Fridays (Friday Number Six, September 22nd, page 1 of 6)

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The world continues; my simple, pleasant little world of church on Sunday, five days a week with my exhausting little dynamos, my biweekly Wednesday gatherings of the hens, and Friday evenings with Mr. Anderson. I've taken to following my social evening by scribbling on these pages. I take my seaside walks, though shortened by the chilling weather and early dusk. In between, I look after my garden, talk to my sister Emily on the phone, putter about my renovations, and tuck in some reading. Who says living alone is a boring, lonesome existence? My mind-twin Amy insists it is.

Mrs. Forsythe continues to peer out from behind her shade at any goings or comings on our street, although I fear the poor lady couldn't tell a gentleman caller from the corner lamp post, her eye sight is so failing. She is one of many in our neighborhood who is experiencing the silver years. Our street is peopled with ancients; I'm far and away the youngest, though the others are rapidly falling by the way side.

There was an ambulance on Hawthorne Street when I returned from school on Monday; old Mr. Schulman who lived alone on the corner had taken his own life. I remembered him giving me candy as a child. His wife was living then. He was a jolly old soul, always smiling, but that was years ago. I can't recall laying eyes on him in ages, although I imagine he must have attended my mother's funeral. I don't remember him in all the confusion. I went to his viewing on Thursday, early to avoid any crowd, but I was the only one there.

A frost finally stole into my garden last night, slaying my beauties left and right. The weak little petunias and beautiful dahlias succumbed at once, while some of my more hearty friends, the marigolds and snapdragons, will stagger on for a few more weeks. It's time for me to think about my spring bulbs, or there shan't be any color when the snow finally melts.

I was a snapdragon myself on Tuesday when I caught a sixth grader terrorizing my Bobbie Lopez to tears. I marched the offender by his collar, (wishing it were his ear,) down to Mr. Abelard's office, where I insisted the bully be treated harshly. I managed to scare the dickens out of the boy, and, I fear, our principal, as well. Mr. Abelard seldom sees my rage which is nearly always buried deep within me, but nobody messes with Miss Peabody's second grade angels, without being burned by the fire of her wrath.

I am an anomaly at Whitcomb Elementary School. I say almost nothing at our frequent teacher's meetings, socialize not at all with my fellow instructors, and have no ambitions beyond my second grade classroom. In spite of this I suspect the other teachers dislike me as I do far more for my pupils than is required. I neither do this, nor mention it here, to shine a halo on my head; I do it because I love the tiny tykes and many of them have little in their home lives. Mrs. Bartlett, the third grade teacher, who has a large family of her own, possess the strongest dislike of me. She believes, which is her unquestioned right, that her job is from bell to bell, and her charge is to teach her pupils what is prescribed and nothing more. However, graduating second graders entering her room have received much more in my class and are disappointed when reaching hers. Unfortunately, this causes animosity. I have tried to come up with a solution that will work placidly with both philosophies, but have been unsuccessful. Mr. Abelard would like to say something to me but doesn't dare as most of the parents support me, and I believe he is afraid of the results, not knowing what my reaction might be.

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