Friday, September 21, 2007

Flashback Friday…

Back in my budding high school years, my mom decided it would be best to send me to a private tutor of sorts – something about ‘rounded education’ and ‘you don’t listen to me anyway’. Mr. Mueller, the tutor, taught five other students and me the subjects of history, geography, and a little English/composition. He was well known for being difficult and his classes were nearly impossible to pass.

I hated him, but he was able to influence me more with one ‘don’t you dare backtalk me’ glance than my mom could with a good solid yell. He made me so terrifically frightened of failure that I studied for hours – even then, I barely grazed a B.

One semester, he decided it was important to know the states in the USA. But looking at a blank outlined map and identifying shapes of the states was far too easy according to Mr. Mueller. We were to practice drawing the map from memory on a blank sheet of paper and writing in the state names – including Washington D.C. If we missed any states on the drawn from memory map on our exam, we would be required to hand write the name of the state 100 times and hand draw 10 maps.

But nooooo, I couldn’t miss U-t-a-h.

I forgot P-e-n-n-s-y-l-v-a-n-i-a and W-a-s-h-i-n-g-t-o-n D.C.

2,400 letters to write – 20 maps to draw.

That was the day the battle lines were drawn.

I wrote out those two hundred state names… in the equivalent to 5 point font. I literally wrote smaller than a computer could print. Ohhhhh, and it didn’t stop there. Every homework assignment for the next two years was written in the smallest print I could possibly manage.

Unfortunately he was as stubborn as I was and never said a word about it – never once complained. He continued to grade my papers with an evil gusto making them look like a bloody red battle scene from Braveheart.

It took me 3 years after graduating high school to realize that he was preparing me for college and it would have been easier for him to let me slide. His goal wasn’t to reign like Hitler; it was to create bright, successful students who believed in themselves.

Hellooooo humble pie.

I ran into him at my classmates wedding a few years back…

I hugged him and thanked him…

Then offered to pay for the stylish bifocals he was wearing.

So thank you Mr. Mueller. Would you like me to draw you a map of the U.S.? Unfortunately the only places I can locate are Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.


Nicole McDonough said...

Washington D.C. is a state?

Bekah said...

Technically no. He still wanted it on the map since it's the nation's capitol.

I thought it was silly and shouldn't count!

Lizzie M. said...

So is that why you were so grouchy sometimes?

Bekah said...


Chris said...

You mean to tell me my wife is stubborn? I didn't notice.