Lessons With Miss G: #3, Arriving Late
I always experienced a degree of anxiety when on my way to a lesson with Miss G. She seemed to take away all the little “tricks” I relied on to have “better use”. What I thought was the application of the Technique, was now being challenged as actually another set of habits.
Certainly one of the most inadvisable things to do, for a worrying sort of person like me at any rate, was to arrive late.
After an agonising wait for the lift there was that extra flight of stairs to negotiate to get to the fifth floor – but all of that paled into insignificance compared to the dramatic confrontation that was about to ensue: not, I must in all fairness add, with Miss G – but with oneself when, standing in front of her chair and with her calmly looking at you or placing a finger on the back of your neck, all the inner mental turmoil and over-stimulation of the nervous system – aggravated by, but certainly present anyway, the last-minute rush – came sharply into one’s field of awareness.
This was not a phenomenon limited to arriving late, of course; there was even something to be gained by the hard-won struggle to find – perhaps only at the end of the half-hour – a moment of real inner quiet. But it was arguably more productive to arrive early and allow some time to “settle” before the lesson. The distance between her and you was then slightly shortened and some of the subtleties of the inner psychic processes might better be glimpsed.
Besides, arriving early one might be fortunate enough to have a “waiting-room experience”.
Because the stud-walls separating her teaching room from the waiting room were so thin, one could hear more or less everything that was going on. Miss G would usually be putting someone through their paces; occasionally one might hear a pupil making some kind of doomed objection to her critique, though it was more usual to find them agreeing with her. “Yes, Miss Goldie!”
One wondered, of course, who it was she had in there with her and on more that one occasion I was very surprised to see a familiar face coming out of her room – though with perhaps a very unfamiliar expression on it.
© 2013 John S Hunter
I absolutely loved your opening paragraph, John. Wouldn’t we AT teachers be doing our students a service if we could all have just a bit more of that kind of rigour in our teaching?
Such a great story. Thank you for sharing it.