Miss Handcock

Grade three we were living back in Perth. I was at a new school and a couple of incidentals occurred there, like I had my finger in my sleeper earring, newly pierced, and a friend pulled my arm down and I tore the flesh and the earring out.

I broke my arm in year four and was in a cast for a few months, I had a new teacher for the last part of the year and she constantly berated me for my messy work for the first part of the year. Saying, “I had a broken arm and had write with my left hand,” meant nothing to her.

I was walking through the yard at lunch and the A grade softballer’s were playing. I caught a ball, a homer, and threw it back. My throwing arm was so good, they tried to see if they could get me on the team, but I was too young.

The interesting thing about that school was the first teacher I had in year four. Her name was Miss Handcock. She was really nice and I enjoyed her class, but when I went home that first day, and was asked about school, in all my innocence I said, ‘My teachers name is miss hand Cock,’ showing my hand as I said it.

I was almost shaken off my feet from the unexpected slap to the face. At the time I had no idea what my father’s wife thought I meant. I didn’t know what a cock was until high school, and that was because kids used the word in speech, like; what a cock head. I’m not an idiot, so it didn’t take long to find out what it was in reference to. I never asked, that would have been embarrassing.

So, there I was, grade four getting my teeth rattled for saying a teachers name. The slap? I just locked that away with all the others.

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