I opened my freezer and noticed a bowl of snow in there from last week. Anyone for snow ice-cream in 75 degree weather?
When I was in 8th grade, I was sitting in the library, book in hand, talking and giggling with a girl across from me at the table. Suddenly our teacher starts fast walking towards us. We’d been caught. The so-called friend looks up to see the teacher coming closer, yanks the book from my hand, and pretends to start reading it, while I sat there like a sitting duck.
My 8th grade English teacher bends over the table, scolds us for acting up in the library, then wags her finger at me, and tells me that she was thinking of referring me to Honors English, but the way I am acting is showing her that maybe that isn’t such a good idea after all.
I hung my head in shame. This was the first time a teacher had really shown much interest in my learning, who saw potential in me. I hated that I disappointed her.
She walked off, I took my book back from the girl who left a smudgy dirty thumbprint on the page where she grabbed it from me. My teacher held true to her word, however. I was put in Honors English my Freshman year, and it ate my lunch.
I was used to making A’s easily, not working for B’s. We were assigned to read a book by Ray Bradbury called Dandelion Wine. We would read an assigned chapter or chapters, then have a class discussion of “literary terms” like irony. I never understood irony. It’s like poetry to me. Other students’ hands would be in the air, ready and eager to answer my teacher’s questions about “what does he mean on pg. 25 when he says he walks like an Indian?” I tried to keep up. I still remember parts of that book. I don’t remember the plot or the climax or the resolution, but I remember the feeling of home it gave me and several scenes. Especially one in particular where he saved a snowball and put it in the freezer to throw at his brother in July. That idea quickened my spirit and I imagined myself doing it, looking at my sister’s surprised face with her tan legs and tank top when a snowball hit her in the face.
The next time it snowed, I got a snowball, packed it good, wrapped it in Saran wrap, and put it in my grandmother’s side by side refrigerator/freezer. I hid it, so no one would know my ploy, on the bottom underneath something else that looked white and icy. I started counting off the days. My anticipation was high. But as a young teenager blossoming into womanhood, my energies soon turned from annoying my sister to friends, boys, cars, and cruising the drag and I forgot about that lone snowball hibernating in the freezer. Much time passed, and then I remembered. I rummaged through the freezer burned food. I never found it. I asked my grandmother if she had thrown it out, but she claimed she never saw a snowball in the freezer.
It’s probably best. I’m sure it rapidly turned to a round block of ice and it probably would have taken Jolea’s head off.
As for my English career, I went to the counselor and asked to be put back in regular English for the next year. It was just too much work. Someone should have taken my head off.