The Marmalade Smile

My 3rd grade teacher used to send me out in the hall to ask Jesus to forgive me when I wasted his time by forgetting to turn my homework in.

He would send me out in the hall to ask Jesus to forgive my disobience when me and my friend Darrin used to pass notes to each other.

I skipped the part about me going to a public school- but that’s where I went and I should add that my teacher had us pray before lunch and right after we said the Pledge and after the bell rang at the end of the day. Yep. We had to pray to Jesus before he let us go.

Anyway, my teacher never really called me an idiot when it turned out I was the last one to be able to write in cursive and had to print in ‘baby blocks’.

I had to print neatly before I could write in cursive. It was a little embarassing but I liked to print. So I didn’t care. It’s also possible I was blowing my cursive lessons on purpose- I honestly don’t remember, but it’s likely.

My teacher worked under the opion on a daily basis that I was ‘mentally disabled.’ though in those days the name he used was much more crude.

Anyway, he didn’t say I was ‘mentally disabled’ to my face. He said it to the Principal and to my Parents. They weren’t buying it. They just figured I had rubbed my teacher the wrong way.

” Anita’s not stupid. ” my Dad would say, ” that damn kid is to smart for her own good if you ask me. ”

So they kept me in that class because my parents figured I could take care of myself ( which I guess I did ) and later I found out the Principal kept me in there because this teacher had already tossed out at least four students who weren’t- well- Sunday School material and they weren’t going to let him toss out anymore. Lucky me.

Anyway instead of calling me the ” R ” word because it didn’t seem to phase me he would smile this thick, gooey smile and as he would lean over me I could see right up his stupid nose and I saw those little hairs kind of swish around the rim of his nostril before he said, ” I know Anita- that is your best. So why don’t you turn your desk to the wall and try your best there? ”

Well. I did. But I was miserable. You stare at a wall for six straight hours and see how you like it.

At the end of the year me and my friend Darrin snuck into class while everyone was out at recess and we drew a picture of our teacher on the blackboard. It wasn’t a mean picture, it wasn’t a caricature. Darrin was great at drawing and it was a decent picture.

Then we drew sunbeams around our teachers face and under it I wrote, ” Mr ( teacher ) has a Golden Marmalade Smile.

He actually left it there and when our Parents showed up at the end of the day for our class party my Mom and Grandpa saw the picture and what I wrote under it ( in cursive ) my Grandpa leaned over and whispered into my ear ” you are a child after my own heart.”

See, instead of saying something was Smarmy- because my Nan considered that ‘ wooden swearing ‘ my Grandpa taught me to say Marmalde instead.

Like my Dad said, sometimes I was to smart for my own good.


3 thoughts on “The Marmalade Smile

  1. Let’s see which circle of hell fits…I think the ninth – the one for traitors. The teacher certainly betrayed the trust that the school, parents and students placed in him.

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