Daily Prompt; We Can Be Taught
Daily Prompt; We Can Be Taught
I was in the third grade. I was a chatterbox. When I look back at past report cards for elementary grades I can see all the boxes checked for talking too much. I couldn’t help it I guess. I had lots to say.
Now that I am much older I know that even back then I was craving what I was lacking at home. I needed to be validated. I wanted to be noticed. I suppose that even now I still have some of those feelings that will pop up now and then.
My teacher, was a short, plump woman, who wore stockings and pumps and a print dress every single day. Her hair was orange/red. She had more freckles on her face and arms than anyone I had ever known at that time. When she smiled around her eyes formed wrinkles and she reminded me back then of Mrs. Clause with those tiny eyes that danced.
She moved me several times for talking. I sat in the front rows. I was moved to the back rows. I can remember standing out in the hall a couple of times. I also tattled. I think people tattle for attention. Tattling draws attention. Whether good or bad we need it, we think.
She was a strict teacher and molded me into what I am today.
I didn’t like her much at the time, but she helped me to start the process that I was worthy. She helped me see that bad attention was not the only choice I had in drawing others to me.
For the lack of confidence part, I had to teach myself through tough lessons in life. Good friends sitting with me and talking. Tears being poured, and accepting. Yes, this is the toughest teaching job of all. Accepting myself for who I am.
I am never going to be any other than who I am. The TV media can destroy us. It makes us ponder on what else is out there. Why can’t I look or talk, or have what she/he has. The bottom line is God made me who I am for a reason. I am no one special in the outer world. But I am a writer, a good mother, and a woman who has a right to stand here living on this land.
Prettywitgla33es has nominated me for the Shine On Award. Isn’t the lady mystical in the photo of this award?
Thank-yo Pretty for this. I so appreciate it.
Here is a little bit about her.
I’m a student from Nigeria. I currently live in Tampa, Florida. I’m enjoying every bit of my stay in America. I want to make every second count; do things i never thought of doing, have fun, make good grades, and meet new people. In short, I just want to make my life memorable!!
Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
This prompt was an easy one for me. I will never forget third grade. If my teacher was still living I would go back to her and thank her.
Third grade, how old was I back then? Maybe around 8 or 9? I was spreading my wings, not my angel wings. The wings between my lips. Talking, this is what I learned to do so well. I talked any chance I had.
I talked during class when I should have been quiet. I talked by answering too many questions the teacher was asking, not always knowing the answers. You could not shut me up!
I can remember my grandma, by the way, Happy Birthday Grandma, today you are 96! Anyways, grandma used to love to hear me talk, she would shine the spotlight on me by telling my mom, look she does have a mouth. She is talking. I guess from what I had been told and from what my memory tells me, I used to be very shy.
I shook my head quite often for answering. I didn’t say much at all. I was very quiet and even played quietly. Something happened and I did a turn-a-bout.
My teacher must have gotten tired of me interrupting class and having to reprimand me so much that one day when everyone else got to go to mid day recess, I was asked to remain behind. I don’t remember being afraid, but I bet I was.
After the last student left the room, she called me up to her desk. I remember her pulling this long nylon thingy out of her desk drawer. She held it up. It seemed to be it was longer than her arm’s length.
She explained to me that she had exhausted every means to have me quiet. She explained to me about being rude, speaking when others are talking. Raising my hand, asking for permission was a more democratic way to speaking.
She told me how proud she was of me for opening the buds on the roses, but there was a time and place for everything. She taught me that being a listener was a much better asset than being a talker.
She called me over to stand by her. When I was next to her she asked me to turn my back to her. I did as I was told. She took a large safety-pin and she pinned this nylon thingy to the back of my shirt.
She turned me around and said that this was a reminder. This would help me to think before speaking. To raise my hand first to talk. She said that when I thought about telling on someone, which back then was called a tattle tail, I would feel the long tail pinned on me and think twice.
To this day I will never forget the valuable lesson she taught me. Respect and being polite to others. Letting others voice their thoughts completely before voicing my own. I remember the kids laughing at me periodically through the day, but that vanished when the next exciting thing happened in class.
I still try hard to remember my manners today. I wait and listen to what you have to say. I don’t chatter a lot, but do love to talk. A few years back I even took a class in college for public speaking. I learned to love it. It was a chance for me to speak. To have the floor be my audience for three minutes.
Now it has been a while and I am once again shy speaking in front of others. An opportunity has risen where I could be back on that speaking stage again. With encouragement of so many friends on here, I have decided to speak to an audience once again where I will be reading one of my short stories or poems.
