Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ms. J. Hutt

So who was your "great teacher," the person who "made a difference?"

"Nobody" it my answer. I attended Texas public schools after all, in a dusty city on the Mexican border. Teachers, like their students, viewed the school system as a kind of purgatory, summer vacation a temporary respite in heaven.

Since I'm a writer it's only fitting to pick on English teachers. So many incompetents, so little time. There was the teacher who mispronounced a word a day. I could've crafted a variation of the Word a Day calendars based on her blunders. There was the crazy old man, Mr. Magoo meets Sybil, careening from amiable (sort of) to raving lunatic in under a second. But most notable was Jabba the Hutt, so named for legendary Star Wars crime lord.

If only she had half of Jabba's mental prowess. She did posses his mass. Sitting in the classroom, I could hear her approach, the flap-flap-flap of her feet on the linoleum reminiscent of Gollum as he prowled his caverns in The Hobbit. She wheezed with each step.

It wasn't her weight that made her a dreadful teacher. She. Didn't. Teach. Instead, like the photo of the original Jabba suggests, she gathered select sycophants around her, and gossiped all hour long. High school gossip was barely tolerable as a teenager. What kind of lackwit would still be interested in her thirties? The rest of us were supposed to keep ourselves occupied with a daily entry in a writing journal.

A typical asinine topic: "What great happines came into your life yesterday?"

"Great happiness?" I was a teenager for Cripe's sake, filled of the sound and fury of a million stupid heartbreaks. The answer I wanted to write: "The bell rang and I fled this classroom." Or on a more creative day: "A huge asteroid ripped through the atmosphere and drilled through the school's roof, rendering you into a greasy stain behind the desk."

Instead I wrote nothing. Absolutely nothing. Got a "C." My only "C" in English. Ever.

(Grownup me, of course would have had a field day with this bullshit, filling the journal with entries about eating kittens and building bombs in my garage.)

I suffered through one semester with her and vowed never again. Summer passes and guess who I'm stuck with again? First day, she snorts and snuffles her way through a "What I did with my summer" schpiel. She and her equally fat sister--I reckon they lived together with a tribe of huge cats--had gone to England. She tells the class how the English speak "different from us" and how she and her sister were frequently corrected.

I'm thinking. "Bull-fucking-shit. You must have been speaking Klingon because the English don't habitually go around correcting us stupid Yanks'."

I got out of that class fast.

Wherever you are Jabba, thanks for...a burning desire to get the hell out of high school.


Fifteen hundred words yesterday. Two hundred the day before. Scene (chapter?) is getting longish...will need a good trimming for pacing.



Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005