Miss B

My elementary school was tiny: One class per grade. The teachers were ancient, fussy and frumpy. Most of them had taught my father.

Not Miss B. Miss B was just out of college. It was her first teaching job.

She was young, tall and slender. She had correct, easy, graceful posture. She wore a skirt, a starched cotton shirt, penny loafers and pearls. In the winter, she wore cashmere cardigan sweaters. She had beautiful hair, bobbed at the shoulder and tucked behind the ear.

She ensorcelled me.

Until then, I was an indifferent student. But I was desperate for Miss B’s approval.

I did all my schoolwork as soon as Miss B assigned it. Checked it twice, three times. I asked for extra reading. Miss B loved science and math, so I read every science and math book in our school and town libraries.

She set me on the road to engineering.

She also set my style. I wanted to look like her: Understated, classically, quietly, definitely feminine.

She was my first crush. I was too young to understand why she so enchanted me.