When Learning English Is a Dream

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It was a quiet evening in my friends’ backyard. There was no need for many words. We sat around a table with a bowl of fresh strawberry under the setting sun.
Cornelia was my English teacher in the 70’s. My first English teacher. Studying English language in a communist country was a great deal. When I finished 4th grade, my older friends were already learning Russian, and the best scenario, French. I surely hoped to learn Spanish to be able to chat with Julio Iglesias or even better, English, because I loved Roger Moore and John Wayne as well.
My parents, workers in a shoe factory at that time, didn’t have other dream for their daughter but to be a doctor. And here I am starting my 5th grade and learning that I was placed in an English class. It was an unexpected reaction of the communist government to the first American president who visited Romania, to allow the study of the English language in some schools.
Cornelia came from another city and I loved her from the first moment I saw her. Focused, professional, knowledgeable and with a warm heart, she helped me build my dream, and we remained friends over the years.
After High School I wanted to study English to be an English teacher, but I was denied by the regime. They saw in me a potential danger against the communist ideals. They didn’t want me to be an educator, but I became one anyway.
I caught Cornelia’s sight across the table and smiled. She patted my hand and whispered, “I love you.”
I whispered back, “I love you, too.”
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Miss Morgan the Teacher – from Mystery Serious

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There was no doubt that Miss Morgan was one of the most sophisticated teachers in the school. But not that first morning after the winter break. It was early, right after 7AM. Leaned on the building’s wall, the security guard took a sip of coffee from his paper cup when he saw the teacher coming from the parking lot. She stopped for a few moments to take off one of her shoes and shake it. Then she put it back and continued her walk.

When she came close to the building, the woman stiffed her neck and lifted her chin in a try to show self-control, but she couldn’t foul the guard.

“Morning, Miss. Is everything OK?” and he opened the door for her. It was his first time talking to this teacher. He felt it was his duty to ask such a question.

The woman didn’t look at him, motioned her head instead of greeting and moved forward without a word. A strand of hair loosened from behind her ear and covered her eye. When she pulled it back, her hand was shaking.

“Do you need help, Miss?” the security guard insisted from the frame of the door pointing to the heavy bag the woman was carrying. But he got no answer.

Miss Morgan stepped in her classroom and turned on the lights. Her heart was beating franticly. Yes, they were there in her school bag. She dumped them on her desk and slowly took a seat in her chair. While staring at the pile, a stream of sweat had covered her forehead, but she didn’t care to wipe it off.

All her students’ tests were there, ungraded.