Life moves on, but most of our memories remain with us. The memory of this class hopefully remains fresh for years to come. People are important. Whether they are friends, or business associates or family. Respect is the biggest gift we can give to another human. Thank-you third grade teacher for teaching me such valuable life lessons.
Rachel jumped up from her seat and ran over and wrapped her arms around Dahlia saying how glad she was that she was safe and sound. She placed her arms around her and guided her to sit next to her. Ralph reached over and patted her hand, telling her that he had been worried and now he could sleep better tonight.
Ruth looked at the three of them and was thanking God for making the right decision by calling these people. She could tell that there was a lot of love in this family. Rachel turned Dahlia’s face towards her and asked why. Why did you leave, I thought you were happy here with us. What possibly could have happened to make you want to run away?
Dahlia placed her head in the position of looking down at her lap. She realized that she loved these two people. With not being able to see, she could feel the love from them, and she was sorry that she had worried them so much. She could always sense when they were in the room no matter where they were. The scents, the warmth, and the glow, was important factors to a blind person, The touch of Rachel’s soft hands, the smoothness in her voice, showing patience and love. Why had she not confided in these two, and had decided to just run.
Tears started to run down her face and she buried her face in her hands. She was aware that everyone’s eyes were on her, but nothing came out of her mouth. Ralph handed her his hankie and told her to wipe her eyes and blow her nose. He went on to say with confidence that nothing could be so bad, that she could not confide in either one of them.
Dahlia could not take the words,she stood up and felt her way over to where Ruth was sitting, and Ruth tried to comfort her while saying, please tell them, child , what happened. What made you run like this, please explain to them. Can’t you feel the love they have for you? You can trust them.
Dahlia sat in silence, trying, wanting to get the words out, but how could she tell them that their own son, had taken advantage of her. How could she hurt them like this. The clock could be heard ticking in the background, the silence was so loud in the room. No one was saying anything, and all ears were tuned into her mouth.
Ralph broke the silence by asking her if something had happened at the picnic yesterday. Did someone say something to hurt you? Were you offended in some way? While he was speaking he and Rachel, went over to where Ruth and Dahlia were sitting, and knelt down in front of them, placing their hands on top of Dahlias. Please tell us, we can help with what ever it was.
Dahlia gasped and choked on her breath, spitting out, it was him. Him? Who him? Drew. Ralph asked immediately, what did Drew do? He looked at Rachel and Rachel looked at him. All fell silent again, as the same thoughts were racing through each of the minds of the husband and wife.
Ralph coughed, and tears began to well up in his own eyes, and he said to Dahlia in a monotone voice, I think we know what you are talking about, we both think we know what has happened. Did he touch you? Did he place his hands on you? Please tell us.
Dahlia explained with much encouragement, how she had went outside with one of the ladies at the boarding house, and they had taken a walk and had found a bench and sat and chatted for a while. She explained how her friend got up and went back inside, with she, herself, saying she would follow in a few minutes. She explained how a mouth had covered hers and how she had been dragged to a spot farther away and he had taken advantage of her virginity.
Ralph got up and went back to his seat, while Rachel kept holding Dahlia’s hands. We thought this was over, we thought we had solved all of this a long time ago. The whispers of her words could be barely heard, and Dahlia asked her what had she just said. Rachel got up also and went back to her own seat, leaving Ruth to hold Dahlia close to her while the two others explained what had happened so long ago.
They explained that Drew had become ill several years ago. He had run a very high fever, and nothing the doctors could do would bring that temperature down. They kept him in ice packs and they bathed him and with its own will, the fever did finally break, but the damage left behind, did something to his head, and sometimes he took to crazy spells, acting differently than who he was.
Rachel continued to explain how Drew would look at her in embarrassing ways and on different occasions, he would barge into their bedroom, coming over and sitting on the bed for no reason. One time, Ralph and Rachel were in the middle of a passionate moment, and he barged in.
They had called a special doctor the next day and set an appointment to get their son some help. He had gone to this doctor for over a year, but then the doctor had explained, that with much help and testings, they thought they had this all sorted out, and the world could be at rest now, knowing he was back to the man he once was, but something has happened, and he has lost his mind once again.
Dahlia sat there dumbfounded. Her first thoughts were how could you leave so many innocent ladies live in your house, and we are all blind too? How could we defend ourselves against such a monster, but then she had gotten to know Drew also, and he never gave her a feeling that she should live in fear. He had never treated her with any less respect than she expected.
