Thursday, October 6, 2016

Remembering the great teachers I had coming up

If you think you're going to read about my years at the feet of Wittgenstein, turn the page... this is about my grade one teacher etc.

Grade one was Ms. Farquhar, if I'm not mistaken. My first year of formal education. I still remember my very first day of my first year. My father dropped me off at Elora Public School, said a few words to the teacher, and off he went. I remember waving bye-bye.

Those were the days before Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten and so forth. They're putting two year olds on the school bus these days, for fucks sakes.

By that time he'd picked up a few words of English. He'd been working at Omark for a few years. When you're on the job I guess you're kinda forced to pick up a few words. Unfortunately, once he got home from work everything was in my native tongue. Don't think I had more than three words of the English language by the time he dropped me off that day.

So it was sink or swim.

I don't know about swimming, but I must have at least floated, because by the end of that first year I was in the back row with the bunnies instead of in the front row with the turtles. Ya, there was a bunnies-turtles continuum in play even back then. Everybody knew who was slow and who wasn't.

Having a blackout about who the grade two teacher was, but I remember her car; a '59 Buick with fins and angled headlights.

Grade three, it was Ms. Plyly. And by the way, back in the day these "Ms." folks were always Miss or Mrs. It was to be another quarter century before the honorific "Ms." was invented.

Grade four was at a new school, Ponsonby Public. That's where I first crossed paths with David Card. Ya, long before he was a famous economist he was a simple farm lad from southern Ontario. Our teacher was Ms. Prickett. My one memory of her was when she freaked out at my misbehaviour the day the itinerant music teacher, a Mr. Bennett, visited our class. Apparently I was the first one in the cloak room when the bell went, and Mr. Bennett was not yet finished his accordion solo for our class.

In hindsight, I figure she may have had some designs on Mr. Bennett and my rude snub of him may have dimmed her chances. Hope not.

Grade five was Ms. Moore. I remember her telling me I'd buy her a grand piano when I got rich. Hey Ms. Moore, I'm not quite there yet, but after I syndicate this blog into e-zines, that piano could still be coming your way... but at 150 years old your arthritis may make it difficult to play...

Grade six saw me at Marden Public School under the tutelage of a Ms. Tawse. Overall, I'd have to say she was kind to me, even though I recall getting strapped for something that really belonged to Bill Bailey. Bill was one of those guys born to be a pirate and lived the pirate life, although I do recall an exchange with him when I ran into him at a gas bar many years later... "well, you can't just loot and pillage your whole life..."

You couldn't?

Fuck! What a bummer it was hearing that news come out of Bill's mouth. He could have saved me a whack of grief had he shared that insight in grade six.

By grade eight I was in the hands of Ms. McCall. She had the keener class at Willow Road, and I was bumped into it after the first month of the school year because the two English twats in charge of the dummy class thought I was misplaced.

Ha ha ha!!!

Then there was high school. GCVI.

A whole 'nother chapter...

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