Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roots of Confusion:#6; Flirtation part 2

It all started just a minute ago when I was thinking about another topic altogether. Then a quotation came to mind which caused me to recall times I've heard people say, in that affected Ivy League/Hollywood/Garrison Keillor tone, "Someone once said...".

Someone once said? Come on, someone once said all kinds of things, I thought to myself. Then I remembered an example.

Someone once said, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours". "OK. You first. Show me how it's done", I replied, sincerely having no clue what this was about. So she very discretely showed me. We were in first grade, in the class. It was an under desk situation, sort of.

At that moment the evil Mrs. Marshall (aptly named) roared about talking in class and stalked toward us. "Sorry, I can't show you now--the teacher!"

I wasn't sorry. I had no intention of keeping that bargain. It wasn't my idea. For some reason though, it did make me a little bit fonder of that girl.

We escaped that one unfazed by the long and evil arm of Mrs Marshall.

Soon after that little ice breaker with the little girl with glasses, we were lining up for something. We were always lining up for something, and the line was a big damned deal to the teacher. Like everything she tried to make it as unpleasant and confusing as humanly possible.

In a rare display of wit, as I was lining up in the boy's line I reached over and tapped the little glasses girl, quite gently, on the back while musically admonishing her, "Better get in line!". She smiled because it was so clever a mocking of the tyrant's wishes.

Next thing I know, I am being man handled by the evil woman who stole tax money pretending to teach children. I was in big trouble mister--how dare I?

Everyone in the area was both confused and scared. Right then and there I was sentenced. Crime: battering the little glasses girl.

Mrs. Marshall's hobby was striking kids with a wooden ruler in front of the class until they cried. Humiliation of little kids was her life. At that time you could do that. I know that is a foreign concept to many. A little leeway would be helpful in our times, but not like that. It was cruel.

A kid named Bucky was paddled daily for some unknown reason. It was painful to witness. He was not at all a bad kid. I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd brought a knife to school and cut off Mrs Marshall's paddle hand.

Anyway, I was marched to the front of the class and received several licks with her stupid custom made torture ruler. I received more licks than most because A--I denied any wrongdoing, and B--I wouldn't cry. Other than the public nature of the event, it was child's play compared to the home version and I refused to cry for them too. I was much tougher as a child than I am as an adult.

The thing that I find interesting is that my first flirtation was initiated by the glasses girl, and I played it perfectly. She made the first move and I got it for free. But, when I showed a tinge of affection, I was arrested and flogged.

Now, what kind of message would that send to a tender innocent child? I'm sure I don't know. I think someone once said something on that subject.

Someone once said. A stupid, pretentious prelude to bullshit if ever I heard such a thing.

I'll forever be grateful to the little glasses girl. She tried to say I hadn't done anything wrong, but to push it any further would have resulted in her being flogged as well. I've yet to meet the woman who would go to those lengths for me on a matter of principle. The only other time I was flogged by that evil teacher was for defending a kid against false charges being brought against him.

Crude as it was, I feel the little glasses girl's attempt to be my friend was kind, sincere, and educational.

Needless to say, I learned almost nothing in first grade. By year's end I was considered one of the "slow" children. She had successfully labeled me for future teachers. Fortunately my second grade teacher, Mrs. Keller, was an angel of mercy who had not taken the job out of her love of torturing little kids. She figured me out and managed to get me into the swing of things. By third grade the school officials were baffled and inquired of my mother how I went from being a hopeless dimwit to an underachieving over achiever.

Compared to many I suppose my schools were good, but I have to say, many of South Miami Elementary's teachers were rigid, unyielding morons. But compared to South Miami Jr High, they were the best of the best. The Jr High was run by an army of Mrs Marshall types and first rate perverts.

Though a great many who teach in public schools are good and honorable people, it is the nature of the public school structuring that they tend to beat down the good and promote bad things. They are set up like prison communes. It is absurd how the Great Pretense flourishes there more than anywhere else. And it flourishes a lot elsewhere.


  1. Memories of Grade school!!! I have a few.

    Happy New year buddy!


  2. Ahh, but you survived ! lol, me too! I had a meany ole teacher like that in jr high 8th grade.
    Happy New Year, John ! :)

  3. "Like everything she tried to make it as unpleasant and confusing as ..."

    Well, I knew it was gonna be a LOOONG two years when some sergeant in basic training loudly thundered at we recruits to "line up alphabetically according to height".

  4. Second only to the captain who said, sure, we could discard an entire file cabinet full of totally worthless and never-to-be-needed-again documents.

    Only, "make copies of them first".

    A long two years indeed.

  5. Is that how one flirts?! I must be a very late bloomer.


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