Wednesday, December 14, 2011

East Junior High, The Beehive Hairdo And The Teacher With Agoraphobia


If you looked down the hallway of my junior high school on the lower level and paid attention, you noticed it was sinking. The view down the shiny waxed floor literally had a crack and downward tilt. That was just one interesting thing going on in the building.

The rest was just the normal hell of being in junior high. You know what I mean. You cannot get your hair to do the right thing, you think you are the biggest geek in the school and even though though it might be true, the thought consumes you more than homework. Then there are some unforgettable teachers.

My English teacher had a beehive. The picture to the right is not her, but the best example I could find. I am not sure how many pencils she had stuffed into that beehive, but she always had one. She'd whip it out in a nano second to assist you with your work. "Remember," she said, "if you like to read books, you will always have a friend!" I took this to mean even if I had nary a single friend in my entire life, the fact I like to read meant life would be okay. She would also frequently say, "Do something great with your life before you turn eighteen!" I am not sure what the options were. I thought I might write a novel. I did not write a novel. That achievement is reserved for my friend Missy who did write a novel. I wonder if Missy knows where she stashed that novel. It might be the next big thing.

My social studies teacher had agoraphobia. Her fear of floating off into space if not attached to something in the room led to her wandering around the room grabbing onto whatever she could find. She held onto desks, walls, chalkboards, windowsills and anything to stop her from disappearing. She was not shy about mentioning her disorder. I am not certain I learned anything in her class but was utterly fascinated with her incredible ability to find things to hold onto.

The day President Reagan was nearly shot we were dimissed early. It was not due to the national circumstance, but the plumbing. The school's plumbing backed up. Perhaps it had something to do with the tilting floor. I don't know. I was just happy to get out of the building filled with an aura of awkward adolescence. I have never wanted to see anything again at East Junior High except my English teacher. I want to know if she found pencils in her hair at night. I want to know just how she got her hair into that state. I see there are instructions on the internet. It must have been a daily feat for her to get ready for work, let alone work with a bunch of noisy disruptive teenagers. Kudos to you, my English teacher. -AW

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