Her heart began to soften a little, but the memories of the pain were still too close to the heart. Ralph looked at Ruth and saw that even she had a glistening from her eyes. The story was so sad. A man who was a good man, became ill, and a monster was born, showing itself when ever it felt like.
Please come home with us dear Dahlia. We will take him back to the doctor. We will also take you to a doctor to make sure you are physically alright. If you need special help to get through this terrible ordeal, we can find someone for you. We care so much about you, dear girl. You have a wonderful future ahead of you, you love your school. How can we beg you for forgiveness over something we thought was buried years ago, please come home with us.
The other students all started talking at once to Dahlia. They asked many questions, where did she come from, how long had she been blind, and what had happened to cause it. Did she have brothers and sisters. All of these questions drew Dahlia in quickly and before long the kitchen was full of chatter and laughter.
They showed Dahlia where the plates and glass and silver ware was, and walked her around the kitchen having her feel each chair, and then said that for tonight, this was her job in helping. When she was done with that, she could fill the bowls with the lettuce and tomatoes that would be their salad.
As Dahlia fumbled doing her job, she was intently listening to the talk about school. One of the girls was talking about the mean old teacher in history, another one was speaking of the nice boy in her math class. Others were speaking of the dance steps they were being taught and how hard it was to balance and step at the same time.
Dahlia asked about the two sons that lived here and what did they teach at school. Susan, one of the students took Dahlia aside and said to her, that each of them taught at the school. One was an English teacher, and that was Drake, and Drew was a Spanish teacher. She told her about how dreamy the voice of Drake was, and that when she listened to him speak, she just wanted to drool. Dahlia laughed at this, never having felt that any man could make a woman drool.
Soon Ralph walked in the door, and he and Rachel both made their appearance in the kitchen by saying hello to everyone, and Rachael asked if there was anything left over that she could help with. The girls piped up that no, all was done and supper was ready.
They all found their places at the table and each holding each others hands, they all said grace together, and then each person said aloud what they had been thankful for that day.
Susan sat next to Dahlia, and Drake sat on the other side of her. The conversation was nice and friendly. The dinner was delicious. When supper was finished, Drake tapped her on her arm and asked if he could carry her dishes over to the sink, as she was new here and probably didn’t know her way around to everything yet. Dahlia found her face warming, as she did notice that his voice did sound dreamy. She nodded yes, and he stood up and pulling her chair out to let her leave the table, he took hers and his own dishes over to the sink.
After everyone had done their part, the kitchen was clean, dishes done, chairs pushed in, and floor swept. They all retired to the porch and sat in the swings or on the steps of the porch.
Ralph had brought out a guitar and started strumming softly some church sounds. Dahlia recognized them from the church she had attended with the teacher. Soon a beautiful voice could be heard singing, and Dahlia recognized it as Rachel’s. Wow, she thought to herself, she has so much talent. Before long, Ralph and some of the other students had started to join in , and in only seconds, they were all singing together hymns. It was beautiful, and Dahlia felt so much a part of this family in only one day. She was glad she had decided to come here to live.
The music went on and could be heard crystal clear flowing to the trees and bouncing off buildings. Even the family dog and two cats came and sat by them, wishing to be petted and Dahlia’s heart swelled at the love this family had here at the boarding house.
A couple of hours of singing went by and then Ralph said it was starting to get dark, so everyone stood up and made it back into the house. They each said their good nights and all went to their bedrooms, to spend time with their thoughts or studies or just to relax and get ready for bed.
Dahlia knocked on the bathroom door, and found no one answering, so she pushed the door open, and felt her way to the shower and felt the raised letters of H and C. She turned the shower on and adjusted it and went back to her room and got the basket that was full of her bathing supplies. She took her house robe with her and once in the shower, she let warm water run over her, relaxing her even more. The teacher had gifted her some boxed soaps that smelled like lilac and Dahlia felt like she was in heaven as she bathed in the scent.
Once she was satisfied she was squeaky clean, she dried off and slipped her house robe on, gathered her basket, and opened the door, only to walk straight into Drake. He had been passing by, going to the kitchen, to do some grading of papers from a quick quiz he had given his students today. This was his way of finding out which areas any students needed extra help and time with.
He said excuse me, I am so sorry, and she knew then who she had bumped into. Her face reddened and he took notice, and asked her if she was alright. She nodded yes, and she hurried to her room sat down on her bed, using her towel to dry her hair better. As she dried her hair her thoughts drifted to the smooth talking voice.
She took her robe off and placed her night-gown over her head, and then placed the clothes she would wear tomorrow to school. She pulled her bed covers back and fluffed her pillow and then sat down and brush stroked her hair until it was completely dry.
