|By Spacechic20 (Spacechic20) on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 05:13 pm: Edit|
“Step forward with your right foot. Now, shift your weight to the left and spin around. That’s it everyone, you’re doing wonderfully… Hey, over there… yes, you! We’re all going right! Just stop before you hurt yourself.”
I was imagining the reactions I would get after my feeble attempt at line dancing. You see, I’m seventeen, born and raised in Miami Beach. Why would I ever consider line dancing?
Well, it all goes back to my first day of eleventh grade, when I walked into my American history class. My teacher, Mrs. Gibbs, began by introducing us to her teaching assistants: The tweety bird, a cute little bird that chirped whenever it was slapped on the table, informing someone that they sounded like an airhead; the clapper, plastic hands that clapped when shaken, notifying people that they had said something particularly unintelligent; and the pink stick, that when turned upside down, made a long drone, indicating that no one really cared about what you were saying.
My first impression: I know that the Florida schools need teachers, but I didn’t know they were this desperate. This woman is insane. I had to get out of her class. So, for the next few days I went through my course schedule in a desperate attempt to transfer to another history class. My efforts were in vain. I was stuck.
Much to my surprise, I eventually began to look forward to Mrs. Gibbs’ lectures. She always supplemented her lessons with exotic stories and materials. Once, she brought in a letter written in 1860 by her relative, a soldier in the Civil War. Really, she captivated us. She was eccentric, yes, but she was a brilliant teacher. She made her subject live in my mind. Because of Mrs. Gibbs’ unparalleled command of the subject I earned a five on the AP exam with little effort.
By the end of the school year, I had come to realize that not only was Mrs. Gibbs the most incredible teacher I’d ever had, she was also the most fascinating person I’d ever met. On the last day of school everyone cried to see her retire. Naturally, this past summer my friends and I wanted to see her. The catch was this: She had gone on a diet so there was no meeting her for ice cream. The only way we could see Mrs. Gibbs was by joining her in her favorite hobby, line dancing.
So this was my dilemma. I had never line danced in my life and I have two left feet. Was this worth making a fool of myself? For Mrs. Gibbs, I decided it was.
I lined up next to Mrs. Gibbs, and the instructor began to explain the steps. I felt like I had in Paris, navigating by a grid of streets and avenues, lost, asking unfriendly natives for a helpful hint. Within five minutes, all of my friends had given up and begun to watch from their seats. But, after a few minutes I was having a great time.
I am so glad to have met Mrs. Gibbs. Because of my encounters with her, I’ve learned not to judge someone based on a first impression. Mrs. Gibbs was unconventional, but she did an amazing job. She made an ordinary task a true pleasure, while teaching me not to be afraid of new ways, new people, and new experiences. Mostly, I feel that I’ve begun to appreciate the benefits of having an open mind and taking chances.
So, is line dancing my new passion? Probably not… but I’m going back on Thursday.
|By Godis (Godis) on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 12:27 am: Edit|
i really don't understand the connection between mrs. gibbs and line dancing.
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