This year I started 2nd grade.
My teacher was Mrs. L. Mrs. L went down in history as my favorite elementary teacher. She was younger, I guess in her mid-twenties. I always thought of her as very beautiful. I remember once she had me out in the hallway, I think she was giving me a stern talking-to. And I abruptly asked her what perfume she always wore, because I liked the way she smelled. She said, “Beautiful” (by Estee Lauder). “How fitting”, I thought to myself. I think I asked for it for Christmas that year, because I used to own a bottle of it. I don’t think it smelled quite the same on me, though.
The year before me, Mrs. L had a hard of hearing student named Michelle (Michelle, by the way was totally cool and pretty. I always got the feeling she was WAY out of my league. She was, of course, way older and more mature than me). That year Mrs. L had taught her class the alphabet in sign language. She did the same for my class. Second grade is the first year I remember going to weekly sessions with a school hearing specialist. This is something that would continue throughout my school years. While I lived here I would visit Jill. Jill was extremely short (I think 4′ 10″?) and also had an identical twin sister that I ran into by accident many years later. I think she was my hearing specialist since 2nd grade, but I’m not sure. A hearing specialist just makes sure that you are doing well in class, and ensures that you are not missing out on important information. If academic problems arose, she’d work with the teachers and parents to iron things out. Jill always made sure I was outfitted with the latest and best hearing aids for school. I actually had a second pair that I would leave in the classroom. These were different from my regular everyday hearing aids. It had two wires coming down from the hearing device (think like headphones), which I would thread under whatever shirt I happened to be wearing in order to be less conspicuous. The wires led to this little receiver box that would clip on my waistband. The purpose of this second pair of hearing aids is the teacher had a microphone that would broadcast directly into my ears! Very high tech. 🙂
I also saw a speech therapist every week for many of my school years as well. I still have a speech impediment, largely due to not having good hearing during the formative years. I am told that my speech is surprisingly good for how severe my hearing loss is. People who meet me for the first time often ask me where my accent is from. I’ve also been told that I sound Irish! I am still very self-conscious of my speech. I hate speaking in front of people. I also hate performing music in front of crowds, but that’s another matter.
I had a “boyfriend” in second grade. His name was Blair. He had a fraternal twin brother. We’d sit by each other on the bus and make a little mini fort by putting our coats over our heads. We’d talk to each other that way. People used to make fun of us and sing that silly song, “Emily and Blair sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage!” He’d pick little bouquets of dandelions and give them to me. It was cute. He moved away at the end of second grade, and that made me sad.
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