In April we had a birthday party at home for our 8-year old. The bell rang so I opened the door, and there stood my old History teacher, Mrs. S. She was dropping off her granddaughter. I gushed oh-hello-agains; she politely pretended to remember me.
Mrs. S was a combustible dragon of a teacher, breathing hellfire and brimstone into every lesson. And I mean that in a good way. She brought History to life. She awed and inspired us teenage kids, usually sleepy after a big stodgy lunch and too many late nights watching 'Are You Being Served?' The class trouble-makers were crushed, and we had to pay attention or pay the consequences. I loved her lessons.
I remember Mrs. S being in full theatrical flow one afternoon, bellowing her lesson about some bloody battle or queen-slaying king; captivating us, gesticulating wildly, jet black hair bobbing up and down in agreement. There was a storm outside and the thunder and lightening made her story even more dramatic. Suddenly she stopped and froze. She stared motionless out of the window at the rain pouring down from the heavens, and the class froze too. Nobody moved. Silence. And then she said, "Damn, I've left my washing on the line".