Miss Brown. We all assumed this was her real name, but her first name was equally common, and now that I’m grown I wonder. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever imagine she’d have such a hellion in her class. At least that’s what she’d have you believe.
Some people should teach junior high and some shouldn’t. Eighth grade? An entirely distinct stage. Like the Butterfly’s pupal stage — it looks like it’s something, and it is, but bears no resemblance to the adult of the species. It takes someone gifted to manage the 8th grader responsibly and not be consumed.
Here’s the deal. I had Miss Brown for two classes. Fourth hour English and 6th hour Journalism.
Bottom line: she hated me.
No one ever figured it out.
As I mentioned. Eighth grade is mostly a mess. In my life it was a train wreck of epic proportions. As I’ve whined in the past, beyond food and shelter, I was expected to provide for my own needs with a $2.50/week allowance. This was not taking place in 1959. It was 1981. So I’m in 8th and more or less completely reliant on the kindness of strangers for my covering. Early in the year some kids cruelly started an ugly gossip thing about me. Everyone knew it was untrue, but they jumped on for other reasons. I was a pariah.
And Miss Brown had a crush on an 8th grade boy. Whose friend was in our class. Miss Brown had massive hickeys that everyone said came from a vacuum cleaner. They called her Miss Hoover.
If I came in with two other kids after the bell rang. I would get detention. They wouldn’t.
If I spoke without being recognized. I would get detention. Another student wouldn’t.
In fairness to Miss Brown, I did talk a lot. And I didn’t become a smart-ass after I turned 35.
But she handed them out so frequently and for so little, even she lost track. Other students would turn in their seats and mouth “What is her problem?” I was nearly the only one she gave them to. Angie got a few. Angie was a girl more awkward even than I.
The coup de grace was the day that I walked into Journalism and as I crossed the room to my seat, she said, “Ellis, detention for talking in English.”
Yeah. Like that. I had all the support of my peers. I eventually stopped serving them.
I don’t know whatever happened to Miss Brown.
I’m pretty sure she didn’t score with the 8th grade boy, but then who the hell really knows.
Mama Kat, Oh, yes I got a detention. And it haunts me today. This post is written in response to prompts 3 and 4.