Road Trip Wednesday: Slap Down in SSR

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

To participate, just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments at YA Highway.

This week’s prompt:
What books were you obsessed with as a kid?

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe. I discovered my father’s sophisticated, black-fabric-bound volume of Poe stories in sixth grade and remember reading “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” during SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) in Mrs. W’s English class.

Ms. W was the worst teacher ever. She was gruff and gaunt, and she wore a whistle like a necklace. She stood outside her doorway between classes, blowing that whistle in our ears if we didn’t walk fast enough.

She also blew her whistle in class, swore at students, and flung our lunches across the room when she got angry—and she was angry often. But that wasn’t why she was the worst teacher ever.

Ms. W was the worst teacher ever because when she saw me reading “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in my father’s sophisticated, black-fabric-bound volume, she told me that Poe was too advanced for SSR. I couldn’t possibly comprehend his stories, and their subject matter was inappropriate for girls anyway.

Well, I showed her. For the rest of the year, all of my creative writing stories featured crazy people, dungeons, murder, and crows.


15 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday: Slap Down in SSR

  1. Eliza Tilton says:

    Ugh, Mrs W sounds like my third grade teacher. It was her goal in life to make every student in her class, cry at least twice.

  2. osutein says:

    Two things:

    1.) “Sustained Silent Reading” sounds like a Soviet euphamism for some unspeakable GULAG punishment (and apparently kind of was).

    2.) Echoing the others, Mrs. W. definitely needs to be a character.

  3. Amanda Hannah says:

    Love that you defied her for Poe! We actually took a field trip in fifth grade to watch a play with several of his short stories. (I totally was a chicken and got spooked lol)

    • Lara Ehrlich says:

      That sounds adorable! My little sister and one of her friends had “The Raven” memorized. My sister recited most of the poem, and when she got to “quoth the raven,” her friend piped in with “Nevermore!”

    • Lara Ehrlich says:

      I know! Isn’t that the worst thing? I’m lucky I have parents who encouraged reading. But I’m sure she totally ruined books for many kids who didn’t have the reinforcement at home. Ugh.

  4. Lara Ehrlich says:

    @ Tracey, Alison, and Dana: I haven’t used Ms. W in a book yet, but that is a FANTASTIC idea! She’s scare the living daylights out of young readers 🙂

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