The Eyes of a Teacher

What is astounding is not that I remember any of that, but that Mary Brock remembers. Would Mrs. Brock be surprised that the kid who was good at math is now an amateur poet?
Or did she already know, because that is what teachers do, help us become who we are?
It’s the reason why teachers are so underpaid and yet so beloved. Continue reading The Eyes of a Teacher

Now, with the help of Mrs. Smith, I shall become…

This morning, over coffee and my digital newspaper, I caught the image of a spider on my shirt at the upper right breast area and I brushed it off but it didn’t move. It was a Ralph Lauren horse logo. My shirt was inside out. This would have bothered me in my early years before I became myself. Now it’s just normal stuff. I do screwy stuff all the time and it’s ok. And it reminds me of a teacher who taught me it was ok and a friend from high school that I never really knew until I was … Continue reading Now, with the help of Mrs. Smith, I shall become…

Limestone School part 6 walking home

As John Welch’s arm exploded through the safety glass just above the brass push bar he realized the race had been won and the battle lost. Our third and fourth grade classes routinely made the sixty yard sprint across the playground from the north wing to the south wing of Limestone School rewarding the win, place and show runners with the spoils of being first in line for lunch. We had no grand illusions of gourmet meals. Our goals were attuned to completing lunch quickly and excusing ourselves to the asphalt playground to maximize our time playing workup-style kickball, foursquare … Continue reading Limestone School part 6 walking home

Limestone School part 4 sliding candy and crooked forks

Brach’s hard candy slid across the gleaming tile floors of the main hall at Limestone school like tiny hockey pucks propelled by the hand of Rusty the janitor who kept the cinnamon, butterscotch and peppermint treats in a coffee can in his supply closet. The pine scent floor polish and a strict discipline of machine buffing created a brilliant sheen enhancing the illusion that the candies in cellophane wrappers accelerated as they neared our greedy hands at the ends of the hallway north and south, where stairs descended to intersect another hallway running east and west at each end of … Continue reading Limestone School part 4 sliding candy and crooked forks

Limestone School part 2 paying attention to things we love

My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Karbosky, brought a new element of deportment into my informal midwestern upbringing, an air of dignified carriage replete with reading glasses strung around the neck with a silver chain and an erect and sometimes stiff posture. It was my first brush with the imagined upper class whom I’d never met personally but had read about in books like the Great Gatsby. I didn’t know if Mrs. K had any money but was sure that the rich folk acted like her. My stern opinion of her softened one early spring day in 1969 shortly after my … Continue reading Limestone School part 2 paying attention to things we love