So, what are you reading…

This reminds me of my 7th grade geography teacher, Ms. Callisto.

I had no respect for the teacher, and was bored to death in her class. I used to sit in the back row and read…. It’s an ADD thing, either I sat in the front of a class, and asked questions the other students had no interest in… waving my hand and yelling ‘oh, oh, oh’ like Arnold Horshack, or I sat in the middle and passed notes with my friends, or I sat in the back row and read. One day, Ms. Callisto couldn’t ignore it any more. She asked me what I was doing, and demanded that I bring her the book in her smooth, Carribbean accent (definitely the coolest thing about her).

I’m sure it wasn’t this way, but in my memory it seems as though there was a row between the desks, and it was about 100 feet long, like the aisle of a movie theatre. I walked down that aisle, with the entire class staring at me, my tattered paperback clutched at my side. I think I was shaking as I handed her the book, I was humiliated, I was lost and I was going to have to wonder what happened next for the rest of my life, because she was going to take my paperback, lock it in her desk, and throw away the key.

She ltook the book, and looked at it, and then she looked at me.  There was one of those s-l-o-w doubletakes, as she looked at the book again, and back at me.  Then she handed me the book and told me to sit down, which I did.   I was still shaking.

The book was George Orwell’s ‘1984’, but I knew I’d dodged a bullet.   The week before I’d been reading one of Heinlein’s juvenile titles, I think it was either ‘The Rolling Stones’ or ‘Rocket Ship Gallileo’.

So, Rollins, I think you’re an idiot, and you’ve probably lost out on that woman who will turn you on (even if you don’t like Harry Potter).

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3 Responses

  1. It was 11th grade when I was turned on to Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s been one of my favourite books since. However, it was assigned as a reading project, so I was supposed to read it. It had a profound effect on me.

  2. Actually…Henry might agree with you.

  3. It didn’t have as profound an effect on me the first time I read it. I think most of it just went over my head.

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