a young teacher's experience with Waldorf education...and her journey beyond.
Take me home
Mr. Angry ended up getting the job in Hawaii. And we agreed
to break things off. He talked down to me and I let him. Depressed of
confidence and self-esteem, I let this kind of mister in my life. And now I was
finally finished with this part of my life too.
I decided to return to Hawaii after much deliberation. I was
contemplating spending my savings on a trip to Prague for a Teaching English as
a Second Language course but I decided returning home made better sense. What I
really wanted was to be surrounded by people who loved me for who I was. For as
much as I wanted to run far away, and travel like I had always dreamed, I had
no idea what I was going to do with my life. Now I just knew I wanted my
Mr. Angry was going to go to a different island but
unfortunately we were on the same flight.
Mrs. Rabbit dropped us off at the airport and stood in the
long line keeping me company. After she left, Mr. Angry said, “Some nerve. I
can’t believe she didn’t help us with our bags. You were pushing your suitcase
and carrying two. My hands were obviously full.” He made a big gesture of
showing off his suitcases.
I looked at him in irritation, “She gave us a ride to the
airport. She was drinking tea. Who cares? We’re here and we’re fine.”
And so began another argument. Then as we were getting
checked in at the ticket counter, he asked the lady if we could be seated
together. This man is mad, I thought. What the hell is he thinking?
Until we boarded the plane, Mr. Angry continued to argue
about Mrs. Rabbit’s inconsiderate behavior. I allowed myself to get sucked into
his drama one last time. I made the mistake of engaging. Sadly. foolishly
defending my friend who didn’t need defending, but by the time we got to our
seats, we stopped. I opened a book and read during the entire six hour flight.
As I poured over Phillipa Gregory’s strange sexy world of Wideacre,
I realized books save lives and I wasn’t thinking metaphorically. They have
certainly saved mine. I can’t imagine what my world would look like before I
was given A Return to Love in college. And during the last two months of
Trembling Trees I listened and read The Power of Now and I know that
book helped me locate some piece of real estate.
So as I read this tome of a book on the airplane, it was hard
not to smile as Mr. Angry sat there fuming. It wasn’t that I was happy he was
miserable, it’s just I no longer wanted to engage and I no longer cared what he
thought about me. The world, I learned, was a personal battle ground against
him and he sat on his mighty throne of finger pointing.
When the plane stopped over briefly in Maui, Mr. Angry
stormed off. I said, “Bye” to his back thinking how silly this all was but then
he slowed down and asked if I was going to accompany him to baggage claim. I
shook my head in disbelief.
“Because,” I couldn’t believe I had to explain but I tried to
be nice about it, “because I’d have to go through security again.”
He walked off in a huff. I smiled, shook my head, and inhaled
the sweet smells of coffee brewing and decided to treat myself.
When I was unpacking I found a gold necklace at the bottom of
my purse. It was the necklace I had given to Mr. Angry for Christmas.
Immediately I realized he had put it in there during the flight. Most likely he
dropped it in there when I went to the bathroom, which was frequently. I smiled
when I realized he probably got excited whenever I dug around my purse looking
for my chap stick. He wanted me to find the necklace and ask, “Why did you give
this back?” Oh, this was too delicious. Thank God I didn’t find this. I missed
“Mom, look what I found,” I held up the necklace.
“What’s this from?”
“It’s the chain I had to you get for Mr. Angry.” It was a
Thai gold necklace.
“He put it back in my purse while we were on the plane.”
Her smile matched mine. I watched her put the necklace on,
“What an idiot.”
“Are you going to keep it?”
“I don’t know. I’ll probably sell it.”
A year later he called and left a message on my answering
“Hello,” I said cautiously, “you called?”
“Hi! How are you?”
“Good.” I did not ask him how he was. It didn’t seem honest
to ask because I did not care. Why was he calling me? What did he want?
“Look, I wanted to call you because,” he sighed, “I’ve been
thinking – a lot. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I treated you and
I wanted to say...I’m sorry.”
“Oh.” This was surprising, “apology accepted.”
“I’m really sorry Lani.”
“Forget it.” I have, I wanted to add.
Mr. Angry laughed uncomfortably, “Well, that was easier than
I thought it would be. You’re too nice.”
“So, hey what have you been up to? Do you know I bought a
house? If you’re ever in Maui, you should stop by. I’d love to see you again.”
His suggestion was not only terrifying it was absurd, “I
don’t think so. But thanks.”
“Well, think about it. It’s a great house. Have you ever been
to Maui before?”
“Uh, yes but I’m going to have to pass.”
Then three years later he mysteriously got a hold of my phone
number and called again. “Hey, it’s Mr. Angry. I know you’re wondering why I’m
calling you but you’ve been on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking about you and
I miss you. Let’s talk, please call.”
I ignored the message then worked on hunting down the
informant who gave my number way. Then Mr. Angry called again, following up
with another phone message. My imagination went high and to the right. I began
to worry that he would suddenly show up at my apartment. I became paranoid of
being home alone, ducking near windows. Later I heard that he ended up dating
women who looked like me. I don’t think he’ll be calling me again and if you
see him, please don’t give him my number.
"From the opening sentence I was hooked by her honesty, candor, and humor." - J.B.
"While the story alone is fascinating, the memoir is artistically done. Her imagery and figures of speech are beautiful. The way the author builds tension and the pacing are spot-on as storm clouds seem to slowly gather against her." - L.H.
"The book is actually a good primer on the Waldorf system as well as being a delightful personal account." - Stu.
Sample the book now for free!
to the reader
i love you more than those other blogs...
Trembling Trees Directory
Mr. Worm = kindergarten teacher, founding father of school
Mrs. Blue jay = new kindergarten teacher (originally from NYC), mother of acorn #15*
Mrs. Peacock = kindergarten teacher, mother of acorn #21
Mrs. Squirrel = toddler group teacher
Mrs. Raccoon = kindergarten assistant, first grade assistant
Mrs. Rabbit = second, then 3rd grade teacher
Mrs. Bear = third, then 4th grade teacher
Mr. Turtle = fourth grade and eurhythmy teacher
Mrs. Turtle = eurhythmy teacher
Mrs. Raven = music teacher
Old Woman = visiting administrator from California
Mr. Skunk = school administrator
Mr. Wolf = the new first grade teacher, after I became the 2nd grade teacher
Mrs. Mouse = Mr. Gardner’s assistant, my replacement
Joanna = second year mentor
Amy = first year mentor
The students are referred to as acorns* and are numbered in no particular order.
Acorn #1 was my enigma, #2 the brain, #3 my shadow, #4 miss perfect, #5 the rock star, #6 the Zen master, #7 the artist, #8 the athlete, #9 mr. wacky, #10 the leader, #11 the comedian, #12 the all-around, and #13 the geek.
*the term acorn comes from James Hillman’s The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling.