Sorry I missed doing this last week. This week’s memory challenge is once again inspired by my dayjob and the fact that I have been let go but am on a delayed depart. I am here until the end of October which is weird, very weird, indeed. My friends here are a help with their smiling faces but a few other co-workers are acting oddly, like they could “catch” whatever I have. Some are downright rude, which I don’t understand and leaves me feeling a bit disappointed about my final days here.

So I tried to think of a time I was disappointed as a child. I’m sure there were many times, imagined or real, but the one that stands out the most was second grade in Mrs. Oswald’s class. For some reason I adored that teacher. I think it had to do with reading but I can’t remember the details. What I do remember is the mouse with my name on it. When we started school, the very first day, she pointed to a board with a bunch of little gray mice on it. She had cut them all out and dressed them in little red jackets. Each one had the name of a student. I quickly found mine and smiled. I had an imaginary friend at the time called Tommy the mouse so I easily imagined all the grand adventures we would have together. Mrs. Oswald explained that as long as we were good, our mouse would stay on the board. But if we were bad, the mouse would come down.

Days went on. People who had their mouse still on the board got asked to do all sorts of special things with a teacher that I adored from afar. They stayed after school to clean the blackboard. They got to take things to the office. They collected or handed out papers.

One day I was reading my book at my desk. There was a scuffle of noise beside me. I don’t remember who or what it was about. Mrs. Oswald heard and asked for quiet. The noise continued. I wanted to get back to my book. I went “Sssh!” just once but it was one time too many. Mrs. Oswald flipped out and ripped my mouse as well as I don’t know how many others off the board.

I promptly burst into tears. My mouse not only wasn’t on the board but when she took it off she really did rip it and it was missing an ear. I kept crying.

Mrs. Oswald called me a baby and got a piece of chalk. Then she walked to the back of the room and drew a circle on the floor. On the edges of the circle she drew a rattle and a baby bottle and a pacifier. Then she told me to sit in the baby circle. Alone.

I spent the rest of the day in that circle and even though my mouse went back on the board, ripped ear and all, the next day, it was never the same. I hated that class, that teacher, for the rest of the year.

Your turn. Write about a time when you were a child and someone or something disappointed you or took you by surprise.