I remember the first time I realized how important a teacher truly was in a child’s development.
It was sixth grade and the teacher was discussing symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
If you haven’t read the book it’s pretty fantastic and right up there with the Bernstein Bears series of short novels. For those too lazy to Google it, this girl is trying to find her father through a bunch of dimensions. The dimension concept was the source of a good amount of stupid questions on my part and I’m sorry Mrs. Teaching lady who will not be named. The sad thing is I actually grasped the concept way better back then. Currently all my twenty-one year old mind can grasp is if my Hot Pocket will heat all the way through the middle this time.
We had these red, yellow, and green cards that would keep us in line as they represented whether we could go to recess or not. If the cards got to red that meant no recess.
Normally I was a pretty well mannered kid. That day I found myself earning a yellow card before that class even began. I can’t remember what I did but I remember how I got my red card.
My teacher explained how the form of the antagonist was the embodiment of evil. She explained that it was a big black cloud.
“The big black cloud is the symbol of evil,” she told us.
I shot up my hand and she called on me and without hesitation I said, “I thought the symbol of evil was a little black mustache on a German guy.”
The entire class laughed. I was that kid.
She took about five seconds to look at me wit her head cocked to the side, walked up to my desk, and grabbed my yellow card without saying a word. I got to sit inside and miss recess and all she said was that it wasn’t funny.
I missed recess and continued down a dark path that lead me to where I am now.
If I had been able to go to recess that day I could’ve been somebody. I could’ve been an NBA star, a firefighter, a lawyer, I could’ve even taken Danny DeVito’s role in Matilda. That last one would’ve parlayed me into a role in a Frito Lays commercial. Instead all I am now is an orange salesman off of 30th street in Rock Island, Illinois. I walk the streets day by day selling fresh oranges trying to feed my future daughters. Even in the cold Midwestern winter I am out there on my grind. I stay true to the orange game for my family.
This is for those going into the teaching profession at Augustana. Whether you are incoming or currently in the program. If you are Connor Cummings, Alex Bowers, Or A Gina Filippo (Pronounced GEENYA FLUBBER FLIPS) go easy on the rambunctious kids like myself.
My life could’ve been saved at that point. She could’ve laughed and let me go to recess. Instead I wasted my life away all because I made a joke about Charlie Chaplin.
Posted on December 16th, 2013 by garymiller11
Filed under: Gary Miller