Mr. Ruff and Tuff Part 3


Big Nostrils Breed a Life Long Fear!

All of a sudden, I cannot remember her name. She was the #1 Pre-School Principal in our area. My mother decided to enroll me in this neighborhood pre-school because, she wanted to reward my good behavior. I asked why this school was so special, and she replied that it was a fun; all day, school. She loved to see me smile. So this happy, all day, fun place would bring lots of smiles. I bought it. I had no inhibitions or fearful thoughts until Mrs. Forgot Her Name opened her school door.   There, all of her 250 pounds stood smiling below her huge quivering nostrils. At that very moment, I manufactured my life’s worst nightmare of being sucked into her huge Gargantuan nostrils. As the huge, trembling, quivering, wavering nostrils came closer to me; I dove off of the steps, into the garden, and started running as fast as I could, ever forgetting to take a breath here and there. Whatever happened behind the pre-school doors is something I will never know because I was told I became unconscious for a short time. Needless to say, my strong willed, tenderhearted mother saved me.

On Being a Messy Painter

When I joined the bustling Kindergarten class at S.S.E.S., I knew this was going to be my all day fun place. Everything was beautiful. I noticed so many new things. Only in writing these few memories do I realize, perhaps the other students were not so awestruck because many of them had been in Mrs. I Forgot her Name’s preschool being sucked up by nostrils. Oh, today was painting day, whatever that meant. It did not take long to slip on a painting shirt and poke the brushes into the milk cups.I remember being very happy working at the painting station, until the teacher said,“ My, my, you are a very messy painter.” She pointed out my forehead and my chin full of painting swashes, and did not neglect to show me the easel full of my exuberance. For years, I studied what it means to be a messy painter in the most positive of terms. I came up with the facts of being messy means a great sign of depth and enthusiasm, unafraid and a willingness to achieve.

Also, it means one with a vibrant, creative, independent, futuristic soul. I accept.

 Pee? Not By Me

Have you noticed when you enter theaters and auditoriums used for elaborate venues, they have tiered seating? When I was only in the third grade, a great avenue through the middle of my mind opened up for viewing. It never occurred to me that the tiered seating opened up viewing and that you had to know which way the pee flowed to get away with what I tired.

I asked the teacher if I could use the restroom and annoyed as can be she grunted out the words, “No You Cannot!” In my immature mind, I figured when the movie starts, and the lights are out, I will do my deed, and I did. They cannot tell me not to do what I felt could be done and over in minutes. Little did I realize that the auditorium being tiered allows me to tell this story 70 years later. When the movie was over, the lights flicked on and the principal waked to the microphone in the front of the auditorium. He winced and stepped over something. Oh no; he began to follow the water from the puddle in the front to my exact chair.

How did this happen? Surprise little girl, rules are rules and you can’t always do what you want and get away with it. 

Lost By One Vote

During the last year of Junior High School, I ran for 9th grade President. I had been active in the politics of the school, had strong grades, and thought I would be a good representative for our class. On voting day, we all quietly entered the classroom to listen to the speeches, and hear the teachers explain the duties of the President. I wondered what to do. Do I vote for myself or for the other candidate to be polite?   Such was the dilemma. Wasn’t I very naive? I lost by one vote, my own.

Dismissed from Chorus on a Human Failing

I love to sing, but standing next to me was an endurance test. I have since found out that I am tone deaf and all of what I thought were lilting melodies, were in fact horrid sounds. The teacher, as it turned out, was pretty crafty. She worked it out with the students to stop singing at a particular spot, leaving only my wailing resonances and me. My mind was crushed and my body left barely able to walk from the scene.

I had been dismissed from Chorus. I still mouth the words to the Happy Birthday song after all of these many years.




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce
    Apr 25, 2017 @ 19:14:39

    Sheila, did you go to kindergarten at State Street? If so, do you remember Mrs. Reader and the big K room. The closet was huge also.


  2. Sheila Clapkin
    Apr 26, 2017 @ 08:10:38

    Yes Joyce, were in the big K room. And you remembered Mrs Reader’s
    Name!! ❤️️


  3. alvira klain
    Apr 26, 2017 @ 10:17:25

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing all those personal experiences!


  4. Sheryl
    May 01, 2017 @ 20:07:55

    I enjoyed reading these stories from your school years.


  5. Sheila Clapkin
    May 02, 2017 @ 08:31:37

    I thank you for reading and enjoying the stories. Collecting them in my mind and remember doing them to share certainly help me to relieve some of the pain and activity in my back. Thank you and love your blog. It is awesomely enjoyable by everyone in my house. I’m now teaching my husband to cook because it’s very hard for me and he rants and raves but he does get the job done . And his meals are very good and I think they have a touch of your blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: