(Blogger's note: Whenever I can't sleep, I try to identify all of my teachers from kindergarten on up. This has led to a series of memories, like the one listed here):
I spent the first three days of my life in private school. My first teacher's name was not Ms. Mack, so that's what I'll call her. I had her for both first and second grade, which were taught in the same room. Unlike Ms. S. , there were no leg massages in this class and she didn't flirt with my father. She wasn't as hard as me as my kindergarten teacher, but Ms. Mack took me aside on several occasions to say, "Principal H. and I think the world of you. You're our favorite student." I'm sure that was the same level of bull they were feeding to all the other kids, but I believe it. And now, I also believe she and Principal H. were having an affair, but that's another story.
Ms. Mack taught me at a time when anything, I mean ANYTHING, came out of my mouth. Madonna's song "Like A Virgin" came out while she was my teacher. I once asked a relative what a virgin was and I was told that a virgin was someone who didn't have any kids. So I sat around and thought of all the people who didn't have children and put them in the virgin category. Ms. Mack did not have any kids, so I asked her if she was a virgin. She turned bright red, then quickly changed the subject. Ms. Mack also liked to share her personal life with us kids, constantly mentioning her boyfriend, Fred. I asked her if she loved Fred and again, she turned bright red.
I credit Ms. Mack for being the teacher that gave me real insight on that peculiar species that is the male. My best friend at the time was a boy named Danny. But once, I got mad at him because he decided to sit next to another girl during while we watched 'Sesame Street' or some other kid show. I got so mad at them that Ms. Mack had to take me out in the hallway. When I told her what was wrong, she said "So what?" She proceeded to tell me that if Danny didn't want to sit next to me, then it was he who was losing in the end. Somehow, this made me feel better.
Ms. Mack moved to her hometown of Nebraska the following year, and we were all upset. She took all of our addresses and she was my first pen pal for awhile. She took the writing thing very seriously, because whenever I missed sending her a letter, she'd call my house and ask why I hadn't been in touch. I moved several times since then and I lost several things, including her address and old letters. Looking back, she was probably one of my favorite teachers, if not the favorite.
(Photo from http://www.healblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/insomnia.jpg)