Saturday, April 22, 2006

Miss McClaren - Are you up there ?

Looking at last Saturday night's posting "College Search Requires Mututal Maturity" (except that mutual was mispelled "mutual") brought to mind the image of my eighth grade English teacher, Miss Jeanne McClaren. Miss Mcclaren was one of many mid fiftyish teachers that I had in junior and senior high. Miss McClaren struggle with a wide range of students. As an eighth grader, my mother an inspirinig woman and probably a frustrated teacher was requiring me to read Benard de Voto's The Course of Empire and the Bronte Sisters novels as summer projects. A few friends and I were 'smart assess' - a trial to her and our slower classmates (some of whom would demosntrate their superiority by beating us up in the playground.

To relieve the tedium a friend and I played chess. Since we did not sit next to each other, we enlisted the aid of classmates in passing the chessboard from one row to the other - until one afternoon - it fell to the floor scattering chess pieces everywhere.

To avoid receving an 'unsatisfactory' grade in attitude, I had to do a week's penance after school, along with my friends. Which wan't bad. Ms. McClaren gave us interesting tasks and we developed a mutual understanding and mutual respect which sustained us through out the remainder of the semester.

She would not have been happy to see that I had posted a blog with a mispelled word in the title. And, of course, there were no spell checkers in those days.

Ms. McClaren, if you can read what I am writing, I am grateful for your dedication ande, as you can see, you teaching did make a difference to me. Thank you.


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