Monday, December 28, 2009

Fifth Grade and the Overthrow of Miss Majewski

I know it's been awhile since I wrote about St. Therese, but now that I'm literally having dreams about it - and specifically- the fifth grade - I thought it was time to revisit the school in my blog.

Remember - I went to Indian Village Elementary School until the second semester of fourth grade. At that time, my mother switched my sister and I over to St. Therese and my first experience with parochial school was with Mr. Wunderlin.

One thing to mention to you is that I never felt like I fit in at St. Therese (although this was a pretty universal feeling for me at ALL of the schools I attended). A couple of kids used to make fun of me for the hand me downs I wore (my winter coats always came from Goodwill/Salvation Army) and except for being tall, thin, and one of the smartest kids, I pretty much did my best to blend in to the background.

Fifth grade should have been a lot like fourth grade, right? Same building, same kids, just moving one room over, with a different teacher.

Boy - we were wrong about that!

Our teacher in fifth grade was Miss Majewski (and apologies if I have misspelled her last name). She was new. She wasn't the one that was there the year previously. Miss M - allegedly - used to be a nun before becoming our teacher. I only had heard this as a rumor and this day...don't know if it was true or not.

Miss M's style of teaching was very different. We would spend a great deal of time, during the school day...meditating. Seriously. Like everyday, we would have the lights shut off in the room and the door closed and she would instruct us to close our eyes. We could even move to the floor or sit in a corner if we wanted to. It was very odd.

One day, my mother asked me what kinds of things I was learning in fifth grade. I couldn't think of anything remarkable to tell her - nothing exciting and new. For me, it seemed like a rehash of the past four years. I did tell her that I was learning how to meditate and her ears perked up real fast.

When I told her what I meant by meditating and how often we did it, she was speechless. I wasn't sure if there was something wrong with meditating (was it against the Catholic religion??) but soon enough, she told me that she wasn't spending money to have me sit in a classroom every day with the lights out.

I wasn't sure what would happen next and frankly, I had other things to worry about (they were repaving our street and I wanted to make sure that I could sneak out and leave my handprint somewhere for all of eternity).

Over the course of the next few weeks, my mother was meeting with the parents of some of my other classmates - Shannon Juza's mom, Alice Jordan's mom, Tiena Spears's mom, Gregg Jehl's mom...and pretty soon, there was this small mob of them, knocking down the principal's door. They were pretty ticked off that their kids were "meditating" instead of learning.

It's not like the adults tuned me into what was going on but I assume that Miss M was put on some sort of probation. And then one day - POOF - she was gone.

It's not like I wished her any ill will - she was nice enough - just seemed not interested in teaching the class.

For a short span of time, my mom bonding together with those other made me not feel like such an outsider in their world. I was very proud of my mom for taking action and I had the opportunity to get to know two of my classmates (Tiena and Shannon) lots better.


ida said...

good mom. i would have freaked out too. perhaps it was all the cash she was spending on getting you a good education. but, she did the right think. i was at waynedale with mr. orr. i miss mr orr. he was a very good man.

Chance said...

Trying to reply.

Chance said...

Trying again,younger Fort Wayne person.
It pisses me off that you never even made one punctuation mistake that I saw. How can you do that?

Anonymous said...

My memories of Indian Village was not as good as yours. My name is Diane and i was born in Fort Wayne Indiana. My family stayed there till I was 10 years old. My dad got transferred from Tennessee by GE. our family left in 1971. My opion Mrs Ballinger and Miss Crosuse they where not good teachers at all. Frist of all I had Mrs Ballinger as a kindergarden teacher. I was only 4 years old when I was in her class. Which was to young to be in school. Mrs Ballinger let me go on a balance beam unattended. I broke my arm and I can remember this to this day. She put my coat on and told me to go home and stop crying. My mother noticed my arm turning black and blue. She took me to the hospital and they told her it was broken. She would always tell vistors in the class do not pay me no attention because I was a cry baby. I was only 4 years old. My mom called the school and Mrs Ballinger told her my arm was fine when I left. That was not true my mother never forgot that. Then she failed me and it went from bad to worst. Miss Crosuse she was the meaniest teacher ever! I never got anyting right in eyes. She would yell and scream at me all the time. If that didn't work she would spank me with a ruler. I can remember one time I picked her some daiseys from outside and I thought she was going to crazy. She said it bothered her hay fever. Nothing I did was good enough for Miss Crosuse. I failed again and then I was shipped off to SunnyMead. Okay these are good teachers I do not think so. Then my dad got transfreed to Tennssee from GE I was never so glad to leave Indiana. My memories of those 2 ladies are not good memories. When I moved to Tennessee I got left behide 2 years because of the school system in Indiana. As far a a teacher of a year award they do not deserve it in my eyes. I would never move back to Fort Wayne for any reason. The area I was from looks like it's been through hell and back.