I waited for Babu to graduate before writing this post but I’ve been gathering data on this and thinking about this post for a while. I was a teacher for 10 years so I pay attention to her teachers and what education was like in the 30s. (It seems pretty much the same, by the way.) In high school, she wrote mostly about Miss Short and it was clear she was one of those teachers Pink Floyd wrote songs about. (“Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone.”) I didn’t like her.
Check it out by clicking on these links:
But since Babu enrolled in college, there has been no more talk about Miss Short. Babu writes most often about Miss Drude. The relationship seemed strained and Babu complains about her a lot. I was inclined, however, to make up my own mind about her.
Here is a reminder of the conflict she had with Miss Drude. (Click the link.):
I can’t be quite sure, but I think Babu misunderstands her relationship with Mrs. Drude. Babu rarely states outright what she thinks about someone, that would be rude, so there is a lot of reading between the lines.
Here she writes about Miss Drude giving her some extra responsibility in the classroom:
Babu also wrote a lot about Miss Drude saying that she could meet a challenge if she gave Babu one. She wrote that Miss Drude said to her that she was only interested in a subject if it challenged her.
Friday, March 12th, 1937
My last day in my position as secretary. Monday I start as head bookkeeper and Jay Rodgers takes my place. Miss Drude told me what she thinks about me. Says I have to have an incentive to work and I am not much interested if the work is not difficult.
Maybe I misread her tone, but Babu seems to write about these comments as if her teacher is insulting her.
I don’t think she was. I think I see in Miss Drude something I wish I did more of as a teacher: push her students to be better and be hard on them to encourage them to be better. Miss Drude saw in Babu a young woman who needed to be challenged and I’m not sure Babu was always interested in stepping up to the challenge. I will always wonder if that is how Babu saw it or not.