I slowly trudged off the bus that morning dreading the moments until 8am. I opened my Saxophone case slowly and put together my instrument. I played through some songs as requested by my Jazz instructor. As I looked up at the clock I realized the time was almost upon me and I began to worry, my palms got sweaty, and my heart started racing. What was this feeling? “Why was I so anxious”, I thought to myself? It is just another class no big deal right?
“I hate English with a passion” I said to myself, as I walked into Mrs. Jackson’s classroom. I looked over at her desk. Mrs. Jackson was tall, thin, with curly, dirty blonde hair. She was one of those passionate literature experts. She only wanted us to read the classics like Shakespeare. I pulled out the book that I wanted to read during free reading. The tattered soft covers of the book was ripped and warn, the picture of a small green hill with a road leading down it was faded and discolored. The bell rang and as I read the title page I started to relax a little. I opened my copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary masterpiece “The Fellowship of the Ring” and began to read.
Mrs. Jackson began making her rounds around the classroom as I was reading my book. I enjoyed it the excitement, adventure, and mystery of this new world, kept me engaged and reading on and on. I began to imagine myself as Aragorn, the Ranger of the North. Then a feeling of dread hit me. She was staring at me, scrutinizing my book. I was determined to ignore her. I kept on reading as she stood over me watching me turn the pages of my father’s 30 year old copy of the book. Then my heart sank, she asked to see me after class.
All through class I sat there worrying, wondering what I did wrong. “How could I be so stupid”, I whispered to myself. “You know she hates fantasy novels!” As we began our classroom reading of the Taming of the Shrew, I found myself imagining getting a failing grade and my parents being oh so disappointed in me. I was so far beside myself that I missed my turn to read. She called my attention back to the task at hand. I stumbled on the words as I read them aloud for the class. I had to reread sentences as I kept fumbling on simple words. My hands were literally shaking; I didn’t want to be there anymore. As I got up to run away I noticed the whole class was staring at me. I sat back down and sunk low in my chair.
Finally, the bell rang out and all I heard in my head was a death toll. I sat in my chair patiently waiting the bad news. My fellow classmates filed out of the room and as Mrs. Jackson came up and pulled another chair to sit down. Her expression was hard; I knew in my heart I was going to be told I am failing the class. As she neatly flattened the back of her skirt as she sat, like I had seen most women do, her face softened.
I began to relax as the words came out of her mouth. She praised me on my book choice, she said “although that