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Years ago, when I was in high school, my piano teacher became worried about my weight. When I'd show up after my half-day school (we were on a split shift) for a piano lesson she would insist on feeding me: a glass of skim milk and a sandwich made of peanut butter and white bread. This was none too appetizing to me then. And I still wonder what she was thinking. Did she figure if I ate that that I wouldn't go home and eat all the other stuff waiting for me?

In second grade my teacher seemed to have it in for me. I remember standing in line to be weighed with the class, and how she announced loudly that my weight was way too high. She was not a small person herself and I was not stupid, I could see that. I noticed, too, that she chose a different person to write (print) out the class newsletter every week but never chose me. I still remember her name: Miss Knusi. The k is pronounced.

My fourth grade teacher, whose name I do not remember, was my favorite in grade school. She put me in the "independent" group at the back of the class, gave me more challenging work, particularly in math. She even invited us to visit her at her home. I went there and discovered that she had a whole regular life. It was disconcerting and somewhat distressing to me. I wanted us to be her whole life.

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Judith Lautner
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