Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sheep Ate My Homework

The charms on her bracelet shook while she wrote the assignments on the blackboard. Mrs. McNeal taught eleventh grade English. The punks in the class used to tease her relentlessly. The more they teased the more her hand shook. She was a timid woman, which made her an easy target. They thought it was funny. I thought it was cruel. Mrs. McNeal was a small, soft spoken woman who cared deeply for her students. I remember I once wrote a gritty essay pouring out my teenage angst on the page . The next day in class she asked me to stay after; she was deeply concerned about my well being. I suspect she’d been worried about me all night. Prior to that day I'd never met a middle or high school teacher that seemed to care. She quickly became my favorite teacher.

I was an average student. Nothing spectacular because I never really applied myself. I know that due to fact the teachers never failed to mention it when the grade reports rolled out. But I always did well in English. Thanks to Mom dragging me to the library for all those summer reading programs, I actually liked to read. The rest came easy. Mrs. McNeal wasn't the first teacher to encourage me to write. Problem was, I didn't want to write. If I wrote stuff down then people would know what was going on inside my head. And let me tell ya, it's a scary place that brain of mine. I was always afraid a few men in white coats would show up and tell me we were going for a ride in the country.

Flash forward nearly a quarter of a century and here I am, sitting in another English class surrounded by students who appear to be twelve years old. Now that my two children are nearly raised it is time for me to figure out what I want to do now that I'm grown up. Until I do, I am taking general education courses at the community college with plans to transfer at some point to a larger university. Who knows, maybe I’ll major in English? I wouldn't mind seeing the countryside. I hear it's nice there.


Julie-Ann said...

You go, girlfriend! One step at a time and you will eventually figure it all out. In the meantime, enjoy the journey and the classes.

Teachers can be wonderful influences in a young persons life. Or they can be nightmares. Glad you had a good one along the way . . .

Milah said...

If you go for a drive in the country....take your laptop....I'm sure you'll find lots to write about there! LOL!

Congratulations, on this new journey!

Carol said...

Christine I always said you had a book in you. I have told so many people about your site due to the wonderful way you have of expressing yourself. And your chicken stories keep me in stitches.

Best of luck to you.

Jayne said...

Congratulations on going to college! It took me ten years to get my college degree. Ten years of going to school a bit, working a bit, and trying to figure out what I wanted to be. I ended up with a BA in Political Science & History (which I never use at work and only comes in handy at Christmas, when they give bonuses to people with degrees) but I am still glad I did it. I was older than some of my teachers! Hang in there. It's worth it.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I was 35 when I started college, 39 when I completed my first degree and began to teach. Math, like my very favorite teacher in high school. blessings, marlene

Jenne said...

Hey Christine!
Did you ever finish your quilt from the class you took with Milah?

The pattern kinda reminds me of Jo Morton's "Nebraska Waves" quilt.

And kinda of the "Vermont" quilt too.

Also wanted to let you know about the sale @ Sew Unique Creations...lots of fabric and patterns super marked down :)

Judy @ daily yarns said...

I found your blog from another blog where you commented.
Good for you going back to school. I wish you well.
I enjoyed visiting your blog and I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

I took that drive to the country years ago and stayed! He wasn't wearing a white coat though, blue jeans and a plaid shirt with work boots.

It sounds like an English major will suit you just fine, with maybe a book or two down the road?

Good luck on whatever you choose. Remember to take that road less traveled along the way!
Have a great day.

Flea said...

You should totally major in English. Or journalism. Or library science.

You farm yarn? How cool is that? How long do the rows have to be when you plant that stuff?

Thanks for popping by my blog!

Sharon said...

Congratulations and good luck! It may not be easy, but it'll be worth it!

You write so well, and your chicken and farm stories are so cute and funny, you definitely should consider English. Seems like one of your strong points to me.

Theresa said...

Hi Christine!

I finally found your site and have been reading away (when I should be cleaning for this weekend)! So glad the girls are doing great - they look quite content.

You have an excellent way of expressing yourself; you should fly through the English courses!