Tag Archives: Six Ring Circus

The Day Mrs. Dean Saved My Life: Guest Post by Annie Wolfe

Annie -- all grown up!

Annie Wolfe from Six Ring Circus is my guest blogger today, and she has a great teacher memory. But before we get to that, a little hoo-ha about Annie. Annie went to college, locked eyes with a handsome man in her anatomy class, and they got to studying anatomy.

I mean, they got married.

Before she knew it, she was a stay-at-home mother to four energetic children. (She was very fertile.)

These days Annie writes about her children — Speedy, Princess, Dictator and Taz , and I must say, they make great material. Annie’s circus resides in the Heartland, where life should be simple but, with a family of six, life rarely is. I don’t know how she does it; I’m just glad she does. Read her post, check out her blog, and if you like Twitter, you can follow her @Annie6rc.

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The Day Mrs. Dean Saved My Life

I’m a school-loving nerd. The intense grin on my face in that photo says it all. (My mom made those sweet culottes and the handkerchief shirt.) I ran eagerly to my first day of kindergarten, nap mat in hand. There was never a day I didn’t want to go to school.

Annie in 1st grade!

I will always remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Dean. Mean Mrs. Dean had a reputation with the other children for being tough. When I heard she was going to be my teacher I shuddered a little. She had the look of a mean old troll. I was sure I wouldn’t like her.

I was a studious child, very organized and task driven. I liked to get things done, but I worried I might not live up to grumpy old troll standards.

I quickly fell in love with Mrs. Dean’s no-nonsense attitude. She had eyes in the back of her head. While writing on the chalkboard, she could easily call by name and reprimand a troublemaker. Her head did not even swivel around slightly. To me, this was proof of her supernatural troll-like powers.

Troll or not, I felt so comfortable next to her stocky frame. I did not have to look very far up to find her crinkled face. She cackled when she laughed. I really loved her ability to run the classroom but I also grew to love her as a person. I specifically remember the day I fell in love with her heart.

We had a classroom reading chart with stickers to mark our progress. Once you had enough stickers, you got a free book. I was a crazy-obsessed reader and the idea of a book for a prize was incredible. I had a list of books to mark on the chart but I had to wait in line at Mrs. Dean’s desk to get my stickers. I was in the middle of the line and I had to pee so badly. I didn’t want to leave to go to the bathroom and return to stand at the very end. I was anxious.

I danced the clench-my-thighs-knee-wiggle dance. Finally, the call of nature could not be ignored. I dashed to the bathroom and hurried to pull down my pants. A warm rush was met with panic in my heart. I tried desperately to dry my pants with toilet paper. I stuffed ridiculous amounts of it into my underwear. It does no good to make a toilet paper diaper after you have peed yourself.

I remember whispering to the little girl in the mirror, “You’re going to have to be brave and go out there for help.” I was mortified. My entire class was lined up around Mrs. Dean. Everyone would know I had peed my pants like a baby.

I sucked in my breath and marched out to her desk. Mrs. Dean took my hand, told the class she would be right back, and walked me down the hall. She whisked me out so quickly, it saved me from much humiliation.

The feeling of my hand in hers was powerful. Her petite yet strong stature was reassuring. I know she comforted me with what she said, although the words are forgotten. Mrs. Dean didn’t make me feel stupid. She held my hand all the way to the office, where I called my parents.

I will always remember how she respected my feelings. She understood how potentially embarrassing the situation was for me. I wasn’t just a child to her, but a person to respect. I think sometimes adults marginalize issues that children find significant. A wise adult and excellent teacher can see things through the eyes of a child. Mrs. Dean was a very wise woman and most definitely an excellent teacher.

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If you have writing chops and are interested in writing about a Lesson You Have Learned, I’d love to hear from you! Contact Me. Essays should be around 700-800 words.

If you write for me, I’ll put your name on my page of favorite bloggers!

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Mid-November Mash Up

It was my 44th birthday yesterday. If you were paying attention, you learned about Scorpios.

I have to say, I don’t feel a day over 20. Seriously. If I lived in the land of  anti-reflective surfaces, I am pretty sure that I could believe that I was the same spring chicken I was decades ago. (Stupid mirrors.)

In honor of all Scorpios everywhere, I’m playing head-banging heavy metal from the Scorpions. Guaranteed to wake you up before you go-go. And check out these bloggers because, like the Scorpions, they’ll rock you like a hurricane.

(But not like a real life hurricane because that is no kind of fun. Just a metaphorical hurricane.)

From the English Department

Susie Lindau’s Anger, Fear or Joy?  might make writers think about how we treat our loved ones when we are on a writing spree.

Jami Gold asks How Do You Celebrate? when you have finished writing the first draft of a book. Right now, I can only dare to dream that moment, but the idea of this post carries over into other areas. How do you celebrate when you have reached a goal. Do you allow yourself to experience joy? Or do you jump right into the next project?

From the Math Department

From Wild About Math I have Happy 11/11/11 Day! Seriously, I have no idea what this man is talking about. When I listen to him talk, I feel so English Teacher-ishy. And I totally meant to have my class look at the clock at 11:11 on 11/11. Except I forgot. Oh well, there’s always next year on 12/12 at 12:12.

From the Science Department

David Dobbs debunks The Slut Gene.

From the History Department

Kathy Owen shares the history of Thanksgivings Past from the New York Times.

Ellie Ann Soderstrom has a sobering report on The Top 10 Baddies of The World.

From the Physical Education Department

Why Parents Must Speak of Unspeakable Things by Chase McFadden speaks of the atrocities which occurred to children at the hands of their coach. It will break your heart.

From the Political Science Department

Piper Bayard’s Political and Corporate Phrase Book is a must read when it comes to some of the things politicians are actually quoted as actually saying out loud.

Jenny Hansen interviews Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb about their 2012 Worldwide Blog Tour Kickoff and their run for President and Vice President in a campaign where everyone — even Canadians and pets — can vote!

From the Religious Studies Department

Galit Breen is trying something new in Our Jewish Family Is Celebrating Christmas This Year.

From the Art Department

Artist Mary Mollica’s Not To Be Trashed features a memory of a favorite art teacher.

From the Theater Department

Gigi from Kludgy Mom writes about How to Help Your Child Overcome Stage Fright — which is really about how to parent when your child doesn’t naturally do the things that come so easily to you.

In Come Again?, Clay Morgan has Paul Johnson (aka: The Good Greatsby) at his place to discuss how to screw with nosy passers-by. If this isn’t theater, I don’t know what is.

From Home Economics

Georgette Sullins’ There are Vegans in the Family is about how to do Thanksgiving while meeting everyone’s dietary needs.

Annie from Six-Ring Circus tracks her family’s Post-Halloween Candy Consumption.

Jessica Buttram has a guest blogger at her place. Alise Wright’s It Ain’t Pretty is about putting together a rag doll with her daughter — at the last minute.

From the Parenting Department

Leanne Shirtliffe has her daughter on a Scavenger Hunt in the Dictionary!

From the Awesome-Sauce Department

WARNING: Absolutely, positively NOT for children’s ears.

CLICK HERE for The Hilarious Video: Siri Argument

What rocked you this week?