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I’m pretty sure I met Ricky Anderson right about the time I met Tyler Tarver and Knox McCoy. They came strung together like half a six-pack. Here’s what I’ve learned about Ricky since August 2011: Snickers really satisfy him, he works on computers, and he gets precious little sleep because of that little person over there. —>
I also learned that his first grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Wheeler. Which is weird because my first grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Wheeler, so I kind of wonder if he is that Ricky kid who came to my school briefly and then disappeared. Probably not.
Please, please, please read his article “I am a Diva”.
And follow him on Twitter at @Arthur2Sheds. Don’t ask.
He’s a little defensive about that whole lack of integration thing.
• • •
The Way Mrs. Wheeler Rolled
My first grade teacher’s name was Mrs. Wheeler. I found this especially fitting, seeing as how the old lady must have been ten years older than Methuselah. I was convinced if we were to give Mrs. Wheeler a sudden start, we’d have to ‘wheel her’ out on a gurney.
She was a delightful old relic, though. She was exactly twelve feet tall. She wore old lady’s perfume; the kind that made your nose wrinkle up into a prune.
I loved her.
She was the reason I went to school. The numerous bullies who traded my lunch money for a bloody nose or a black eye hardly bothered me. All my attention was focused on getting to Mrs. Wheeler’s class. It was one of my two main goals in life.
The other, of course, was to please Mrs. Wheeler. Any act that would make her happy was an accomplishment to me, no matter how minuscule. If her pencil tip were dull, I’d gladly whittle her a new one. When she needed the chalkboard erasers beat, I hastily volunteered. My hair may have resembled Ben Matlock’s when I was finished, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It was the first time I can remember finding self-sacrifice enjoyable.
I did these things not only because I loved her, but also because I owed it to her. You see, some bullies were worse than others. There was a whole gang of the really mean ones that got their kicks from my posterior. I accurately nicknamed them ‘The Meanies’. They practiced judo on me every day at recess. I knew the routine well. They would surround me, and I would begin to feel the fear creep over me. The name calling and shoving would commence, and the tears and pocket change would disperse.
One day as this was taking place, yet again, something out of the ordinary happened. I was picking myself out of the dirt when a lone shadow blocked the sun. The proceedings halted like molasses in August. The onlookers scattered as Mrs. Wheeler towered over the malicious would-be thieves. I knew all would be fine when she began scolding them with those scalding words of retribution that still ring in my ears to this day, “Come now, let’s play nicely, girls.”
Do you remember any of your teachers saying or doing something that they probably couldn’t get away with now?