Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back when cursive was cool and so was dotting your i’s with hearts.

When I was eight years old, my Aunt Joann drew my name for our family Christmas gift exchange. Her choice of gift was, to this day, one of the most perfect gifts I have ever been given. Knowing my deep and abiding love for Nancy Drew mysteries, I opened the beautifully wrapped package from her only to discover eight brand new hardback Nancy Drews that I had yet to read.

My response?


I screamed for a solid thirty seconds.

And don’t lie, you totally wish you had those glasses when you were growing up.

I have held on to my Nancy Drew mysteries through the years and gleefully placed them on the library shelves of my classrooms. Several of my girls have gotten a hold of them this year and are loving them as much as I did. I have one little girl that comes up to my desk every time she finishes a chapter to tell me what Nancy is up to and who she suspects is the villain.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

Yesterday during a break, one of the girls brought over one of my Nancy Drew books, held open the cover and looked up at me with a smug little grin on her face. There, on the front panel of the book in my eight year old handwriting, “I {heart} Jeremy Tilley.”

Ah, yes. Jeremy Tilley. The heartthrob that never gave me the time of day but whose deep brown eyes and fluffy brown hair captured my little third grade heart. “Yes,” I told the students who were starting to gather around with much giggling, “I had a huge crush on Jeremy Tilley.”

I wish you could have seen how big their eyes were. I don’t know what rocked their world more- thinking of me as an eight year old or the idea of their teacher having a crush on a boy. Ew, a boy!

I then proceeded to tell them one of my childhood embarrassing moments in the hopes that someday, when it inevitably happens to them, they wouldn’t feel so bad. One morning, during our “big group” classroom meeting time, I sat on the floor directly in front of Jeremy and his friends. I was painfully aware of his presence behind me and overwhelmed by his wonderfulness. I guess the stress of it all must have gotten to me because….I….ahem…passed gas. And not quietly. Jeremy and his friends, as most mature eight year olds would, began laughing and waving their hands in front of their face. They then scooted back creating an arc of space behind me.

I’ve only recently gotten over the trauma. It’s amazing what a good therapist can do.

My students, of course, thought this was hysterical and a solid five minutes of laughter ensued. My humiliation shared to lessen theirs? I’m pretty sure that they don’t teach that kind of mentoring strategy in grad school.


  1. I too loved Nancy Drew books!! If it makes you feel any better, I had glasses that were almost identical to yours. They were pretty cool, weren't they? You have got to be an awesome teacher! I know your students must just love you!!! Are you coming to NC for Thanksgiving? Love & blessings from NC!

  2. 1) I DID have those glasses.

    2) Jeremy Tilley!! I remember him (and *might* have had a crush on him too in middle school).

    3) I am laughing hysterically now too. In a loving way, of course.

  3. What a adorable picture! I have been a book worm my entire life and to this day my favorite gifts are always books. I think it is hilarous that our students find it so hard to believe that we were once their age too. They must think we were just born as teachers.

  4. LOVE your reaction over books!

    And you totally need to come to my blog... I have pictures from Saturday of my nieces in my old glasses... yep - they look just like the ones you have on!!! HA!!!!

  5. oh my gosh, this post is my favorite ever. The picture made me smile :-) and I LOVED Nancy Drew - I might have wanted to BE her when I grew up haha

  6. tee hee! My glasses were a tad bit thicker and resembled two stop signs. Your mentoring strategy will prepare top scholars, no doubt!!:)

  7. I had that same reaction to my "BabySitters Club" books!!!

    Why did I never have a teacher as cool as you?!?!?!

  8. Sarah9:33 PM

    Leslie, You are so funny! You know it does my heart good to know you are sharing such wonderful classics with your class. I may not have had the glasses, but I bet my Dickies, Button down with ribbon, matching Polo hair clip, and Barrettes were just as glorious. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  9. I loved Nancy Drew, too!! And let’s be real here. If I got eight new hardback books by one of my favorite authors TODAY, I would be just as excited! What a fun way to reminisce AND teach those little students of yours. Well, I guess I don’t know exactly what they learned from your embarrassing moments. Maybe to be nice when the girl in the huge glasses passes gas? (Wow, say THAT three times fast!) :)

  10. NANCY DREW!!!My auntie gave me a few of them too. It must be wonderful to be a teacher and to introduce Nancy to the girls, and boys too. Being a teacher is so rewarding I am sure. I hope you have the Hardy Boys up there with all your Nancy Drew. I read all those too since I have a brother.

  11. I loved Nancy Drew too!!!

  12. Why couldn't I have had such a cool teacher like you. You are amazing!

    I've missed you my friend... I'm trying to get all caught up on all that I have been missing the last couple of months in my blogging hiatus!


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