Today we have a substitute teacher.
We liked our regular teacher, but we loved having a substitute, because it almost always meant not much work in class and certainly no homework.
But this one was different.
From the moment she walked into the room, she was all business.
What was your last lesson in math? What page? Do you have any homework from yesterday to turn in?
She had each of us read a page out loud from the book the class was reading. She made us read the next social studies chapter. And do a science quiz.By lunch time we were already exhausted.
It didn’t get any better after lunch. As soon as we got back the work started again.
It was brutal.
I was hoping we’d at least do an art project, but now it was geography.
The lesson was on what the people in different parts of the world were like. In Africa people looked different than people in India and Europe.
That’s when it happened.
“It’s a well-known fact,” she said, “that people with lower hairlines are not as intelligent as people with higher foreheads.”
She said this staring straight at me.
I put my hand up to my forehead.
Sure enough, there wasn’t much skin up there between my eyebrows and my hair. The kids on both sides of me giggled.
“Low hairlines are common in certain groups of people,” she said. “Europeans have higher foreheads and larger brains. People from other parts of the world have smaller brains, and aren’t as intelligent.”
“This includes Negroes.” Whew. Maybe she wasn’t talking about me, after all.
“And Jews.” My desk was right in front and she was definitely looking at me.
I thought class would never end.
I told Mom about what happened when I got home. She was not happy. She called the school. Then she called the principal. At home.
As Dad says, you do not want to make a redhead angry.
The next day we had a different substitute teacher.
And no homework that night.