June 16, 2006

Motormouth

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:51 pm by mrsmauck

So, the Reflective Teacher and Dana Huff have both written posts on what they were like as students. I think it’s time for a bit of reflection of my own. My third-grade teacher nicknamed me Motormouth. If I knew the answer, I was going to shout it out. I was definitely a Hermione Granger in the classroom, the girl who always raised her hand, always had a question or an idea, always provoked eye-rolling and resentful sighs from other students. I’m still this way in my graduate classes to an extent; I’m learning, however, to wait for other students to answer before I blurt out my first thought. This also makes me a bit nervous about being a teacher: allowing silence to let students think about their answers, before I phrase the answer in my spot-on teacher tongue. You’ve got to let those half-thought-out, groping answers come out, and sometimes just hang there, waiting for responses. Anyway…I digress to my future, yet again.

First Grade: The second-grade teacher came and got me out of my first-grade classroom. To my bewilderment, she made me face a boy who was so nice to me, and spell the word carrot. She retorted, “See?! A first-grader can spell it; why can’t you?” I was horrified!

Second Grade: I got in trouble for talking in class and had to stay in from recess with the dirtiest, dumbest boy in my grade. I despised this situation so much that I pushed him down on the ground and stepped on his face in the classroom (Where was the teacher?). I hated myself later for this moment of bullying, and am still ashamed of it. At the end-of-year assembly, I got a plaque for reading the most books in the elementary school that year: 215.

Third Grade: I got glasses. I hated them. Four-eyes, Nerd, etc. became my new nicknames. My teacher read Summer of the Monkeys aloud to us and I loved it. I started devouring chapter books. To counter this goody-two-shoes behavior, I called a boy a “butthole” (the first time I’d ever uttered the word, and I SCREAMED it on the playground) for cutting in front of me in line for the helicopter. This was a boy who had tried to be my boyfriend and I’d brutally rebuffed. I got sent to the principal’s office, for my language, my first and only trip. My mom was a teacher at the school, and the principal just kind of looked at me, slightly amused, not really sure how to rebuke me, since I was already on the verge of tears.

Sixth Grade: My mom was my teacher, my favorite one of my entire elementary and secondary career. She liked grouping kids, and tried a bunch of different desk arrangements. I’ll never forget the time she paired up me and Kevin, the class clown. I was constantly having to suppress my giggles at his goofy jokes. Once, during a quiz, after I’d finished, I was absentmindedly sticking my pen in the crack between mine and Kevin’s desks. Kevin, not willing to miss a prime opportunity for laughs, said aloud in the tomb-silent room, “Kim, get your pen out of my crack.” The classroom exploded. I’ve never blushed so much in my life. This was also the year I decided sports were not for me. I got a bloody lip from a softball, and had succeeded in withholding my tears, until I got back to the classroom, where Mom’s fussing over my injury made me start sobbing uncontrollably.

Seventh Grade: New school. Still had glasses, still labeled a nerd. Found myself bristling at some of the teachers’ poor use of their authority. I’d always been a teacher’s pet, but one teacher absolutely hated me for no reason. I made fun of her mercilessly behind her back. Mimicked the way she would rub her ratha-large derriere, which she insisted on covering with second-skin leggings. Became a watergirl for the high school basketball team, and found my niche. My best friend was my co-watergirl, and we sat and talked about absolutely nothing during the games and busrides, giggling incessantly and barely hearing the whistle calling us to the huddle at timeouts.

Eighth Grade: My best friend and I were reassigned to camera crew because of our inconsistency with getting the water bottles to the players on time. Dated a junior boy. (I still can’t believe my mom let me get anywhere near this boy, even though we never had one-on-one dates.) A classmate began his longstanding crush on me, and even wrote me a love letter that he didn’t have the guts to give me. His so-called best friend (a girl), showed it to me, and offered to copy it and post it on the bulletin board in the classroom. I let her. (I wish I could erase that whole day out of my life. Again though, where was the teacher?)

High School: Got a paddling (Can you believe that my school still allows paddling?), albeit a gentle one, from a paddle-happy coach/teacher for throwing a paper wad in class. Learned the birds and the bees in health class–I already knew the technical stuff, but a student teacher had us play a little game where we all wrote down the number of times we’d had sex on slips of paper and turn them in. I think there were only three or four zeroes out of a class of 25 or so, with one girl having a whopping 13, which I think were actually people, not times. Became an officer in our FCA chapter, and discovered I’m totally okay with speaking in front of groups of people.

Basically, I was a brainy goody-two-shoes who sometimes bucked the system because my own sense of justice was outraged or because I wanted acceeptance from my peers.

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2 Comments »

  1. the reflective teacher said,

    You really were a goody-two-shoes (save for a couple little things)! Funny how little behaviors, which probably only took seconds out of our lives, make us feel absolutely awful so many years later.

  2. Lissa said,

    KIM…I can’t believe you got paddled!! Never knew that story. I also am surprised at the first grade story. How sad for that other child. I’ll bet he remembers it too


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