Suddenly, I was older and was Miss Tiese’s boyfriend. We were at the movies, holding hands, eating popcorn and Milk Duds. We kissed. And I didn’t get cooties. But then, the other boys were trying to steal Miss Tiese away. Summoning my chalk-dust genie, I was suddenly in flight, manning a camouflaged Stuka, dropping bombs, one by one, obliterating my rivals. Then, in the soft yellow haze, order was restored, and I was introducing Miss Tiese to my Mom and Dad. She said, “He’s the best eraser clapper I’ve ever known.’' I blushed. The clouds thinned, becoming like smoke signals. In a secret Cherokee language, I spelled her name, over and over. M-i-s-s T-i-e-s-e. The dust settled. I stopped. Smiling, I returned to the classroom, the erasers emptied of Miss Tiese’s essence, another school day over. I presented my work for inspection. Miss Tiese smiled and nodded. The daydream over, I was just a 7-year-old kid and she was my teacher.
The writer is a professional songwriter in Nashville, Tenn.
A version of this article appeared in the November 01, 1990 edition of Teacher as Eraser Clapping