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My Writer's Journal

Questions, Questions, and Few Answers

Beauty, 1946
The war was over, and our family got back to normal. I still didn't enjoy school. My fourth grade teacher terrified me, because she taught by whacking kids with a yardstick when they gave a wrong answer, and I didn't want to get whacked.

I still couldn't hit or catch a ball, or win a race, or hold on when the kids played "Red Rover." But, boy oh boy, could I read (the fifth grade teacher had me tutor kids who couldn't), do multiplication and long division, answer every question about the Boston Tea Party, and win spelling bees. Naturally, this earned me the derision of the other kids, who dubbed me "Professor Pisspot."

I discovered boys, another lost cause, since in addition to my social liabilities I was the only child in my school with glasses, and I was going to have to wear braces to correct my buck teeth. Dreams of being a Cosmopolitan cover girl were doomed. My mother's ladies' magazines triggered romantic daydreams that involved white satin wedding gowns, and I wondered if I'd ever get a chance to wear one.

I'd gotten very curious about sex and asked a lot of questions that my mother wouldn't answer, and so I made stuff up and solemnly passed around my misinformation as scientific fact. Nobody else knew much, either.

I was glad to be leaving my country grade school but worried about what was coming next. My parents decided not to send me to the rural high school but to enroll me in the junior high school in town. At least I wouldn't have to ride a school bus--my dad would drop me off every day on his way to work.

Professor Pisspot was scared to death.

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