Today was Teachers’ Day. My classmate and I drove over to our school to congratulate our former homeroom teacher on the occasion. She’s now long after becoming our good friend, we’re on first-name basis and have shared enough PG-rated drinks and jokes to forget all about the old ‘Ms. P., may I go the bathroom?’
However, there are things you don’t forget that easily. Like the time the three of us were kicked out of English class for talking. We went outside and spent the rest of the hour talking even louder. When the lesson was almost over, she came by, saw us sitting on the bench having the time of our lives, smiled and sat down to chat.
Or the time in sixth grade when we sneaked out on her birthday to get her a gift. She is young now, was even younger then, I think it was her 26th birthday or so. We got her a wash-up kit: shampoo, toothbrush, maybe a hairbrush too. She didn’t laugh. Instead, she gave us one of her trademark thanks-I-love-you speeches.
When we were getting ready for something and needed to rehearse, she got us off all the lessons we wanted to skip. Not just boring Music or Art, Math and Chemistry too. In return, we always threw in a verse or two extra in our songs – just for her. That’s where she did laugh. She was always surprised, always thrilled.
In our final year, she suggested we put together a book of the best poems, essays, and compositions we had written. Each of us edited someone else’s pages. She edited them all. When I read it, I can see her the way she was back then. She never corrects us now if we make mistakes. She didn’t let a single one past back then.
Sometimes I really miss school. Not just the mad fun times, when we were rehearsing or compiling or creating something all together, but also the classes. The discussions we had over books I don’t even remember the names of now. The lines in the cafeteria. The fighting for our rights – we did a lot of that. Even the tests.
Sometimes when I’m with her as my friend, I just want to say ‘Teacher’ to her. I miss that other lady a lot. I’m reminded of her on these kind of occasions – which are actually joyous, and I know that and partake in the celebration. However, right now I am feeling a little bit sad. Maybe because of the whole parting with my childhood theme.
Or maybe it’s the rain at 2 a.m. Could be weighing in on my mood. At any rate, Happy Teachers’ Day! And Ms. P., if you ever read this – you know I love you, right?