Ah, another day at the Sweat Factory, School that is. Surely this will be a better day than yesterday. I don’t know why my English class has to be my first class of the day. Someone up there must hate me as much as I hate English.
Mrs. Handbury is nice enough, but she expects me to give a hoot about all that conjugating stuff that won’t mean a hill of beans in the future. I can speak this language, can’t I? Certainly I don’t need to know how a car motor works to be able to drive it, do I? Don’t need no dangling participles cluttering up my mind either.
Mrs. Handbury said, “Sit down Thompson, and keep quiet. It’s time for the exam to begin. Get your football off the desk and try to act like you are happy to be here.”
“You got to be out of your mind, Teach. Not another exam! We just had one last week, didn’t we?”
“Yes, Thompson, we did. I remember that your grade on that exam was a 48 so I figured you would just jump at the chance to better your last effort, right?”
Oh, man, I am over this. I just don’t do well on exams, never have! I think exams are a commie plot to discourage young men like me. Football, now, that builds your body as well as your mind! Why can’t old Mrs. Hatchet Puss ease up on me like the other teachers do? They know that my abilities at Football will get me a college education, so what’s the big deal? Oooo…I hate exams!
Wow, it’s as vivid as if it just happened. That was 45 years ago, and I am still haunted by my attitude then. If I had only known how much I would need proper writing and communication skills to function well in this old world, perhaps I would have studied more.
Funny, I have such fond memories of Mrs. Handbury but those teachers who placated me; well I can’t even remember any of their names now. I know now that Mrs. Handbury cared enough about me to expect more from me that a little excitement from a Friday night football game.
My football days are long gone. An injury nixed that college chance, but my need to write and be able to express myself grows the older I get. So much to say after so many years of living and I have a hard time now because of my hatred of exams then.
Mrs. Handbury. I am sorry it took me so long to hear you. Oh, and, I’ll never forget you!
Love this, Lucian. Having taught English for 14 years myself, it's great to know that somewhere down the line those students I kept believing in may "get the picture."
I don't like 'tests' either, but I guess God is the best teacher, for there seems to be a 'test' on nearly every page of my life ... Could it be I'm a slow learner. Whatever the case, He doesn't give up on me; He simply gives me opportunity after opportunity to try again.