the true stories
When my second son was in Grade two there was an occasion for the parents to meet the teacher one evening. We lived only two blocks away from the school so my wife, the boy and I waddled through the sycamore leaves to the elementary after supper. The students had to take their parents on a little tour of the classroom before the one on one session with the teacher.
My son's teacher was a pleasant young Chinese woman and I remember that she smiled often and genuinely. When I asked how the boy was doing she asked if she could tell me a little story of an event that had happened at the beginning of the year during the inaugural show and tell. My wife and I drew our chairs closer to her desk with great interest.
It seems that after a long parade of stuffed animals and action figures, it was my son's turn. He had brought one of his books. It was called The Amazing Egg. There were audible groans of boredom from the other children. According to the teacher, my son waited, like Cicero and let the crowd revel in their abandon.
After precisely the right delay, he stretched to his full three feet of height and in a strong clear voice asked, “How many of you think that you came from an egg? Raise your hands.”
The teacher riveted her attention on both the audience and the orator and the children laughed in derision and kept their hands lowered.
“How many of you think you didn't come from an egg? Raise your hands.” The children vigorously raised their hands in unison.
The boy cast his gaze around the room as if counting and said curtly, “You're ALL wrong!”
He then explained from memory the reproductive cycles of everything from sponges, trees, birds, reptiles, mammals in general and humans in particular. The teacher said she wouldn't have dreamed of stopping him. According to her, about thirty children from at least half a dozen different ethnic backgrounds and several cultures went home knowing much more than they did that morning when they arrived. Wasn't that the purpose of education?
We giggled as we contemplated the supper table discussions that must have ensued. After that my reward for both my boys every report card time was a trip to a bookstore with no spending limit on a single volume of their own choice. I tossed a few dictionaries around the coffee table and their bedroom and let nature take her course.
Copyright © 2015 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.