Friday, November 12, 2010

The Teacher No One Wanted

Every high school has one. It is that one teacher that no one wants to get. They are old school strict. They have no problem failing you. I'm hoping that teacher just popped into your mind. If you went to North Side High School in Jackson that teacher's name was Mrs.Hardin. She taught senior English, so if you failed her class you didn't graduate. She also ran the Beta Club with an iron fist. Everyone knew her and knew not to set a toe out of line within eyesight of her room. She was one of my all time favorite teachers.
She had a great sense of humor that I don't think everyone saw because they only heard the stern voice. She would throw erasers at student who weren't paying attention. She once took a student's hat off his head and threw it out the first floor window. The student was easily twice her size. As he told it he picked her up and set her outside the window next to his hat and demanded she pick it up if she wanted back in. The fact that she didn't get the guy kicked out of school shows that she was not totally heartless.
My favorite and most eye opening story about Mrs.Hardin involved her husband. He was a pilot. He had been married before and was widowed with two teenage daughters. If I remember right, I thinkMrs.Hardin had the oldest daughter before the passing of her mother, but I know that by the time the second daughter came through her class the mom had passed on. Mrs.Hardin mentioned in class one day that she had never been on a plane. The girls started plotting. Under the guise of taking her on her very first plane flight, they arranged for their dad to take her on a short flight. She had no idea, nor did the father, that they were being set up. They fell in love very quickly and spent many years very happily married. Mrs.Hardin once said that all though the children were his, the grandchildren were hers. It was a real shock to find out that this serious little teacher had perhaps the most romantic real life story I had ever heard. From that day on I stopped looking at her as the woman who held the pass or fail button on my education and saw her as a loving wife, stepmother, and doting grandmother.
It is stories such as hers that makes me want to know everything I can about the people I meet. Everyone has a story. Some are good, some are bad, but they shape our lives and until you know a person's story, you don't really know that person.

No comments: