Feeling lost from useless years floundering after graduating college, Mike decides to return to the place he was happiest – high school, this time to teach art.
The opening to “Education:”
My hand actually trembled. It held my first ever middle school report card. What would Mom say when she saw all the Cs coupled together like an unbreakable chain link fence?
Just when I wanted to feel special, to get off to a good start at middle school, I’d been evaluated by all my teachers as “average.” Why didn’t they just scream to the world I was also “typical,” “common,” “ordinary” and “run of the mill?”
I handed the report card to Mom in the kitchen late Friday afternoon, hoping to get the bad news over with as soon as possible.
“Oh, Michael ….” Mom said. “Oh, Michael ….”
After hearing her deflated, low tone, all I wanted to do was hide in the pantry until Monday morning.
“Michael, why have your grades slipped so much from last year? Why have they …”
“Mom, they aren’t all Cs, you know,” I said (knowing I’d also earned a B in Industrial Arts and D in French, just to break the middling C monotony).
“That’s for sure, just look at that D in French, and I heard Mrs. Hixon was a good teacher …”
“Miss Hixon, Mom.”
“Well, that settles it. We’re getting you a tutor for French. This has got to stop.”
Four weeks later, in a windowless, cold, green classroom at Eastern Junior High, I placed headphones over my ears for yet another daily dose of Miss Hixon’s French conversation tapes. From our squatty little desks, nailed to the floor in neat rows, I and the other 24 kids in the class listened to a canned, pre-recorded conversation spoken by some syrupy, heavily accented French people while Miss Hixon sat at her desk, her full and undivided attention on whatever was on the surface of her desk.
Note: I am currently seeking representation for my book. Please see my contacts page for how to get hold of me.