustrated and rather hostile towards her.

Joyce Lansky said...

It seems like for every good teacher story, there is a horrid one too. I just hope I'm leaving good memories for all of my students.

Joyce Lansky said...

I can't imagine spanking a kid in front of the class, even in play. Actually, I've raised three kids and never spanked any of them--except for the smack on the obnoxious teenager's rear after a rude comment, but that wasn't a true spanking.

MISS B. was a terribly loud and scary woman with her constant screaming at kids. Once she yelled at a friend of mine because she wanted to be called Ruthie. "Your name is Ruth!"

On the positive side, she had some creative and wonderful lessons, but I was always too scared of her to enjoy them.