Tag Archives: story

This Weird Thing Happened to Me in 5th Grade

14 Jan

I was a teacher’s kid.  So pretty much, whatever teacher was best, my parents could request and get for me.  No problem.

The fifth grade teachers all came to my fourth grade class to introduce themselves.  It would be the first time we’d changed school buildings.  My elementary at the time only had space for K-4, then you went to the middle school for 5-8, then HS for 9-12.

There was an old gal, with a whisper of a voice.  No way did I want some soft-spoken grandma!  There was some fat lady who looked mean.  Nope.  The known best teacher in the fifth grade (who pretty much every parent requested)

came in and I instantly had a strong dislike/aversion to her.  She was in 4 inch heels.  Totally impractical, uncomfortable, and girly.  How the fuck was she supposed to watch us in the gravel at recess?  Her outfit was a form-fitting pencil skirt and suit jacket.  I instantly thought she was ridiculous.  I was like, offended, by her.  WTF?  The teacher I set my heart on looked athletic.  She had short blonde hair, wore comfortable looking sneakers, and in the Q&A portion said she loved sports.  Travis, the boy who had ended up with every same teacher I’d had from 1-4th grade enthusiastically wanted in her class.  So did I.

I knew my parents wanted me to have the best (most girly) teacher, but I insisted I wanted the sporty one.  And they let ME pick.

I was still a kid.  Not aware of fashion, oblivious of any pre-teen stuff.  I was not cool at all–that wasn’t even on my radar.  Still a baby really.

My best friend had many older siblings, so she was more interested in teenage things.  She liked makeup and wanted boobs very badly.

The teacher played music in the background of class, and I liked that.

The class held up posters to a song that went with a book we read, Bridge to Teribithia? I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember how proudly and excitedly each group raised their poster during the assigned portion of the song.

The teacher talked about going to the re-up of Woodstock Music Festival and how the people from New York had funny accents.

We read Where the Red Fern Grows and watched the movie, too.  I was disappointed the death scene wasn’t the graphic depiction we had read in the book.

She also talked about how Ellen (the sitcom of Ellen Degeneres, which was in it’s non-notorious early days) was so funny.  And that made me watch it.

My teacher’s endometriosis falls like a blanket over the entire year, touching everything.  Making a great impact.

We had silent reading what felt like a lot, and the teacher let us sit under our desks.  It felt like a fort, and I really liked that.  My best friend introduced me to magazines:  YM, Seventeen, and Teen mostly.

My class continuously went out to the track.  I’m not sure if this was normal for my teacher with every class, or if she just wasn’t feeling well a lot and took us outside to have a break.

We had substitute after substitute, and that felt like having no teacher at all.

The other kids were happy we weren’t doing that much, like they were able to get away from something.  But I like learning, and I felt a little disappointed despite the fun.

That was when you could still watch any ol’ movie in school.  I must have seen every Disney classic out in that span of time, and I must have watched The Lion King at least 5 times just in school.

I loved to write, and my teacher gave (just) me (that I know of) a blank journal that I could fill up because she noticed that I had an interest in writing poetry.  I felt special and I felt like she recognized potential in my writing.

Math had always been a struggle for me, and 5th grade was the year I really fell behind and never caught up–mostly due to so many subs and so much track-walking.

Our teacher asked my best friend and I to take flowers she had received (from her boyfriend? if I remember correctly what she said) into the empty classroom while everyone was at recess.  My best friend was nosy and initiated snooping through the teacher’s desk drawers–she had candy in there.  Though not enough that we would go unnoticed if we took some.

I put my middle finger to my eye in a covert flipping off of a particularly annoying substitute that made known I was a teacher’s kid–a label I had been trying to downplay after graduating out of the school both my parents worked at.

One day, the class was silently reading (seated at our desks) and the teacher called me up to her desk.  She was practicing her signature over and over and asked me which one looked the best.  While I was scrutinizing the names on the paper, out of the corner of my eye I could see the teacher unzipping her pants.  Remember, the whole class is in the same room, just feet away, reading silently.  I quickly pointed at whatever signature, said “that one,” and started to make a hasty retreat to my desk.  She asked, (and I’ll never forget this as long as I live) “Would you like to touch my ovary?”  I said a quick, “No thanks” and rushed back to my seat.

I don’t think she was trying to be a perv or anything like that.  I think she knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, and had an interest in science.  And she thought it might be educational?  And we were inside a room full of other kids, not obscured or private in any way.  I thought it was odd then and I think it’s super-strange today.  What was she thinking?

And I wasn’t shamed or secretive about the incident at all.  I told my best friend (a known blabber-mouth), my parents, it wasn’t something I kept quiet.  Today, that teacher would probably be fired for doing that, maybe even get hauled into court and possibly labeled a sexual offender.  But this was the 1990s and I guess everyone just thought–‘hmm, that’s weird, and maybe poor judgement…’

I mean, I have suffered no psychological damage from it or anything, so I’m glad nothing really came of it.  Though my mom is adamant that she did go talk to that teacher, and even swore at her (which doesn’t sound like something she would do), but I have zero recollection of that at all.  None.  And I feel like I would.  So I guess a conversation was had.

Mostly, I use that as a funny story to bring up that sounds far-fetched.