When I was in eleventh grade,
I had an English teacher who
made me want to
be a teacher...
because she was so useless that
I didn’t learn nothing from her.
Well, I guess that’s not exactly
true; I did learn how to stifle
my tongue, and to
silence my breath,
in order to show her what she
called “respect”. But sometimes, I failed.
You see, there was one day that I
was listening to my iPod
in class. She said,
“Put that away.”
And I replied, “I’m learning more
from these songs than I can from you.”
Something that they don’t always teach
you in high school is that when you
someone who is six months pregnant,
you sometimes get into trouble.
She pulled me into the hallway,
fire in her eyes, desire
for a cup of
coffee, or for
alcohol or cigarettes, the
things sacrificed for pregnancy.
“You will never,” she hissed at me,
“insult me in front of my class
again. You will
learn to respect
me.” And I couldn’t hide the small
smile that spread across my lips.
I thought of all the things that she
cut from our class: "The Great Gatsby",
"Catcher in the
Rye", free thinking.
She grew lazy while that little
baby was growing inside her.
But why did that matter? Why did
this one growing child matter
more than my own
Or the education of those
who sat next to me? So I said,
“I’ll respect you when you give me
a real reason to respect you.”
The words were out
of my mouth so
fast that I couldn’t stop them. I
knew that I had now crossed a line.
Her nostrils flared, and I would have
bet money that the baby was
her at the rage.
She grit her teeth and clenched her fists,
and I saw the storm rolling in.
But luckily (was it luck?) it
was all my head; I pulled out
my headphones, tucked
the thoughts away,
and filed it under, “Shit You
Can't Say to Your Teacher (today)."