So in third or fourth grade I was in a “Gifted and Talented” program that met in an otherwise unused school once a week elsewhere in town. What this apparently translated to were lots of hours of pointless busywork for us. Other than some abridged attempts at teaching us French, we were assigned lots of word problems out of a “learning system” of some sort. It was beyond boring. Me, I made it a weekly ritual of building Fortress Maximuses out of cardstock paper and markers. I built a lot of them.
At the end of the year, we were supposed to put on a production for our parents. Our teacher decided we would sing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” and do sign language to it. Innocuous enough, right?
Then my mom found out!
My mom had a problem. You see, the greatest love of all is NOT for yourself, as the song claims, but for God! And this would just not do. She had a real problem with this. I didn’t know what to make of it. My mom is my mom, and thus is always right, but I also valued not making a fuss. I was a very shy child who hated conflict.
Eventually, my mom pushed me to act. She demanded I bring up the subject with my Gifted-and-Talented teacher. And, being the shy, anti-conflict child I was, my solution was to write a note about my mom’s disapproval and slip it under my teacher’s desk at the end of the day after everyone had left.
I don’t remember much about the altercation between the teacher and my mom that happened the following day. Obviously my teacher found the note and was beside herself. I think there was an argument. I don’t even remember the setting. It was very stressful.
But my mom and the teacher came to an agreement. I would be onstage with the other kids for the song, doing sign language, but I would only mouth the words to “The Greatest Love of All,” not actually sing them.
So that’s what happened.
As an adult, I feel really sorry for the teacher. I mean, that’s the sort of thing that probably happens not infrequently when you teach in Indiana, but still.
And as an adult, it’s also my only real connection to Whitney Houston. ”Secular music” was a bad word in my house, so I have no substantial context for her otherwise. Whitney Houston was just that lady my mom said was evil and indirectly caused me all sorts of anguish for, retrospectively, stupid reasons. And so her being dead means something important and integral to me, I’m just not sure what exactly.
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- maritzac said: Religion, not always, but sometimes, makes people go BATSHIT CRAZY. I hope you don’t take it in a personal way. But yeah. That’s what happens :(
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