Friday, July 1, 2011

Flashback Friday # 143

Mrs. Danielson

Greetings once again. Sorry the blogging has been slow this week. I promise you the week hasn't been. Last week I gave you a glimpse at one of my favorite teachers as a freshman. This week we look at perhaps the strangest.

To look at her, Mrs. Danielson looked like any older teacher you would see in any school district. She was about five years from retirement. It's what happened earlier in her life that set the strange tone to our Freshman English class (she also taught Honors English).

The story that I was told is that several years ago she came home and found her husband dead. He had hanged himself. As expected, she didn't take it well.

The impact that it had in class was that every novel or short story we had to read in her class dealt with someone getting killed. Not just in our class. Every class. I can remember reading "The Lottery" (a town holds a drawing to see who will die to insure that the crops will grow), "The Cask of Amontillado" (Poe's tale of a man being bricked up alive inside a wall), "Moby Dick" (Ahab's insane quest to destroy the creature that took his leg) and "The Most Dangerous Game" (A big game hunter hunts people because animals no longer challenge him). She also was able to find these stories on film, so we got to watch the people die as well.

The most memorable thing about her class was during the time we were watching "Moby Dick". The student council was selling Atomic Fireballs during lunch to raise some money. At that time, they cost a whopping 2 cents apiece. Since I was on student council, I took my turn behind the sales table. Just before lunch was over, I bought 50 cents worth of them (That's 25 for those of you who can't do math without a calculator). Back then I loved them. Today I can't eat them because they give me intense heartburn.

But I digress. My class with Mrs. Danielson was right after lunch. While the classroom was dark, I began to pop fireballs into my mouth. Carefully I unwrapped the cellophane and snuck it in. My best friend, Bart, caught on to what I was doing and paid as much attention to me as he did to the movie. I wanted to see just how many fireballs I could get into my mouth. I got to 10. I got to 15. At 20, I was just barely able to keep my lips together. Drool seeped from the corner of my mouth. I looked like a chipmunk. When the bell rang, I was one of the first out of the room. Luckily I had study hall next, so I was able to finish my mouthful of fireballs.

1 comment:

MotherT said...

I had an Honor's History teacher in high school that would tell us about her multiple nervous breakdowns and would always highlight the historical figures who probably had mental disorders. Nothing says "strange" to a teenager like that!