Andrean Andrus was the first name that came to mind when I sat down at the computer. To the best of my faltering knowledge, I did not teach Andrean that year. I can list some names off the top of head-- and will stop at number thirteen: **Jennifer (two, one with the middle name of Bliss), David, Ann, Jordan, Peter, Chris,(two),Michelle, Mary, Ander, Janece, Jonathan, Eric (two), Muffy -- yes, that’s fifteen, but I am only counting Jennifer, Eric, and Chris once. I am not ignoring the urchins who pulled my tie in third grade. Someday, I will get even. My favorite Ralph Lauren tie was so long I almost gave it to one of the tall seventh graders-- John or Mark were the most obvious candidates. I kept the tie in a drawer for years-- Its name was Ralphie! Not named after anyone in the class-- at least, I think there was no Ralphie in the class.
By year nine, I was becoming a bit nervous about my teaching life-- that is not to say, I was bored. I was worried that if I dropped dead in the middle of a class, I might be remembered for bellowing, “How dare you not know the principal parts of the verbs lie and lay!” I would never tire of teaching grammar and mythology. I always learned something new about the material.
A former student who actually reads these memory pieces( this is number eleven) wondered why I had not mentioned the novels I taught in seventh grade English. Blame that missing piece on Hurricane Sandy. Much of my memorabilia in my mother’s attic was a victim of mildew. The materials were stored in a place where there was water damage. One summer when I was in the attic-- three years after the hurricane-- I spied the boxes containing journals (of sorts), yearbooks, etc. I recycled everything. I could start listing titles of novels read, but I could not
distinguish between one year and the next. I might say, for example, we read April Morning and Witch of Blackbird Pond in seventh grade English this year-- and be wrong. I also do not have my plan books and notes for classes, for I cast those to the winds when I began teaching Latin full-time. Besides, I kept moving so often.
To return to year nine. I had fun that year. Many memories -- dwelling on the good ones, rather than harping about what went wrong. I still can’t remember why I thought about Andrean. Was she my homeroom partner? No, it was Carol Simons.
** I did not use the yearbook to remember these names.