Monday, September 13, 2010

“Give me a picture of a teacher you had in elementary (or high) school.”
Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away

Miss Hodges, an eccentric spinster and a tough grader, thought history. She dressed in drab clothing and always had her dark slightly graying hair pinned back. Until that one day, she showed up with a short butch haircut. She sparked fear amongst my peers with the sheer volume of homework she assigned. She refused to accept papers turned in fifteen minutes too late. It was hard to earn an A in her class and I am sure I only got a B or maybe even a C. Grades didn’t matter, the Federalist Papers enthralled me. I wanted to read every thing I could on Chief Justice John Marshall. I tentatively listened to every argument Miss Hodges presented about the history of our constitution.

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Copse was one of the best teacher's that I have ever had. She'd been teaching 10th grade English going on 30 years. I was in her third to last class of her career. Saying that she was one of the best teachers that I had ever had, is not to say that she was my favorite. I had her first period and thats generally not a good time slot to do any heavy lifting when it comes creative problem solving or critical thinking. Her class room always seemed to have a light out So there was always something off-putting when entering, discombobulating, sort of like I just lost my balance. Her desk always had a box of large cellophane enclosed chocolate chip cookies, which she sold for a dollar a piece in support of the sports boosters. She wore glasses tethered to her neck, by a chain of yellowing pearls that looked on the verge of simply disintegrating if a student exhaled in the wrong direction. Her face, while not all that unpleasant, looked like maybe she spent some time each day in a wind tunnel, like a rippling effect when one tosses a pebble into a glass-still pond, the nose and front of the face serving as the contact point and the waves starting just before the ears and sort of landing and falling in a concentric pattern surrounding the periphery. She was short and round around the waist, not quite Weeble or Tweedle-Dee, but same genus. A strong force, an intelligent woman. I had never learned that much from a singular person, up to that point, in my continuing academic drudgery.