My English teacher looked like Queen Elizabeth…the first


Instead of brocade and a ruff she favored cardigan twin sets and a short strand of pearls. She was bird-boned and regal. She powdered her face Elizabeth 1 white. She had no eyebrows to speak of, and above her high forehead her tight-permed curls were red. As you can see it was a dramatic and calculated look. As a teenager I had no idea of her age, but now I can safely guess she was in her sixties. She was one of the most riveting and inspiring of teachers, leading us to dive deep into literature and to express ourselves on paper in the most lucid way we could.

When I was recording the podcast I thought of her. I would find myself standing up straighter, drawing in deep breaths to slowly let the words form. I remembered her stillness, and the glimmer in her eyes when she was sly. I remembered she was a bit of a ham.

I can’t thank her now but I can remember her.

Tell me who you’d like to remember. The comments are open.


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  1. October 15, 2020

    I remember my French teacher. Madame Snow. She dressed in the 1970s as if it were 1955. She also had the tight curls. She had endless energy and I don’t remember a single down day in her classroom.

  2. October 15, 2020

    I think it might be the pandemic and how it’s working its way through our minds, but people from my past seem to be very present right now. Did you know I can sing Jingle Bells in Latin? It’s all about chariots clashing past but the reason I remember it is because my teacher used to play a crackly old recording of some Oxford dons quavering through a performance. My rendition is not much better. xox

  3. October 18, 2020

    I remember my high school principal, who was short and square-ish, and she wore A-line skirts with boxy blazers and practical low-heeled pumps. She looked like an old-style prison warden, and she Brooked No Nonsense, yet she had the most beautiful, feminine handwriting.

    • October 18, 2020

      I’m picturing a prison warden from a movie like “Remember the Night.” I wonder now if students ever see their teachers’ handwriting? Especially now with remote learning… Today was the first day I saw Halloween decorations appear in the neighborhood, although LA County is discouraging trick or treating. Still, fall is in the air. Stay well.

  4. October 19, 2020

    OH My FIRST GRADE TEACHER was MRS.WEBSTER…….she was old.
    BUT always laughing and full of JOY!SHE LOOKED OLD but NOW thinking back probably had to be in her 60’s too!
    Then I had MRS. EDISON………2nd grade had to stay after school for MATH!!!SHE had a TAILORED LOOK and short hair!
    Then Mr. PEARSON for 3rd grade.He was very good looking as I recall!!!

    • October 19, 2020

      I love that you remember everybody, and that Mrs. Webster was full of joy, what a perfect teacher. I see your fashion sense was with you even in second grade. Hope all is well with you and the skies have cleared in the north. Stay well my glorious friend!

  5. October 20, 2020

    “She was bird-boned and regal.” What a perfect description. My go-to teacher will always be my 5th grade teacher, Mr Bowers. He was the one who awoke the budding writer in me and to whom I would run when I had had finished a new story. He’d probably be in his 70s now and would love to be able to show him the novelist I have become.

    • October 20, 2020

      It’s been so long I had to think for a minute how old you would have been in fifth grade. I wonder if you could track down Mr. Bowers and send him a copy of your newest novel? Speaking of which I just checked and I see you published “The Heart of the Lion” in June. Looks like I have some catching up to do!

  6. October 25, 2020

    I have googled Mr Bowers and Facebook-searched him from time to time, with no avail. I know he’d be thrilled to learn about my writing career. Maybe one of these days. Meanwhile, let me know what you think of “The Heart of the Lion.” I”m very happy with how it turned out.

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