It’s 2:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I was going over in my head what I plan to do for the first day of the writing class I’m teaching at the charter school. The first day will be next Tuesday and it will be a group of 5th through 7th graders. I was wondering what I should have them call me. It seems like the only thing anyone calls me is Nana but that’s not really appropriate for a class to call me. It crossed my mind that I could joke with them and tell them to call me Hey You then my mind jumped backward to the time I was in kindergarten. I got dismissed before my siblings but we were all supposed to walk home together so when I got out of class I would sneak into the building where the other classes were but then I got caught and they said I couldn’t wait there so I would then go downstairs in the same building to my sister’s class. She was in first grade. Her teacher, Mrs. Baker, would let me come into the classroom and wait for my sister then when she got out, Mrs. Baker would let us both stay in her room until our older brother got out then we would all walk home together.
I liked Mrs. Baker. She was nice to us and she would let us help her clean the chalk board and put the chairs up on the tables so the floor could be swept. She told me I should not be shy and that I should call her Mrs. Baker but somehow I couldn’t call her that so I would just say “hey” until I got her attention. She used to laugh and she would say that if I didn’t start calling her Mrs. Baker, she would start calling me Joey. I used to use my middle name at the time. My middle name is Joy. So Mrs. Baker started calling me Joey every time I said “hey” to her. I would tell her “My name is not Joey, it’s Joy.” She would answer, “My name is not Hey, it’s Mrs. Baker.” Eventually, I caught on and called her Mrs. Baker and she called me Joy.
That ancient memory brought a big smile. I had all but forgotten it over the past 50 plus years. I’m glad I remembered it.
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