Frances (Hop Along)
SPB: What was your best subject in grade school?
Frances: My best subjects in grade school were English and Art, though I think that really depends on the teachers a lot of the time. History was amazing when the teachers were good. One history teacher almost ruined it for me because she used to bust me all the time for wearing goth clothes and spikey jewelry. She constantly sent me to the office and her lessons were boring as hell (although one time we were learning about Constantinople and she played that They Might Be Giants song--I respect her for that). There was a bully in that class too, he was the worst. 8th grade man, so glad I never have to go back. I never understand people who say they miss grade school. I had one great science teacher in 9th grade, Mr. Koch, he made it really interesting, you could tell he didn't take school TOO seriously. I think it's easier to actually learn things when teachers don't take school too seriously.
I had one English teacher I couldn't stand, in 11th grade I think. That was the year I had to read Beowulf. I loathed that class. I've had teachers I also didn't appreciate until much later, especially in my college years. I didn't really get into poetry the way I am now until recently. In high school I thought I loved poetry, but I really just liked E.E. Cummings, Bukowski, and folk singers. My art teacher in high school was Ms. Wagner, and I don't know that I'd have this life in music (and certainly not in art) without her. She got me into this great program that isn't around anymore, the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts (PGSA) for Creative Writing and it changed a great deal of things for me. That's where I heard Cat Power and Belle and Sebastian for the first time, incidentally. She got me interested in attending MICA for college, too. She made it seem like I could really have a career making art if I wanted to (she was the only grade school teacher I had that told me that) and I'm forever grateful to her for believing in me and hounding me to try. She is far and away the greatest teacher I have ever had.
I've never once had a math class I liked, though I've had some really nice teachers within that subject. I think I napped in almost all my math classes.