Miss Linda stands over me watching me through her beady eyes as I struggle with my modified cursive. Suddenly her big twelve inches is rapping on my hand. She refers to it as the Board of Education. We are terrified of the woman.
CONCENTRATE!!! CONCENTRATE!!! She bellows as if needing to awaken every demon in hell to her aid. She doesn’t need to by herself she is all the demon I ever want to know.
My head lowers over my page. My right hand holding my pencil struggles to shape the ‘a’ just how she likes it. My level of concentration is highlighted by my tongue sticking out the corner of my mouth as every fibre of me works towards Miss Linda’s version of perfection.
My hopes of pleasing her fade as she taps me on the head with the Board of Education. “Michael,’ she sneers at me. “What do you call that?”
“An ‘a’ Miss.”
“Looks nothing like an ‘a’. Are you an imbecile Michael?”
“Not sure Miss.”
“Why are you unsure?”
“Don’t know what it means Miss.”
“Class pay attention. I will now look in the English Oxford Dictionary and read you the meaning of the word imbecile.”
Everyone downs pencils and looks at Miss Linda.
“Imbecile, noun, anyone with the name Michael.”
The class gulps. I’m in the dictionary? There are looks of admiration around the class for me. I am for a moment a hero in their eyes. I sit up feeling pretty proud. My deflation is rapid as she describes the meaning to us. A half-wit, mentally impaired and list goes on. She finishes with a resounding wrap on my knuckles. The intense pain shoots up my arm, I burst into tears.
That’s her cue I discover to take me by the ear and lock me in to storeroom behind the classroom.
CONCENTRATE in here she screams at me……I’m left there all day. I hate school. I hate Miss Linda. I can write just fine.
Twenty years later I send her a copy of my first novel. She never replies. It was called “CONCENTRATE”.
Written for: https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-916/
Oh my gosh, this is horrible…I’m guessing you actually suffered this abuse, and I’m terribly sorry.
Well no not really but I did have some terrible teachers…..my mate at the time was locked in the storeroom.
That’s hideous–those teachers should be skewered!
Old nuns who found themselves stuck in a religious life they could not get out of so they took it out on we children…
I guess so–pitiful and so very cruel.
Well they made me a teacher in the fashion that they weren’t…
That’s good–we can all hope to turn our scars into stars 🙂
Ouch! I hope the inspiration you drew from wasn’t as bad as that, Michael. Humiliating a student is not in any way conducive to helping him or her learn.
Tell me about it…they induced fear in every kid and we learned by rote never really understanding what we were learning…..I do have an axe to grind about the teachers I had.
I was lucky not to experience teachers like that. Teaching is in my family – and none of them are like that, thankfully! Teaching is a vocation, I believe.
Most definitely and not to be taken lightly….
I’m thinking there’s a special place in purgatory for people like her, but then it’s not for me to judge, and it sounds like she was already there. Glad you know knew you could write just fine and didn’t let her stop you!
I think you are right JoAnna, she was stuck there well and truly.
Mercy. That’s one of the worst I’ve heard.
Thanks Joey, I think most of my teachers through school led me to be the sort of teacher they weren’t.
Now that was a terror of a teacher I`m afraid some people did have…great write, Michael…love that the class thought you were a hero …so cute getting into the mind of a child. Great ending as well!!
Thank you Oliana they were days that should be forgotten.
Like the new avatar, Michael! 🙂
Thank you, it’s a different younger look….sigh….