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Friday, July 9, 2010

13 to Life: Change is Good—Ask a Werewolf

So of course with a contest titled Change is Good—Ask a Werewolf, it would make sense that one of the entries would be an essay on a change you had to deal with, but one that didn't turn out as bad as thought it would.

I think the change I was most scared of was second grade.  I literally went home crying at the end of first grade after finding out who my second grade teacher was going to be.  I had wanted Mrs. Rhoades, the nice, pretty, younger teacher.  Instead, I was assigned to Miss Boyle—to a six-and-a-half year old, she looked mean and scary.  And old.

Also, there had been a minor lunch room incident…In grade school each table had to wait for a teacher to dismiss us from lunch before we could go to recess.  Our table happened to have been finished for what seemed like FOREVER, and in order to get the teacher’s attention, we started rapping our fists on the table, rhythmically chanting, “Let us go!”  Miss Boyle came over to our table and told us she’d let us go all right.  She silenced us with a stare that could have rivaled Medusa.  Needless to say, we were not let go in a timely manner, but rather made to sit in fear of horrible retribution…for probably like two minutes.  And then we ran for our lives.

So besides the fact that she wasn’t my first pick anyway, when I found out Miss Boyle was going to be my teacher, I was absolutely sure that she was going to remember me from that day in the lunch room, and that every day in her class would be utter torture.

I calmed down after talking to my mom about it.  There was no point in worrying about it all summer, and if class turned out to be as horrible as I feared, then my mom would get me transferred to the other class.

After five minutes in second grade, it became obvious that my fears were completely unwarranted.  I LOVED Miss Boyle!  As a teacher, her passion and experiences opened my eyes to new possibilities.  She may have been old (she retired a year or two later)(which I’m sure had nothing to do with me), but she was absolutely marvelous!  She was exciting and warm and charming.  She had been to Japan.  We read books, and she had us make our own personalized orange folders for our projects, and then she had them laminated for us.  There was even a time when I went on a field trip with the drama club and missed class.  When I came back and asked what homework I had to makeup, she gave us a pass on the day’s work.  It made me respect drama in a new way, realizing that she saw that even while we were away from class we were still doing something of educational value.  While I’ve been very fortunate with my teachers, Miss Boyle was absolutely, and still is, one of my very favorite teachers.

After my first day of second grade, I never looked at people, or at changes, the same way again.  When I realized how mistaken I’d been, I started to see that things normally as scary as you think they’ll be, and often not scary at all.  I still get nervous and worried and overthink things, but now I also have a voice in my head that tells me to stay calm, that things will work out and not be as bad as I think.


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