The Portugal Adventure – The Long Year Part 3

Where's the Hickory Stick?
Where’s the Hickory Stick?

The first day back to school the students noticed that I had a picture of Harry on my desk. Of course they asked about it, and all of them had to examine his likeness. In a decade when American Evangelical Christians were still debating if any man with facial hair could be spiritual, Harry went all Portuguese and grew an outstanding mustache when he lived in Portugal. When one of the girls asked me if it tickled when he kissed me, I said it was time to sit down and get ready to work.

A teacher can depend on the first day of school to be challenging It’s the time to seat the students and review how school behavior differs from summer vacation behavior. Usually, the educator seats students so that there is space between individuals and the people with whom they are most likely to converse . By the end of the first month everyone should be settled down. Not this class. There was no possible way to seat them so they wouldn’t talk. Everyone talked to everyone else all of the time. At least, it seemed like that.

Every Monday was almost like the first day of school all over again. I don’t even want to tell you about the aftermath of school vacations. Not all of the students participated in “drive the teacher crazy” activities, but enough of them did to keep things interesting.

About that time, I decided to mix some Portuguese language study into my life. I was already teaching my students a chorus I had learned in Portuguese. I bought a continental Portuguese program on records, and began  the alphabet. I had bribed Harry with a kiss to give me his Drexel t-shirt to bring home with me (yes in addition to my engagement ring). After my lesson plans were done, I snuggled up in his t-shirt and practiced Portuguese. Unless it was a day I got a letter from him

School Daze
School Daze

Have you ever been in a class like the one I described? Tell me about it.

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8 thoughts on “The Portugal Adventure – The Long Year Part 3

  1. Yes, my Spanish II class my sophomore year of high school. I felt so bad for my teacher. There were a small number of student’s (myself included) who wanted to learn, but the majority sized up the very kind man as a pushover and pushed him to the limits of his patience. Teaching turned out not to be the career field for him, and I saw him several years later working for admissions at a local hospital. He stated that he was much happier, and that I had been one of his favorite students because I had wanted to learn. I love reading about yours and Harry’s courtship. Thank you again for sharing.


  2. Yes. And no. I was never in a class where my teacher had her fiance on her desk. But every single year I was in a class where ” the educator seats students so that there is space between individuals and the people with whom they are most likely to converse .” I was educated in my own little galaxy….far, far, away.


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