x365: 30 of 365: mrs. ackerman

In Grade ten, you told us all that we couldn't write and that we couldn't think, but by the end of your course in European history, we would be well-equipped to do both. Your glasses kept on slipping down your absurdly tiny nose, which forced you to assume a perpetual squint. For the first half of the school year, I don't recall any actual history; classes became a boot camp in essay writing and grammar. I handed in essay outlines on index cards, which would come back to me with notes like "you can't spell!" or "filler!". Despite all that, I liked you and your bone-dry assessments of our skills. Somehow you managed to combine the harshest criticsm I've ever received with the tacit conviction that I was capable of meeting and exceeding your standards.