How did other children learn their prepositions without the benefit of Mrs. Orr's legendary arms?
She was a few years from retiring when I was in fourth grade. It was obvious the shine had worn off teaching. She seemed tired the entire year, except when we learned prepositions.
Frozen in the 1920's, her jersey dresses looked like costumes off the set of Cannery Row. Belted with short sleeves. Classy, but outdated.
She became animated during this rote memory work. We were embarrassed, but had to stand and repeat them together, while doing the hand motion for that word.
Her arms had an indecent enthusiasm for the task. They escaped the confines of their sleeves upon any hint of a prepositional list.
As she wrote the list on the chalkboard - and while she energetically did the hand motions - the underneath, fleshy part of her arms flew about. They flapped like worn out, leathery elephant ears trying to fly. No amount of hydration or lotion could have brought them back to life.
It formed an unforgettable trauma bond.
My worst fear has come about. I'm glad I don't have to write on a chalkboard. I'm also grateful for long sleeves, and try diligently to stay hydrated. And moisturized. Perhaps it's not too late to find a preventative exercise?
Weight and gravity, can they be defied? It's too late. It is. But maybe I can use them to fly.