September 15th…“DURING YOUR GRADE SCHOOL YEARS IN MINNESOTA, WHICH TEACHER DID YOU DISLIKE THE MOST? WHY?”
In the course of human interactions, it is only inevitable that eventually one encounters another person that you just can’t connect with. The two of you “rub each other the wrong way”, so to speak.
I collided with such an educator during my Grade School years at Kiester Public School. In consideration of the feelings of those who may have had high regards for this particular teacher, I will just say that this very sad chapter of my life happened sometime between Kindergarten and Sixth Grade.
Needless to say, I loathed and despised this female educator that had me under her thumb for nine LONG months of that school year. All one has to do is look at my near tearful visage in the class school photo for that year. I can be seen reflecting utter sadness as the photographer snapped the camera’s shutter to capture the moment on film. I’m sure I did something wrong again that day and her cutting words had me near to tears when the command was given for everyone to “SMILE”! 😦
Rather than inspiring me to greater heights of knowledge, she incited me to a riotous attitude and deep darkness with her deriding comments and ego shattering accusations.
I have endured some dyslexia over the years and when it came to numbers and Mathematics, I was in torture land. As a result, I was terrible when it came to remembering simple equations……like on Arithmetic Flash Cards. The female School Principal would join forces with my teacher of that year and the dastardly duo regularly herded me into a narrow, shadowy storage room to “beat” me into numeric submission by coercive force of minds over boy. Out would come the Flash Cards and the mental “beating” began as they threatened me with no lunch or recess time until I had achieved some sort of recitation of Flash Card fanciness to their liking.
Oftentimes, I was brought to the point of tears in the daily insinuations of my stupidity and that a “boy my age” should know these facts and figures by now. Without a doubt, the “whip and chair” tactics of these mean-spirited educators instilled a mental block for mathematics that I carry as a scar to this very day.
If only I could’ve gotten into the fortressed skull of that teacher. There’s a ghost of a chance that I MAY have found a person who only wanted to see me excel in my academics and move up on the ladder of educational endeavors. Instead, with her poisonous perspectives promulgating pathetic performance in me, the outcome of that school year was a young boy escaping on the last day of school with the exuberance of a starved prisoner of war that could once again breath freedom from the public school prison camp of punitive punishments for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.