A funny thing happened tonight. I hung out at the Sun with my sixth grade science/home room teacher. I hadn't seen her for well over a decade.
I knew it was an inevitable meeting. When my dork of a brother won Pan Am's in fencing last summer, he made the front page of the sports section of the Daily Scamera. Teacher recognized the last name, told her fiancee that she knew me, who turns out was good friends with Uncle Vee and had the same conversation with him, and it all eventually came back to me. It's a small world we live in.
So, accidentally, we met up at the bar tonight. Closing out Stout Month, complements of a leap year.
In my mind, she hadn't changed. There was no hesitation in recognition. It was really neat.
She nearly failed me in sixth grade science. I, to this day, blame it on my lab partner who said she was going to type up the lab report on snails but didn't. I worked my tail off the rest of the quarter and I think I pulled my grade up to a B- after a parent-teacher conference. (I very nearly failed pre-calc in highschool too...but that was because I refused to memorize trig functions. What a stupid waste of brain space.) But it was one of the first kicks in the rear that not everything in life was going to go exactly as planned.
Well, maybe one of the firsts was when I was caught running around the halls during lunch by my fifth grade teacher, Ms. Foss, yelling, 'run, run, the Fossil is coming!' We hid in the bathroom. She found us. I don't know if my parents knew about that one.
In hindsight, teachers are pretty amazing. To put up with hundreds upon thousands of kids like myself, in a hormonally challenged state thrown together in a school for eight hours at a time, hoping for survival, and to try to steer them in the right direction in life...now that's a challenge I don't think I'd ever be able to step up to.
I've been lucky with my teachers. The McGinni in highschool inspired everyone to go out and do great things while exploring and having fun, my calc teacher who was such a strong woman she didn't take shit from anyone, my anatomy teacher who coined the phrase (at least in my mind) of 'sounds like a personal problem to me' and plenty of others...I think I got lucky.
It's funny, thinking back, I remember far more of my highschool teachers than I do my college professors. Somewhere in there, there's a level of caring.