gum torture


I’m proctoring, yet another round of 504’s.  The kids seem kind of energized by the fact that we are done with reading- they are counting down the days to the ISAT reward, a movie and popcorn in 4th grade.

One of my little guys, I notice  is chomping away on the gum that has been given to him by his homeroom teacher…he chews as he mouthes the words of the question.  He hands, limber from all the years of ‘hand held’ games moves quickly in time with his teeth bearing down on his gum.  He chews harder, writes furiously on the paper, chews, writes and slobbers a bit…the drool is peeking at the corner of his lips….I look away quickly…disgusted by the noise and the slobber.  I look back…yuck, now the gum is going in and out of his mouth- I can see it- I can hear it- a symphony of gurgles.

I’m not looking any more, because I start to feel hot, and want to scream.  “Close your mouth….please…you are being so grotesque with that minty stick of gum !!!”  The other students are just calmly working away, unaware, definitely lot appalled like me.  Where does this aversion to gum chewing come from, you ask?

My answer- my mother. Yes, this definitely can be blamed on her.

On sunny days, on rainy days, on snowy days and just picture perfect days, my mom, if she wanted to use the car, would have to drive my dad to the train.  This involved all of us piling into the car to drive my dad to the train.  He always insisted on driving, then got out, kissed my mom goodbye and waved good-bye to us.  Then my mom got behind the wheel.  My mom…so happpy to have wheels, would turn on the music, pop in her stick of Juicy Fruit and away we’d all go. She would start singing her favorite song, chomping- chomping away, unaware that on some days even the drool would come peeking out for the whole world to see!  Blowing one enormous bubble after another she would relish the popping noise it made…so joyous…so happy to be with her girls, in the car…just singing her songs….


i miss those days,

i miss joy of you, your spirit,

but I will never miss that Juicy Fruit ! 


About Nanc

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

3 responses »

  1. Interesting how you wrote about the little gum chewer and then showed us a descriptive slice of your mother. Chewing away. I felt like I was in the car with you watching the drool as she chewed.
    I want to be in your class.

  2. I did not expect the story of the student gum chewer (that would bug me to no end) would leave into such a touching and funny story about your mom. It’s interesting how the memory is triggered by familiar sights, sounds, etc.

  3. “Symphony of gurgles,” what a description! Interesting how that student caused you to remember your mother and the Juicy Fruit. Very sweet!

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