Thursday, September 19, 2019

Carpe Diem Acts of Devotion: St. Mary MacKillop

I truly believe
that every caring teacher
embodies sainthood


The aspect of the St. Mary MacKillop story that stood out for me was the fact that she was a teacher.
Teachers can truly make or break their students.
I've had a few wonderful teachers and a few truly horrible ones.
Most of my elementary school teachers were decent. My sixth-grade teacher, however, probably got nominated for some sort of award in the hell that he's likely returned to by now. This man literally traumatized me so much when it came to the use of outlines for writing stories that I have actual PTSD reactions if someone suggests that I work with an outline. My throat starts clenching up and I start having trouble breathing. I can use outlines for boring-ass non-fiction college paper type stuff, but never for any work that I really care about.
You see, my sixth-grade teacher insisted that we write an outline for our story projects, which is something I never did. We were to follow the outline closely and not deviate from it significantly, but if the outline and the story matched exactly, he would know we had written the story first and would give us a failing grade. Which is what happened to me, because I can't write like that.
I was prone to catching every illness that came down the pike when I was a kid, and one time I missed three weeks of school. When I returned, this man marched up to my seat, slammed the attendance book down on the desk, and demanded to know what I was trying to pull.
I looked him dead in the eye and informed him that I had been sick.
I was freaking eleven years old and was something of a nervous wreck. I wasn't trying to pull anything. But after that, I pulled pranks on him, such as locking his file cabinet and hiding the key. I'd never been the sort of kid to do that sort of thing to a teacher previously.
Anyway, good teachers are worth everything and teachers like my sixth-grade teacher should choose a profession where they never encounter another living being. This man would have traumatized e. coli bacteria.

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