Friday, 22 April 2016

May Ring

For some reason, I found myself thinking of my first maths teacher's arse this morning.

This was the very first maths teacher, the one that made us all chant times-tables in a monotonous dirge.

It was 1959 - I remember that, because I recall standing still in the playground as all the other kids ran around me - screaming and shouting - and thinking, 'Soon, it will be the 1960s. It will never be the 1950s again. I must savour this moment so I remember what the 1950s were like.'

Our maths teacher - I can almost remember her name, it began with 'Miss' - wore a very tight, pale blue, two-piece suit and a pearl necklace. The skirt of this suit was stretched around her massive backside, which looked to me to be about 30 inches in circumference and perfectly hemispherical. There were no delineating shadows to show the position of each cheek, and for all I knew, there was only one bit of flesh with no division. Try as I might, I could not work out what was going on under the baby-blue wool.

As she got up to write something on the blackboard, something unthinkable happened. A boy stood up behind her back and placed a bit of chewing gum on her chair. I watched in horror as she sat back down, then all of the girls howled with laughter. Someone explained what she had just sat in, deliberately too late. I could not believe kids could be that naughty.

At playtime, I acquired my first sweetheart. I remember her well, and she squealed in mock fear as I chased her. All of a sudden, I was joining in with the noisy mayhem of playtime, but I had an ulterior motive.

She was called May Ring. That is a name not easily forgotten, even by a six year-old. I must have gone home and proclaimed my love for May Ring, because my sister continued to rib me about her right up until she died.

"Have you heard from May Ring recently?" she would ask, and the same feeling of mild embarrassment would come over me, 60 years after the event.

29 comments:

  1. I haven't got time to wait for the images to load up this morning. I have to be at work by 1.30.

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  2. "Does my bum look big in this?" didn't feature in those days did it?

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    1. Not for 6 year-olds. I cannot say about anyone else.

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  3. An apt post given my morning....the teacher I remember was Miss Betts ( with the flat chest)

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    1. I've only just read your post (no time this morning). I see what you mean. Miss Betts, eh? Flat chest, eh? Now yer talking....

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  4. Hello Tom: One of our seventh grade teachers (the non-nun; we had two teachers each grade, one nun one non-nun) was very buxom and for some reason wore her '60s era button-down sweaters backwards. The nun in that grade was a funny old thing, and taught math and science...when she was up at the chalk board, the cartridge pen ink would fly and splatter her white lab coat. By seventh grade I was no longer horrified by naughtiness like I had been when I was younger. I still felt guilty though. May Ring - what a pretty name! Oh I was born in '59.

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    1. Perhaps her head was the wrong way round?

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  5. My second grade teacher, Miss Walker, was the most glamourous person I had ever seen. She wore beautiful fashionable clothes and bright red nail polish and make-up. It was the early 1950's in the middle of Vermont so she was someone for a 7-year-old to remember. I adored her!

    My sister, who is a year younger than I, had a boy who used to chase after her. He had the unforgettable name of Pearly Sparrow! Occasionally, I will remind her of this and always succeed in annoying her slightly!

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    1. Ah, memories. We had one self-confessed gay boy in our school, and his name was Dick Withers. True.

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  6. Wonderful memories of primary school in the early sixties. I sat next to a boy called Wally Hogsflesh, NHS wire-rimmed glasses, runny nose and scabby knees.

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    1. No, that surely must be a memory generated by the first Harry Potter film.

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    2. Harry didn't have a runny nose and Wally couldn't do magic.

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    3. That's the real world for you.

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  7. Ring was my great grandma's surname back in Eire . My Pa used to tell me that one of his first girlfriends was called Poppy Blower...some names you never forget. How horrible kids can be...that chewing gum incident probably ruined her only good costume.

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  8. A teacher, in front of a sniggering classroom, rubbed chewing gum, until it nicely stuck, to my long hair. My mum then punished me by cutting my hair very short. I learnt my lesson, but I also hated that teacher. Greetings Maria x

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    1. Deliberately? That's cruel and inhumane, isn't it?

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  9. Did you feel as if not bound to earth as you savored the sound of 1959? I recall starting college in 1961, and sounds and sights were not the old ones from home. An old brick apartment complex across from a massive stone class building had the street number 1961 on it awning, and I always had a surreal feeling passing it, as it announced the year I began college.

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  10. We had a boy at school named Griffiths. He has a slight lisp so we called him Griff-sniff; he used to go totally bonkers, which made it even more fun.

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    1. We had a boy who we would taunt just because we knew he would snap spectacularly too. I suppose every school had one. Children are cruel, it is true. It was all to do with trying to alleviate boredom, I think.

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    2. I suspect the reason for your maths teacher's perfectly hemispherical bum was that she was wearing a girdle, as most women did in those days and right up to the end of the sixties. They produced that peculiar single-buttock effect that fascinated small boys like myself.

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    3. Yes, I eventually worked that out. My mother used to wear one - Playtex - and produced an eerie, ventriloquist's, high-pitched sound from the wrong place when she farted. It was her party-piece.

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    4. You can make a joke about not being able to see her lips move if you want. I don't care.

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  11. Is 30 inches circumference not very small? 76.5 cms.

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    1. When you are six, it is difficult to embrace a 30 inch circumference backside, even if they let you try.

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  12. Hush now! If we keep entering all these horrifying stories about old, misunderstood teachers there will soon be a nationwide rush out of the academy and the poor children will stand there abandoned at the pulpet. Still, I could add an interesting story of the mathteacher in my old school. He was called Thunder, for reasons quite obvious, and that was not all that made him feared. He had this nasty habit of leaning heavily over students in need of help, especially the girls. His bulky stomach could easily cover any smaller student and nobody dared ask for help. However, the teachers we remember with affection greatly exceed the teachers we remember with fear or scorn. Any teacher can from time to time seem queer to a six yearold, but mostly they seem like angels, at least in the beginning. Not Thunder, however.

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