Eleventh – Answer from Mrs. Price's Perspective

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As a coach, it hardly occurs to me that when I approach an eleven-year-old, I am speaking with someone who has lived through the ages of ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. I was driving about on this particular day when I saw a red sweater that had been sitting in the coatroom for nearly a month. It urges me to search for the creator, and after everyone refuses, one of the students, Sylvia Saldivar, says that it belonged to Rachel, who is eleven years old. Without hesitation, I place the sweater on Rachel’s desk oblivious to the fact that it was not hers because it appeared vivid to me that I had seen her wear it.

I then turn to the assignment of the day and begin the Math class, unaware that the act of presenting the sweater to Rachel had initiated a series of emotions that had bundled over the years. I have no clue that Rachel is so bitter that she decides to move the seaters far away and distances herself from it like it was contaminated with a deadly virus. All along, Rachel has even lost focus in the class and was only thinking about the lunch bell, so she could be relieved from the stress of having to sit next to a dusty sweater. Rachel was so hurt that she was even contemplating crying, because she was certain the dusty sweater was not hers

After a while, I notice what was happening all along, because Rachel has shoved the sweater to the corner of her desk and appeared to behave in a manner that showed that it was not hers. It is at this time that I almost yell at her behavior and immediately order her to put on the sweater oblivious to the fact that I am hurting her even more. She tries to stammer some words likely to suggest that the cloth had a different owner, but I have the final say, as I am the teacher, and because I am older, I am right.

It is then that the concept of age comes into action, because after ordering Rachel to put on the sweater, she bursts into tears uncontrollably. Despite the fact that it was her eleventh birthday, she was now crying like a four-year-old, and it is then that one realizes that whenever one is celebrating a birthday, the figure is a cumulative value of the behaviors that they have undergone all along their lifetime. Rachel now covers her face in the sleeves of the sweater I had forced her to put on and is in an irresistible crying episode. The young girl cries until there are no more tears left and then decides to raise her head.

Just before the bell for lunch rings another student, Phyllis Lopez, comes out and remembers that the sweater was hers. Without much thought, Rachel takes off the clothing and gives it to the owner as everyone notices that it was a case of a misunderstanding. Shameful for my act, I pretend that everything is okay, because it is my role to act as a final reviewer in such cases. It is then that it dawns to me that when a child is celebrating their eleventh birthday, it is a cumulative figure of the characters they have shown throughout their lifetime.

April 06, 2023




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Teacher Student Teaching

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