I treated her abominably, because I was a right arse at the time, and because she blocked me. (Something you should never, ever do to a teenage male bubbling fountain of hormones, take note.)
It was my junior year of high school, so probably 1978 or ’79…and that puts me right around 17, plus or minus. Ms. Barrich was an English teacher, specifically Grammar and Composition, which meant she had the unfortunate luck of teaching one of the Driest of all classes ever conceived by humans.
Chalkboards filled with sentence diagrams, exciting concepts like “predicate” and “gerund” and “infinitive”. The actual theme-writing part wasn’t so bad, at least not for me, but the sheer tedium of the diagramming and analyzing of individual sentences… Worse than a chore–it became a class to dread, and a class to gradually build up a fiery, burning hatey-hate for.
So Ms. Barrich (possibly through no fault of her own) became the object of all that emotion, the focus of my ire. If she could just make this stuff more interesting…lord I am bored.
What’s going on outside the window today?
What happens when your students are not gripped by your thrilling lectures, and don’t much like the subject matter in the first place? The search for somewhere, anywhere else for a young mind to be. In my case, the attractive young lady in the desk next to me.
And we would whisper, and we would pass notes. We began to make fun of Ms. Barrich, behind her back.
Until one day Ms. Barrich caught us doing it.
Her solution was to separate us. For the one (and only, far as I know) time in my high school career, I went ballistic at a teacher. I had an interest in #CuteGirl next to me, how could you do that to me you you you…witch?!
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it could not have been polite, and certainly not deserved. It earned me several days of detention and a trip to the vice principal’s office. I suppose I got off with a cheap sentence.
I’m sorry, Ms. Barrich. Truly.
I’ve lost even the name of #CuteGirl to the fading memory, so obviously whatever puppy-love triggered the incident could not ultimately have been all that important.
And you know, I’ve even failed to complete this assignment:
Of the people who are close to you, who is the person most unlike you? What makes it possible for you to get along?