6th grade… our final year at Dr. Levesque School, but as I sat in my 6th grade classroom, I didn’t feel any real connection to the school.
We were still ‘guests’. We were the ‘St. Agatha kids’ who came over for two years to finish out elementary school. We were the kids bused for over 20 minutes to someone else’s school.
Our teacher, Mrs. Michaud, stood in the front of the room droning on about something to do with Social Studies. Maps. Countries. Something important I’m sure. Her glasses sliding down her face as she spoke fervently. Her white hair showing the years of dealing with 6th graders. She was a fan of Social Studies, but not so much a fan of kids.
My seat, now in the back of the room, was perfect. Close to the window to gaze outside. Easy to pass notes to my friends. And of course, easy to have a quiet conversation.
Here’s the problem. I’m not quiet. I am a talker. No surprise to anyone. It is just who I am. Since the beginning of my school years (and beyond). Likely on every report card given to my parents. Likely the comment must stated to my mom and dad at parent conferences.
On this particular day, she was droning a bit too much and for too long. Looking at us every once in a while. Seated in rows and rows of desks. Notebooks open. Taking notes. Listening, daydreaming, trying to stay awake.
In that moment, I leaned over to my friend Mark. You see he was the cute boy. He loved the Patriots. He had dark brown hair and big brown eyes. Downright dreamy for a 6th grade girl. As I leaned in to comment about something I am sure was hysterical.
I heard the word ‘ENOUGH!’, heard the gasps, then felt the slamming of something on the side of my head. I turned as the chalkboard eraser hit my head and chalk dust rained over me. Stifled laughter could be heard from all the seats around me.
Shock, humiliation, and embarrassment filled me. I looked up at the board as I wiped the chalk dust from my face.
“Are you done?” she asked.
I nodded and hung my head down at the desk. She resumed her lecture as if nothing of consequence had occurred. I looked down at my notebook as the humiliation turned into anger. Suddenly, I felt the tap of a hand on my arm.
“Can you believe her aim?” Mark whispered.
A smile crept across my face as my red cheeks faded.
“Yeah, who would have thought?” I answered, “Careful, you could be next.”
**The irony of the fact that I teach 6th grade Social Studies is not lost on me. However, white board erasers are far lighter and not as powerful.**