Monday, April 1, 2013

Miss Erickson

During my entire career as a student and as an adult,I kept in touch with only one teacher, Dorothy Erickson. She was my high school Spanish teacher and when she became a School Counselor, I was her errand boy in the counseling office.

She sent me a Christmas Card every year, written in Spanish. It would be addressed to "Querido Miguel," and be signed, "Con mucho afectión, Señorita Erickson.“ Many years later, I inadvertently  ran into her at the assisted care facility in which my aunt lived and I reintroduced myself to her. She remembered my face but not much else. I explained who I was and our relationship and she seemed happy to see me. I understood her hesitancy when her niece explained to me that Miss Erickson had advanced Alzherimer's.

She had been a tall, big boned, blond haired, imposing woman. She was probably a lesbian but I never broached the issue in later years when I had reached adulthood. It would have been nice to have discussed this with her. When we met for the last time, she was white haired, stooped over, and much smaller than I had remembered.

She died a few years later (in her 70's I believe) as reported to me by my aunt, who since has died as well. Amazing to me that teachers actually have lives. They live and die like anyone else.  Shortly after graduating grammar school, in the cafeteria of the high school during lunch time, the news circulated that Mrs. Mc Daniels, my sixth grade teacher, had died. Really freaked me out. I had REALLY BELIEVED that they went on forever.

But then again, when I was a very young boy, in third or fourth grade, I REALLY BELIEVED that when the students went home after school, my teacher lived in the green metal filing cabinet next to her desk. Maybe the teacher told us that and I believed her. To this day I can not picture that teacher or remember her name but I can picture exactly what the filing cabinet looked like, from the outside at least. I wonder how many rooms it had.

And today, I am a retired teacher who over a period of thirty years worked with thousands of students. Now I correspond and visit once in a while with Rose, the only student I keep in touch with like Miss Erickson was the only teacher I kept in touch with.

And I will live and I will die and most of my students will live on past me as I lived on past Miss Erickson and maybe they will remember me ... or not.


  1. One of us will indeed remember you...:)

  2. Creative non-fiction at it's best. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
    Chris Petersen


Comments are always welcome. You are appreciated! If you do not have a sign in to any of the accounts below ... use ANONYMOUS. Thanks.

PLEASE leave a comment or some acknowledgment that you have been here. It can be totally anonymous. You do not have to leave your name. You could use your first name only, your initials, or nothing.

Under each new post you will find the word COMMENT. Click on it and a window will open where you can leave your comments.

It asks you to SIGN IN, but you can also click on ANONYMOUS.