I know I don't always sound like it or talk about it, but back in Elementary school, I was in the Excel program. It's Special Ed for Smart People.
Well, the Elementary school that I went to twelve years ago, and the one my little brother is attending now, is having their book fair this week. Mom and I volunteered. (Although, my mother had to kinda-sorta force me to go.)
Well, after I'd been there about twenty minutes, the Librarian (who was the same one from when I had been there) suggested I go see my old Excel teacher.
After some reluctance (after all, what would I say, and I'm chubbier now then I was then...), I did go see her.
She was happy to see me. And I was so glad to see her. Just being in that room brought back so many memories. The kids were at recess, so I didn't meet them right away.
We caught up. She had a grandson the same age as Vin, only a few days younger, really. He JUST missed being in the same grade because of where his birthday falls. The room's been upgraded. The kids even got 3 Nooks in the classroom and some new computers. Although, the state's cutting funding for the Excel program for 7th and 8th graders.
I pointed out that the "Ladder" poster was gone. Back when I was there, there was this ten-rung ladder with all the measurements of the quality of work, from poor to excellent. Terrible to wonderful. There was also a real-model, about a 10-inches to a foot high.
There was also a poster of all the non-words smart students and future leaders WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO SAY. Ain't, fount, itn't...
She said the students weren't so bad about saying it so much anymore. I remember my class being pretty bad for it. :D
And, then as now, the girls STILL outnumber the boys in Excel. While I was there, we only had one boy from the time I was in 2nd to 4th. In 5th grade, we finally got another guy.
I helped her out getting some stuff together. Since I'd been a teacher aide during my two years at CCA, it was familiar work.
During this time, she asked me if I had a boyfriend, if I had fallen in love. Well, I told her there wasn't anybody. I was a little embarrassed to admit it, but it was the truth.
She didn't really care. "Get an education, first," she told me.
"That's what I'm trying for," I said. As a sidenote, I said, "Well, I took up writing, so I'm in love, just not with a person."
I wonder now, if she knew then, that I would be a writer. She didn't tell me this, but when she was introducing me to her students as a former student of hers and "creative writer" before they got into their junior readers, that she had saved some of my writing.
I wonder if she knew. Or even suspected?
The Junior Readers! They still read out of them. I don't for the life of me remember the titles of the stories, but I remember enjoying them. And I remember a story about a little boy who stole a woman's pocketbook to buy a new pair of suede shoes. There was another about a loch horse (pooka?) who fell in love with a blonde woman.
After I was done with the work that needed to be done, I said a quick goodbye and found back my mom in the library. My mom had wondered what had happened. The Librarian though figured that my Excel teacher had put me to work.
All in all, it was a great visit. I'm definitely going to have to make more trips down there.