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William R. Land mentioned the name of Grace Phifer in an earlier post. Grace and I had each other for English one year. If you know me you know that I was always my own person. If there was anything that got to me it was when someone would compare me to my older brother. I was frequently called by my brothers name in school. I think they call that wishful thinking on the part of the teacher. S...tudents like me they actually had to teach and my brother and sister not so much. Students like them could learn in spite of the teacher not because of anything special they did.
One beautiful day I was sitting in English class looking out the window and it came to me that today was the day to get things straight with Mrs Phifer. So on that day when she looked straight at me and said "Jimmy what is the verb in that sentence" I responded by gazing out the window. When she said it the second time "Jimmy what is the verb in that sentence" I looked at Jimmy Pierce who sat right across the isle. She said it again and I looked at Jimmy Quick. Finally she said it one more time "Jimmy" this time pretty angry and I looked over at Jimmy Quinn. Just as she was about to explode Jimmy Pierce answered up. Later on that day in happened again with the same results. ( What is it they say about a person who takes the same action and expects different results.)
I don't remember if she called on me again for a long time. When teacher conferences came around she did call on my Mother. Mom asked me the night before she was to go to the school " what is going on in Mrs. Phifer's class and I told her. Mom you know she can't remember my name. She keeps calling me Jimmy and there are four other guys in that class whose name actually is Jimmy. I am not going to answer to Jimmy or Ellen.
When the meeting started Grace said to mother " Bet I think John Bill is deaf" It is a good thing that Mom was often called by her sisters name in school because she understood. She said no he is not deaf he just will not answer to Jimmy. And that is how I got the reputation for being uncooperative and sarcastic! Go figure!
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