A creative writing student of mine at Endicott College Danielle Murdock wrote a poem about a former teacher she had. And indeed she learned a valuable lesson from her, but not in the way you would expect.
Pointed nose with glasses down to the final inch,
Like a pirate about to fall off the end of the plank.
Time and time again I’d raise my hand in her classroom,
Eager to spout the answers like a rocket taking off for the very first time.
I couldn’t control my curiosity,
It foamed over like a cola shaken a bit too hard,
Ambitious I was, just as I am now,
But as a child this is someone who is too loud.
“too many questions…” Mrs. Walker would say.
Disappointed, and friendless, a child of nine,
I only wanted to show investment,
To be accepted by my peers.
Mrs. Walker was the pinpoint, where it all began,
The year I learned happiness was not always present,
And that confidence could be thrown away by an adult,
Disposable is what I was in the teachers eyes.
A crumpled up piece of paper, tossed to the trash.
My confidence crumbled, a soggy cookie falling about bit by bit,
Losing its original shape.
“Mrs. Wackadoo” I would whisper behind her back,
in an attempt to keep my confidence intact.
I saw my self on footage, at the end of that year,
And I learned that body image was something to fear.
My confidence stringing bit by bit,
I thought I was ugly.
A nine year old child,
Stretched to the point of no return, like a piece of dough that’s been thinned to the end of the table,
A single stretch more and there’d be a tear that could not be mended.
Mrs. Walker was the one who started it all. “No questions, too loud, sit at the wall.”
I’ll never forget what she did to me,
As I’ve grown to a woman that I am proud to be.
– Danielle Murdock
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