Skating along through advanced algebra in a dark brown wig

rosagroutFacebook is so much fun sometimes. I am friends with a lot of Soo gals who were figure skaters when we were children. I envied those kids so much, with their twirls and jumps and sparkly costumes. I used to ask if I could be in the skating club too but I gave it up pretty quickly because The Comm did NOT want me in that club. I don’t know if I should divulge this or not but The Comm could be a bit of a snob at times and I don’t think she liked the idea of mixing it up with the Skating Moms very well. After a number of years dealing with Acting Moms, I now know what she meant.

That’s not that I didn’t ever get to skate. There was the skating rink on the basketball court right across the street from our little bungalow down on Superior Street. I remember skating FAST across the ice and flinging myself on top of the snowbanks that surrounded the rink, rolling onto my back, and looking up at the stars. Pure joy! Then there was the next door neighbor who would make a rink on the empty lot between our houses. On a really lucky Saturday, somebody would drive us down to the Pullar Stadium for public skating. I doubt I’d’ve ever been a good skater even with lessons but it was fun and it’s a bit ironic to me that nowadays my goal is to NOT slide on ice, hence my YakTrax have been firmly attached to my boots all winter.

So, what does that “old” lady in the photooo have to do with skating? A facebook friend posted an old photo of herself in a beauteous skating costume. There were a lot of comments and I don’t remember exactly how the conversation got to this point but somebody else commented with a photo of Mrs. Grout, our advanced algebra teacher in Siberia. I LOVED Mrs. Grout. I was a math nerd, albeit a closeted one for the first two years of high school. kwI came outta the closet junior year, which was advanced algebra (unless you were my music friend Rothwell, who took math classes at the college). I LOVED advanced algebra. Mrs. Grout was one of those strict old-school teachers who didn’t take any you-know-what. We were there to learn, by golly. She ran a tight ship but those of us who worked hard (and I did because it was FUN!) knew that she loved us.

My fave memory from that class? We were taking a test. I was wearing a dark brown WIG! Yes, really! Wigs were a fad in my high school and I had three of them. I’m sure I looked TERRIBLE in that wig. I can’t feature what Mrs. Grout must’ve thought of it but I’m sure she gave me a pass knowing that I was just trying to find a way to fit in with the in crowd. I also had a bad code id by doze. I was going through Kleenex like there was no tomorrow. Mrs. Grout was walking up and down the rows of desks making sure nobody was copying. I think she knew I was not copying but there was a snotty old wadded up Kleenex on my desk. Her hand swooped down and her index finger and thumb grabbed the merest corner of my snotty old Kleenex and removed it.

So that’s my beloved teacher Mrs. Grout in that photooo and I bet you can’t guess who is in the other photooo. I would like to say that it was a very bad hair day but pretty much *every* day is a bad hair day. I wasn’t into all the airbrushing and stuff that some people had done with their senior pictures. I remember overhearing one gal say, “I had my sweater tinted pink.” Roight. (I think I look more Fin than Mac in this photo but whatever.)

P. S. The Comm may not have wanted me in the skating club but I cannot forget the time she had cataract surgery (at 88). Her eyesight improved exponentially but the anesthesia hung around for a couple of days. And so, 24 hours (or so) after the surgery, she was marveling at how well she could see and made this statement: “Well, if I want to skate, I will just skate.” Um, I understood Commander-speak pretty well and “skate” translated to “drive”. No moom, not yet. But at least you don’t need your tricycles any more… A couple years later I did have to remove her driving privileges. I did what I could to allow her to save face. Sigh. Love my moom wherever she is.

2 Responses to “Skating along through advanced algebra in a dark brown wig”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Our senior pictures look frighteningly alike! I dealt with some scary moms in ballet and gymnastics. I made friends with some of the gymnastics ones, but the ballet ones were super snooty.

  2. Pooh Says:

    > Margaret, laughing at the look-alike senior pictures comment! For a time when “Do your own thing” was the mantra, we sure were consistent when it came to our yearbook pictures.