Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Memories of Algebra II

This weekend we will have an unusual group of visitors--high school sophomores! They are being brought here by their theology teacher who was part of the Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality this summer--held for millennials with degrees in theology/religious education. We get lots of college-age students, but not high schoolers as a rule.

Their upcoming visit has put me in a nostalgic mood for my high school teaching days. Here's one of my memorable moments from my first or second year as a teacher. I was in the original habit and was being overly animated in an Algebra II class one day. My arms were flying around trying, I guess, to make an exciting algebra point or trying to get or keep their interest. On the teacher's desk in front of me was one of those classic plaster of paris statues of the Blessed Mother. In one particularly excited gesture my wide swaying sleeve hit that statue and sent it flying the length of the room (luckily right down an aisle) smashing the whole way, sending shards of blue and white everywhere.

Of course this brought total silence to everyone--as 35 pairs of 16-year-old eyes turned to me--too stunned to even blink. Luckily I was still young and, as I said, very excited about being in a classroom. Once the statue came to a stop I just burst out laughing, which of course allowed them to join me! Want to bet that's the only thing some of them remember from their algebra II class!

I'm sure I will continue to be flooded with memories throughout this weekend. How nice!

Our weekend snow is gone but it was really beautiful while it was here.