Breakfast call was at six a.m. and it was time to get her rest. She laid down on her bed, but her mind would not rest. It was going over the new day of school and the voice of the man, named Drake.
Dahlia didn’t say too much or stand up and walk away, so the Principal took this as his cue to explain how going to this school could all work out.
He told teacher and Dahlia that there was a home within walking distance from the school, that housed a family of two sons along with the parents and that there were also four extra bedrooms that were on the back of the house that held students going to school. The principal had already spoken to this family about Dahlia and they had said they would love to open their doors to her while she attended school.
Her duties would include helping to take care of the daily chores around the home, help prepare meals and that each student was in charge of keeping their own rooms clean, and everyone shared the duties of laundry, feeding the pets, and cleaning the bathrooms.
Each student had curfews to stick to of when they had to be in at night. There was to be no smoking or any opposite males or females in any of the bedrooms. School grades had to remain above a C average,and graduation had to be completed. If anyone chose to drop out of school or were evicted from school grounds, this was an automatic dismissal from this home also.
After the Principal told all the information about the home, he looked at Dahlia and asked her if she would like to go look at it, she said nothing but did nod her head and ask when. He stated right now, if this would be alright with the teacher, and she nodded yes.
They all stood up and with Dahlia’s arm wrapped around teacher and her cane in her other hand, they all walked over to the house. The teacher was impressed by the looks of the big house. It seemed spacious, and was a big white house with a brick porch running all the front of the house. There were two porch swings hanging from the ceiling at each end. They yard was filled with many shade trees, and the yard was quite large and neatly trimmed.
The Principal knocked on the front door announcing their arrival, and the wife of the house, Rachel opened the door and welcomed them and motioned to them to come on in and have a seat. They all entered, and Dahlia noticed there were no rails here for her to feel her way, but her new cane could help replace the rails.
They all sat in the sitting room and Rachael told the teacher and Dahlia a little bit about herself and her family. Her husband’s name was Ralph and they had two sons who lived with them, that actually taught at the school Dahlia was going to be attending, if she liked it here well enough. Their sons names were Drake and Drew.
Rachael asked if they would like to take a tour of the home, and they all stood to follow her. They went first to the spacious living room. Dahlia could hear a television in the background and used her cane to feel the couch and three chairs. There was a piano in one corner, and the television was in the opposite corner. Next they went into the dining room where there didn’t seem to be much there but a big, long table with several chairs. This is where we all eat at meal times, and no one is to miss, unless there is a school activity that prevents them from being here, Rachel said.
Next they located the kitchen, where other students were making preparations for the next meal. The ladies stopped and introduced themselves to Dahlia and welcomed her to their home and told her how much they knew she would love it here, that Ralph and Rachel were wonderful people.
Rachel showed them the bathroom and there was a shower stall in the corner, and a sink and a stool. This was sort of a small room Dahlia thought, but there were several shelves lining the floor and rising up that could hold personal items for bathing and dressing.
The last room Rachel showed them was the bedroom that would be hers, if she chose to stay here. Rachel walked using her cane and felt the bed, she sat down on it and it was nice and soft. She felt a night stand next to the bed, and walking around the room, she felt the window, that was warming her face from the sun shining through. She felt lace curtains adorning the window, and moving a bit farther, she could feel a small desk and a chair. Upon leaving the room she bumped into a large piece of furniture, and Rachel explained that this was her wardrobe closet. All of her clothes would be hung in here and there were shelves built inside for underclothing and other garments.
Rachel guided them all back to the sitting room and sitting down she asked the teacher and Dahlia what they thought of their tour and would Dahlia like to live here while going to school. Could she follow all the rules and keep her studies up. Dahlia stood up and followed the voice of Rachel and placed her arms around her giving her a warm hug and saying she would love to come here to live.
The teacher patted the Principal’s hand and they both smiled relieved that this was going to work out. Dahlia would continue with her studies to be a dancer and she would also have a safe home to live that was near by the school.
The principal thanked Rachel for the tour, and said that the teacher and Dahlia would be back in a few days with Dahlia’s belongings.
They all walked back to the school, and once again papers were filled out for entrance to the school. A paper with all rules was given to the teacher and a dress code rule paper. A scholarship paper had been given to Dahlia for attending a blind school, so there were no worries on payments, which was a big relief to the teacher and Dahlia. Soon all was done and completed. Dahlia would be starting this school next week, and a home had been found also. A call had been made to the teacher’s friend, and when the meeting was done, they both walked out of the school and got into the waiting car.