7 stories in 7 days: mein hut der hat drei ecken

October 17, 2012

In high school we were required to take a foreign language and I chose German because I thought it would be "the coolest." Wait guys, I'm serious, that's not a joke.

German class turned out to be a good choice though because our teacher was an erratic angry old woman from Cologne and every day with her was a like special gift from the universe if the universe was a bitter fist-shaking old coot. She called us her "little treasures," usually right before she whacked some unlucky chatterbox over the head with her stick and resumed yelling as if she hadn't been interrupted. I can't recall ever being hit with the stick myself but it would have really sucked to be Scott-in-the-front-row.

She liked to fuck with people by telling them she had been on Jeopardy, which we were never able to confirm nor deny so sure, why not Frau, you were totally on Jeopardy that one time. She was hilarious and scathingly sarcastic but at the same time she was one of the most perplexingly oblivious humans I've ever encountered. We routinely got away with shenanigans so outrageous that I became concerned about her vision and mental acuity.

Each time I walked in the classroom door there was a 50/50 chance she would address me as Liz. Liz never turned in her homework because Liz was a poor student and also wasn't real. Once for an entire week we convinced her I was an exchange student visiting from Sweden by walking in with another student and saying, "I'm Heather. From Sweden. I don't know any German so don't give me any homework." And if you're thinking there's no way she was buying that sack of crap I'd agree except she asked the Dean what happened to "American Jamie" at the end of the week and Monday morning I turned in all my homework marked "Liz." Jamie got a B.

She broke her hip skiing one winter and we were saddled with a dull, wheedling substitute for six weeks. Herr Landis did not know what he was getting into. Herr Landis was out of his league. I did all of nothing for those six weeks except sleep, plot his eminent demise, and conduct a brief skit in German about murder. He gave my skit an F for fail which I found vastly unfair considering the number of newly learned vocabulary words I had very accurately utilized and upon Frau's return I told her he was a jerk and she obliged my completely irrational request by wiping everyone's grades across the board. B's for everyone!

I've since concluded that she was either a super genius who loved messing with people or totally bananacakes floating outside her brain. On parent teacher night she told my parents that I reminded her of herself as a young woman, which was possibly a veiled threat on my life or a friendly compliment. I have seen my future and it comes with a cardigan and a beating pole, unless of course it was Liz who reminded her of herself as a young woman and then I guess Liz gets to wear the cardigan after all.
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