It’s hard for me to think of any teacher who could truthfully be described as having ”changed” my life. I was blessed with a standard-issue suburban upbringing, and all of the parental hypervigilance that comes with it. It wasn’t easy to slip through the cracks. Our posse did its homework, and extra credit.
Still, as far as obedient overachievers went, I presented somewhat of a special headache. The youngest in a family of five, as a mere eight year old I was exposed to adolescent anxieties that wouldn’t afflict my peers for a few more quarters. Thanks to my 13-year-old brother, who I idolized, otherwise innocuous terms such as ”melons” and ”balls” and ”do it” (hehe) began to quickly take on much richer meaning. This newfound knowledge would, unsurprisingly, have repercussions in the classroom. It was within this abyss of preteen innuendo that Mrs. Yolken found herself.