Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?
I wish I would have liked MATH.
Her eyes missed nothing. Not a twitch, not a sideways glance.
Her strength was impressive. Only the day before, I watched her grapple, then drag the biggest boy in the class to the bathroom sink and force him to wash his hands and nails.
I was terrified of her. The entire class, well, except that boy, was terrified of her.
So, it makes no sense what I did during math class.
Very softly, mind you, but I still whistled while Mrs. Burns explained a math problem on the blackboard.
She whirled around, and demanded, “Who did that?”
Everyone sat there. Not breathing. Not moving. Not answering.
“I asked, ‘Who did that?’”
“Whoever did that, stop.” Slowly, reluctantly, she turned back to the board.
I whistled again. Louder.
Again, she spun around. Sparks flew out of her eyes. Her nostrils flared. Was she panting? “Whoever did that, stop whistling this very instant or you’ll be sorry. And by sorry, I mean, you’re going to the principal to be strapped.”
And with a final, warning glare, she turned her back on us and resumed her explanation.
I was, by far, the smallest student in grade four. I was new. I was friendless. I was crazy.
I whistled. Louder still.
“Stop that! Stop that right now! I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to make me mad. Well, you’ve succeeded. Recess is cancelled unless someone tells me who is whistling or the Whistler steps forward and confesses.” And with that, she stood there and methodically studied each and everyone of our thirty- two faces confident that she would unearth the “Whistler.”
And all thirty-two of us stared straight ahead.
Recess came and went.
Mrs. Burns was the first to break, “ Whoever the Whistler is, I hope you’re happy. You’ve managed to waste an entire math class. And made everyone miss recess. Now take out your Readers. ”
Happy? I was ECSTATIC!!! I loved reading.
Shelley and John