The first “book” I ever wrote was a serial romance starring Mr. Gemeinhart, our science teacher, read breathlessly to an enraptured crowd of giggling fourth-grade girls under the slide at recess.
Every girl in school had a major crush on Mr. Gemeinhart, and we discussed him endlessly at lunch over twinkies and apple slices — his necktie selections, his sparkling blue eyes, whether or not he was cooler than “The Fonz”, pondering evidence he might be a good dancer. We speculated on his romantic status, each of us secretly hoping he might just wait it out for another ten or fifteen years and choose one among us.
He was a god among men: he drove a red mustang convertible and knew the meaning of the word “hypothesis.” Every afternoon I read the continuing saga to a dozen girls who gathered near the tire swing, and every evening after school, I wrote another sizzling chapter:
Mr. Gemeinhart Saves Students in a Terrible Blizzard!
Mr. Gemeinhart Shares His Peanut Butter Cookies With Lydia!
Mr. Gemeinhart Tells Stupid Jerk Bobby Bushnell That Julie is the Most Beautiful Girl in School!
IN FRONT OF EVERYONE!
Most of the storylines contained at least a few declarations of undying love for myself, or my classmates. And in my fictional version of events, armloads of roses, Rice Krispie Treats and showing up at field day on a white stallion were a regular occurences.
None of us could ever imagine adoring anyone as much as we loved Mr. G, but we grew older, moved on to middle school and fell for boys our own age.
In my freshman year of college, I visited my old elementary school for a class project, and there he was: Mr. G.
A little older, not quite as handsome, but charming as ever. And a whole new batch of fourth-grade girls smiled at him dreamily from their desks.
Did you ever have a crush on your teacher?