Auld Lang Syne


When I was in Kindergarten the teacher used to play the piano and we would sing her repertoire of songs. It was a pleasant time of day when the music surrounded us and our voices rang out with joy. I looked forward to hearing the joining of piano and voices. That joy would not last long enough for me to paste it in the indelible file. I must admit that I was a curious child and always talking and squirreling around. I’d make noises trying to sing along. Being tone deaf is offensive to those who have perfect pitch.

One day the teacher was again miffed with me for something or other. She shook her whole body and then made a lunge for me. My big bow ripped at my hair and my teeth bit my tongue. She shoved me in the little space behind the piano and the wall. She began to bang out my favorite song, Auld Lang Syne. When I say bang out, I mean a hard, loud hammering and a shattering sound effect was created as she pressed her tiny feet on the pedals and her fingers on the keys. That was the most beautiful song and I loved to hear and sing it, but now it has become loud smashing, devastating sounds ever since my stay behind the piano and between the wall scenarios. The space behind the piano and the wall, in my mind has become a personal prison. Some things we never forget and some things continue to effect us in various ways for all of our conscious lives.

With all of that said, sing and be happy. Why not?

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. etty10
    Dec 22, 2016 @ 09:54:15

    What a story!
    Thank you
    Happy Holidays and please SING out loud!!!


  2. nuala ryan
    Dec 22, 2016 @ 10:35:37

    What a message for me who was privileged to be involved in formal music teaching!
    You call me to:
    Reflect on the need for forgiveness from students and forgiveness of self. Then let go into gratitude for the wonders in student/ teacher relationships. Let’s free ourselves to be creative Rap Singers this New Year of 2017.
    Happy rapping, Sheila.


  3. Patricia Rieffanaugh
    Dec 22, 2016 @ 17:40:35

    What an unfortunate occurrence that it would still haunt you today. Maybe you can follow Nuala’s advice to free yourself of this memory. You are such an exceptional person with so many talents – don’t let this memory prevent you from singing loudly and proudly! Hugs! β™₯


    Dec 22, 2016 @ 21:07:58

    Sheila, who was your kindergarten teacher? I think I had Mrs. Reader. There also was Mrs. Lavender. I can’t sing and always dreaded the music with a Mrs. Miller. Once I was so upset I left the room, went outside around the building and threw up. One semester of music in jr. high and one of primary piano at Long Beach State were not much easier. Decided I didn’t want to be an elementary teacher after that. Do you remember the coat closets in the K rooms?


    Sent from my iPad



  5. Mona Gustafson Affinito
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 09:38:35

    This story makes me sick! to have such a sadist in charge of anybody, but a Kindergartener? I may be into forgiveness, but I have to admit, I hope at sometime she may have had the good sense to suffer guilt.


  6. Dina Marshall
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 13:59:23

    There are some memories that become a permanent scar in our minds. Mine is when my High School teacher yelled, “Did you get that Dina, or is all of that make-up weighing your eyes down?” The class replied with a collective gasp. He quickly realized his mistake and apologized. I guess the memory remains because I felt less adequate than my peers and he pointed it out publicly.


  7. Sheila Clapkin
    Dec 30, 2016 @ 06:31:30

    Feeling less adequate is a rite of growing up and
    living as a human being, so I think. I do thank you for sharing your story. Something new I learned about you!


  8. Sheryl
    Dec 30, 2016 @ 20:18:43

    That woman should not have been a teacher! Teachers actions can affect students for years.


    • Sheila Clapkin
      Jan 02, 2017 @ 11:27:23

      I do definitely know what you mean, but truly she taught me to respect each child and see that I could get the best to get. Many students come back and write such positive letters I just sit down and shed inside my heart of hearts.


  9. Sheryl
    Feb 03, 2017 @ 19:18:26

    Best wishes– Thinking of you!


  10. Sheila Clapkin
    Feb 04, 2017 @ 16:11:49

    Sheryl. πŸ’•πŸŒΊβ€οΈοΈπŸ’–πŸ’“πŸ˜πŸŒΉπŸ„πŸŒΈπŸ’–


  11. Linda
    Jul 07, 2017 @ 14:48:37

    This is such a lovely story! Thank you so much for sharing. πŸ™‚


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