Undergoing a midlife renaissance after retiring from a 29-year teaching career in elementary education, I rekindled my passion for storytelling:
Underlying Notes (2008)
An Enlightening Quiche (2016)
100 WILD Mushrooms: Memoirs of the ‘60s (2017)
“Mr. Wizardo” for the anthology, Once Upon a Fabulous Time (2017)
Besides these major works, I moonlight betwixt and between novel writing by composing weekly blogs and occasional memoirs. In tribute to my rewarding teaching care, I’m sharing one of my recent memoirs:
Neat as a Pin!
Memories dancing on the head of a pin…
“Neat” as in tidy, for having organized the contents of my desk drawers during a spring cleaning session.
“Neat” as in hanging on to a small plastic container of straight pins, also known to sew-and-sews as hemming pins or basting pins. Bequeathed to me 44 years ago, I’ve never pried open the lid to avail myself of a single straight pin, and doubt I ever will. Yet, I retain the receptacle for the memories which dance on the head of a pin whenever I open the middle drawer on the right side of my desk.
In 1973, I launched my career in elementary education by landing a fifth-grade teaching position in my hometown. Ready to stow my personal paraphernalia inside my metal contraption of a desk, one of the teachers next door to me in the open classroom setting, informed me right away that I inherited Mrs. Creighton’s (not her real name) desk. Apparently, Mrs. Creighton was an avid bird watcher who incorporated her love of nature in the subjects she taught. Taking over a desk belonging to my retired predecessor in the very room she reigned made perfect sense. That’s when I discovered the left-behind pins inside the middle drawer, and shoved them to the back so as to make room for my planbook and other tools of the trade.
Perhaps I could have made good use of several pins the day I snagged and tore the sleeve of my corduroy jumpsuit on the sharp edge of a filing cabinet drawer. Instead, I carried on like a ragamuffin.
Not only did I inherit Mrs. Creighton’s classroom and desk, but followed in her footsteps by infusing my lessons with adventures in nature whenever possible, no matter what teaching trench I happened to find myself in: sixth, fifth, or third grade.
One year I organized a parent-supervised bike ride from our school to the water treatment plant. Another time, my students participated in outdoor Olympic events where all distances were measured in Metric. One class took a field trip to Caratunk Wildlife Refuge which involved quite a bit of hiking. At a different point in time, my students drifted along the once industrial-polluted Blackstone River via The Blackstone Valley Explorer. We set up our own active compost bin on school property, and even buried a time capsule of meaningful objects befitting our classroom civilization…
As for Mrs. Creighton’s desk– alas, a front leg collapsed one evening while I corrected papers. I balanced the bulk of the beast on my knees until the school janitor wrested it from me. My replacement was a brand new deluxe model which I christened, “The Cadillac”. When I chose to retire after 29 years of teaching, I emptied my desk of its contents, leaving it neat as a pin for my successor—except for one relic I purposely left behind—a paperback copy of The Great School Lunch Rebellion by David. T. Greenberg.
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco
Eva Pasco’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco