15 February 2019

Published February 13, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100


South City View—we kids replaced ‘View’ with ‘Zoo.’ I suspect our overworked teachers used the same handle.

A bright spot for me was Mr. O’Neill, a teddy bear of a man. He taught art to all the elementary grades in the Center school district, going from school to school and room to room. His visits served as once-a-week holidays from routine classroom tedium.

In junior high, Mrs. Spears filled his vacancy in my life, followed by Mr. Creamer in high school. I often wonder what became of Robert H. O’Neill who added color, form and composition to my childhood.

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117 comments on “15 February 2019

  • Oddly, my Mr, O’Neill was a maths teacher. I loved it when he explained that there are forms of arithmetic in which 1+1 is not equal to 2. I liked your description of the teacher who expanded your universe. There is no job in the world more important than being a teacher

    Liked by 1 person

  • Though I have no idea what the man looks like, I imagine your Mr O’Neill to be looking down from heaven at all your beautiful artwork, smiling, and saying “Yup! I knew she had it in her” ✌

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ah yes, the visiting teacher. When I was teaching First Grade it gave me a break as well. We had a music teacher and an art teacher. The art teacher was only for a short time Mostly I had to think of art activities. A good memory, Rochelle. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      We had a visiting music teacher, too. I enjoyed those times as well. But nothing compared to Mr. O’Neill’s visits. I learned a lot listening to him sit and chat with the regular teacher while we were quietly working on our art projects. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I sometimes wonder whether teachers really know how large they loom in our lives forever. I remember my History and English teachers – they seem so real I could reach out and touch them. The Maths teacher, pah! These art teachers have played a valuable role in who you are today – it’s good that you remember them so vividly and so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      When I sit and reflect, I can name a few teachers who cared enough to take a personal interest. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I think I’ll have to write about my drama teacher next. Mr. Landes…austere with Meerschaum pipe and ascot. He terrified me at first, but after having two classes with him in one day, I learned what a very special human being he truly was. Your Mr. Carlton sounds a lot like Mr. Landes. Thank you re my story.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      Oddly enough, I never cared much for history in school. 😉 I did have one very memorable Math teacher two years in a row in what was then called junior high. She was a stitch and did her best to help me understand. I was blessed with some wonderful teachers. To them I’m grateful. Thank you.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    What a lovely reminiscent piece. I like to think each of us had at least that one teacher who made a difference in our lives, hopefully favourably! I like to think they know when they’ve given us that spark we needed.
    Beautifully done, my friend.

    Shalom and Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • In Jr. High, I had an English teacher, Mr. Neil. He started the class pointing out that in most classes, kids are taught, mere facts, but not how to think. During that semester he systematically taught us how to think, possibly for the first time. I’ll never forget him. I owe him a great debt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      Mr. O’Neill’s parting words to me when I left grade school for junior high were, “Don’t let them talk you into taking music instead of art.” (As if.) And I’ve written of 7th/8th grade social studies who told me to “Wise-off” the beaten path of the masses. I am forever indebted to these fantastic human beings.
      Thank you for stopping by. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ronda,

      Although I keep the handle Friday Fictioneers in deference to Madison and the first Fictioneers, anything goes as long as you can keep it to 100 words. Having said that, no porn please. Thank you.




    • Dear Abhijit,

      I think some students click with certain teachers. One memorable teacher, for me anyway, was my Spanish teacher. I admired him and learned as much Mexican and South American history from him as I did Spanish.




  • What a blessed tribute. I have fond remembrances of my elementary Art teachers, as well. It was the one teacher who accepted you for what and who you were. Very special people, those art teachers are. Mine ended up being a foster Mom a few years later, and her husband gave me away at my wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kim,

      When we’re kids teachers are not of the same human race that we are, or so it seems. There are a few other teachers I’ve tried to find and guess I’ll never know. Thank you for the read and the comment. .




  • Querida Rochelle,
    A great tale of recollecting a time in your life that had special meaning.
    Ahhh … if we all could have just one teacher that could help us get passed the line of insecurity and bolster us up to be more than we think. Glad you had one that could do that for you. Muy buen cent y como siempre bien escrito …..
    Abrazos y Shalom ….
    Isadora 😎
    ps – my ‘Like’ button is still not working but I do ‘Like’ su cuento 😃 grrrr … wordpress!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      No entiendo su “like” button. Lo sientio. :/

      Another teacher I must do a tribute to wasn’t one of the most popular teachers but was one of my favorites. That was my Spanish teacher. (Go figure.) Señor Scott. He looked Hispanic or Mediterranean so it must’ve been his mother’s side or he was adopted. ¿Quién sabe? He was a fount of historical information and had a passion for sharing it. His accent was impeccable. Yeah…at some point you’ll be hearing about him. 😉
      Gracias para sus palabras amables, mi amiga.

      Shalom y cariño.



  • Such a lovely little glimpse of your school days. It’s beautifully presented here. Strangely, I too had an O’Neill in my school days. Mine was Miss O’Neill who was my all time favourite – taught Latin and History, and inspired me to become a teacher too. Thanks for taking me back, as well as sharing your memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  • South City “Zoo” – good one! 😀 I like your description of Mr O’Neill as a teddy bear of a man. What a wonderful tribute to him and the other teachers who left an impression on you.


    • Dear Neel,

      I am a firm believer that less is more when it comes to writing. This I’ve learned from nearly 7 years of Friday Fictioneers. I find the one doesn’t require a slew of adjectives and adverbs to set the stage. I’m pleased this comes across in my writing.
      I seem to find myself doing more memoirs these days. Thank you for your very kind words.




  • The sad thing about being a teacher is you never really know how you impacted a life. For me, for instance, my love of WWII era history comes from my American History teacher, Colonel Barrett…what a character!
    Hmmmm…that gives me an idea…. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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