Another one-room school story
My teacher for grades one through eight brought a “shotgun” to school every day. It contained a mysterious white powder and rested on her big, wooden desk at the ready. She appeared as a terrifying specter in my young life: demanding, critical, and sometimes physically abusive. In that one-room schoolhouse in the idyllic Canadian countryside, she towered. She was tough and unquestionably in control.
Whether it was sweeping the hardwood floors, printing, coloring in the lines, cleaning the fish tank, singing in the choir, nothing was ever good enough. She required perfection. I was not, however, a perfectionist and so I lived in terror of her criticism. I was one to find art in the process more than the outcome, and so my insecurities under her tutelage grew. I always felt inferior.
My supportive parents did much to soften the psychological blows on my sensitive nature, but one day some…
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