You know the paper that goes around muffins and cupcakes? At six years old, I was convinced that they looked like sunflowers.
One day during kindergarten, my mom packed me a muffin. When I finished eating, I boldly approached Mrs. Hopkins and gave her the paper. I was filled with the can’t-sit-still anticipation that six-year olds feel when something wonderful is about to happen. My heart glowed as I watched my teacher inspect my thoughtful gift. Her expression, though, was not one of pleasure. Disgusted, she demanded “Why are you giving me garbage?”
I tried to explain that it wasn’t garbage–it was a sunflower! It was a beautiful, thoughtful gift!
She threw it away.
I was crushed
When I was eight, I desperately wanted a pet fish. Around this time, it just so happened that my second grade teacher’s classroom goldfish had babies. Mrs. Anderson told me that I could have one when they got bigger.
Determined to become a fish owner, I went home and did as much research as possible. I inspected my dad’s old fish tanks that were in our pole barn (all broken) and scoped out the pet section of Wal-Mart for potential bowl accessories (Castle? I think, yes.) My parents were hesitant, but I assured them that I would feed them every day and clean the tank once a week. Grudgingly, they agreed.
Every day, I pestered Mrs. Anderson about the fish. She had placed the babies in a separate bowl. I’d gaze at their tiny bodies swimming about and constantly asked: “Are they big enough?” “Are they big enough?” “When can I take mine home?”
One day, Mrs. Anderson combined the fish bowls.
The mom and dad ate the babies.
To this day, I have never owned a fish.
In middle school, I had to take this class called F.A.C.S.–also known as Family and Consumer Science. Each week, you’re given a partner and assigned to a station. At these stations, you learn practical life skills like budgeting, marketing, child care, how to properly set a table, cooking, etc.
One week, I was about thirteen at the time, I was assigned the sewing section. The task was to make a wall hanger with pockets using the sewing machine. At the end, we attached a wooden rod and string to our creations so we could hang them up at home.
All week, I battled that machine. It was a long, valiant struggle, but I made the best wall hanger I possibly could. I even decorated it with permanent markers, spelling my name in colorful block text. I knew that my project wasn’t anything amazing–nothing like the spectacular wall-hanger that I saw Lisa making the week before. But I had worked hard, and I was proud of my accomplishment.
At the end of the week, I presented my wall-hanger to my teacher (also named Mrs. Anderson) for my grade. She was a kind-hearted, soft-spoken woman and I expected a “well done” for my efforts.
That’s not what happened.
Mrs. Anderson looked down at my sewing project…
And she laughed.
I haven’t touched a sewing machine since.