When I was in the third grade- I would have been about nine years old at the time
my teacher had something like ‘career day’ for our class.
We were supposed to write a theme about the kind of job we wanted have when we grew up.
I knew at that age EXACTLY what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wanted to either be a Captain of my own Starship, just like Captain Kirk and my backup ( though we didn’t use that phrase back then ) involved horses, because really, all little girls love horses, right?
I wanted to be The Headless Horseman- I wanted to ride a scary demon horse and chase people around on Halloween and try to cut their heads off.
I was deadly serious on both counts.
I read books about astronomy and I tried like the Devil to find anything involving NASA- which wasn’t easy because anything Space related was on TV ( my family were not big newspaper readers, so that resource wasn’t an option) . The biggest challenge for me then, was that back then most houses had one TV, and the kids weren’t in charge of it- except for maybe when Saturday Morning cartoons were on, which to be honest I was never interested in.
Plus, when I even whispered anything science related I was told not be a ‘know it all’.
My teacher- who went on to be a failed Christian Missionary- hauled me out into the Hall with my report- it had a giant red ” F ” on it and stapled to the front was blue slip my papers had to sign to acknowledge my bad grade.
” Anita, you are a fool. Do you understand that? ‘
My takeaway was that he said I was a fool and made foolish decisions but I had no right to make him or the class he was teaching about something as important as CAREER CHOICES look foolish. He suggested I think, I consider janitorial work or waitressing as options and that if I had any sense I would re write my report and turn that in with those options instead of ‘ this’ he waved my report under my nose.
I was so angry at him I was ready to go full on Headless Horse Kid on him right then and there.
No doubt it was an awful position to be in because I was the only one to get an ” F ” and everyone in my class would know it because our Teacher put a graph on the blackboard showing who got what grade on our ‘big’ assignments.
I never re-wrote my paper and I never took the blue slip home so I got that big giant lonely “F”
Still, that wasn’t the worst part of this entire issue.
I wasn’t sure, you see, what he considered to be a more foolish choice- my choice to become an astronaut or my choice to be a demonic head hunter.