“Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life.” Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
My favorite teacher was the one I had for fourth grade. Her name was Mrs. Workman. I actually remember the names of all my teachers from grade school.
Mrs. Workman was newly married, I remember. She was so pretty with thick blonde hair and bouncy curls. She had a bubbly personality to match the bounce in her hair and step. She was funny and smiley.
What I loved most about Mrs. Workman was that she had freckles too. Just like me. I had bunches and bunches. So many, that I got picked on by boys in my class for them. I hated “freckle face” comments so much that I asked my mom to buy me lemons to rub on my cheeks in hopes that they would fade. I was a very sensitive sort even way back when but I refused to cry (not to mention I was already getting tall and boys were so short). I got enough razzing from my brother at home. She told me she loved my freckles. So, I loved her back!
I was riveted by the way Mrs. Workman read to the class, her voice. I adored reading too and she was the first to recommend one of my favorite books, The Phantom Tollboth. I read it immediately. (Both my kids loved this book as well)
Even back then, I would read non-stop and stay up later than my parents knew just to finish a book. Then I could tell Mrs. Workman the next day. She always said she was proud of the way I loved reading and talking about books.
I clearly remember the last day of school. I was devastated to be leaving her classroom. What would make it harder is she told us she was moving away with her husband. I definitely wouldn’t be seeing her again. Not even in the hallway. She said she would write me.
But something also happened that last day of school…this totally grossed me out and I don’t know why even to this day. She raised her arms for something and I noticed they were hairy and not just a little bit. I was so put off and shocked because she was so pretty and this was very much unexpected in my 9-year-old eyes.
Mrs. Workman did write me over the summer. Twice. And I wrote her back but I couldn’t help thinking about whether she shaved her underarms or not.
“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.” Norton Juster, again!
1.) Share a story from fourth grade. (inspired by Wild Life in the Woods).