I drove my typing teacher, Mrs. Doris Thomas, nuts. Really. She was gone the next year after I took her class. Somehow my spools kept getting tangled. Once she got so frustrated trying to untangle them that she threw them up in the air and emitted a shrieking nuthouse cackle.
All of us students were stricken dumb. We’d never seen any adult, other than our parents, especially not a teacher, lose it like that.
On the Polaroid of my memory, I can still see those spools hanging in the air over our heads, the black tape snaking in coils, and her arms stretched towards the ceiling while she threw back her head and howled.
She also did not wear a bra, so when she leaned over to help a student, parts of her fell forward on the student’s shoulder. Boys were scared to death of her, not her exactly, but what would happen to them as a result of this contact.
The fastest I could ever type without error was 45 words per minute. My friend Kay could type over a hundred wpm. It might as well have been a zillion as far as I was concerned. I got a C in that class, my lowest in high school, but it was way more than I deserved. She may have been nuts, but she was also kind. Her note on my report card reads, “She is making continual improvement.” There was nothing to get but better.
The next year Glen Hafer, who had a very large nose supporting black-framed glasses, was the new typing teacher. He also taught journalism where my friends Kay and Kathy, the school newspaper editors, drove him nuts. But that’s their story and I’ll let them tell that one.