Fifth grade was a pretty good year. I had Mrs. Tolle for a teacher. One of the things she was known for was her paddling. She had a baby paddle which was a ping-pong paddle, a mama paddle which was a more traditional wooden paddle and a big paddle with holes in it for extra sting factor. At least that is how the rumor went. It was also told that she had you bend over and then she grabbed you by your belt loop and yanked you up to paddle your hiney. I certainly never had any intention of finding out for myself if this was true or not, yet I came very close.
Mrs. Tolle had to be gone for about a week or so because she had to have surgery. We had the same substitue for the time she was gone though I can’t remember her name. I can see her but just can’t think of her name. She was a retired teacher so she was on the older side. I was very frustrated while she was subbing because while she was very nice and liked to tell stories and actually kept us distracted from our work which resulted in my having more work to do at home. So I wrote a note to my best friend who was in another class and had the teacher who shall not be named. I told her all about this sub and how I didn’t like her because she made us have too much homework because she wasted our classtime telling us all these stores. I also told her how she was deaf in one ear because she had told us she couldn’t hear very well in one ear. I gave my friend this note before school, and she of course took it into her class with her. She dropped it on the floor and someone picked it up and gave it to the she who shall not be named. She who shall not be named had been cracking down on notepassing in class so in essence this kid tattled on my friend (and me–so I guess this was my second grade payback). My friend calls me up after school and tells me that the note got turned in but she was sure nothing would happen because I wasn’t in her class and it wasn’t like we passed the note during class or anything. I was a nervous wreck.
The next day was Friday, and Mrs. Tolle was supposed to be back on Monday. When I got to the classroom the note was sitting in the chalktray behind her desk. Obviously, she who shall not be named had passed it on to her. I presumed she had it there waiting for my teacher to come back. Now I realize she probably put it there so I would know she had it and to make me sweat. It worked. She also came by my desk which happened to be just in a position where I could hardly take my eyes off the note, and said, “Thank you for my note.” In an absolute insane moment of panic, I said, “Thank you!” Then in my head( and yes I am laughing as I write this), I am thinking, “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!!!” Then she said, “You know I really am not deaf in one ear, I just can’t hear that well.” She also said she was going to give it to my teacher.
I didn’t know what to do; I felt terrible. I knew I really didn’t mean to hurt or feelings and shouldn’t have said bad things and I certainly knew I didn’t want to meet up with one of those paddles!!! So I wrote the sub a note. I don’t remember exactly what I said other than I did tell her that I was writing her a note because if I tried to talk to her I would cry and wouldn’t be able to speak. I apologized and told her that I didn’t mean those things and that I was just upset because I had been having a lot of homework. I asked her to forgive me. I also mentioned something about her telling my teacher. She wrote me a note back on the bottom of my note forgiving me and told me that she had said that she WOULDN’T tell my teacher. I had misunderstood her. Glad I did because I am not sure I would have had the guts to apologize otherwise. She tore up the note I wrote about her and all would have been well, but crazy me was scared to throw the note I wrote apologizing with her reply on it away thinking someone might find it. Well, if you leave it in your jeans pocket your mom will find it while doing laundry and read it. Her response, “You would have deserved it if she told the teacher and you got a paddling.” Mom was right.
5th grade picture: