One of the clearest memories I have of childhood was the last day of final exams in 2nd grade. My teacher, Ms. Morrissey, was an evil, evil bitch who I hope will burn in hell for all eternity. Seriously, she is the reason why two whole generation of boys in my hometown fear women in power. She was absolutely ruthless and vile.
I took the final exam, Religion, the day after everyone else was already out of school for the summer. I was alone in the classroom, and the school was dead silent. The air already tasted dusty.
The day before, I had skipped school. My family attended the Graduation ceremonies for Harvard University to cheer on a family friend (herself an orphan, but we were her family), who was a speaker at the event. The keynote speaker, however, was Mother Teresa.
Anyhow, my mother bullied her way right into the VIP seating ASAP, and this allowed us to have a semi-private moment with Mother Teresa after her speech. I very distinctly remember looking her straight in the eyes, she being diminutive and elderly, and reaching up to shake her hand, only to have her reach out quickly to shake mine, which made my whole body shake. I was, after all, shaking hands with a living saint, and such things do make an impression on a 7 year old.
Anyhow, The day after was the religion exam. Ms. Morissey bitched about my coming in for 'special treatment', taking the exam after the end of school. I remember being deathly afraid of that women, and how scared I was when I said. "I talked to Mother Teresa. I shook her hand. My mother made me go. Sorry."
Bitch made me apologize. This was the teacher at a catholic school, who was complaining that I took the 2nd grade religion final exam a day late. Apparently my parents never went into detail when they arranged for me to miss school, because that woman's squinty eyes went 100% pie eyed, and the malice that usually shone through was absent. I remember too that her jaw dropped.
... and then I finished the exam, said 'bye' or something equally benign, and walked out of that classroom, shaking in fear, as I had done every day for 9 months prior. It wasn't until some time mid-summer before the clouds lifted.
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