All Talk

I bet I have been told to ‘hush’ more times than are countable! An infinity of ‘shhhh’s’ has plagued my life. I mean, not enough to make me stop or anything. But, boy did people try to silence me.

In kindergarten, where, in my memory, we only played kiss-chase and took naps. Hand to God, I remember nothing else. Kindergarten was a half day when I was six. And, it was not mandatory. Makes me feel unnaturally old. Anyway, I am sure I learned things there. Surely. But, chasing boys or running from boys was a big part of the curriculum. Then, they had the audacity to pull us inside, give us our mats, and expect us to snooze. We’d just hyped ourselves up in a way none of us even understood, but knew it was exciting and sleeping was NOT involved. I chatted everyone up. ‘Quiet down, Wendy.’ was my full name there.

Elementary. I, now, feel sorry for every single elementary school teacher I ever had. I talked too much, too loud, to too many people. Controlling myself was impossible, but I maintained good grades and a decent rapport with my teachers. I was distracting, allegedly. So, they would move me by the stinky kid-chatted. Move me by the mean/bully kid-chatted. The strait A kid, which I admit were a challenge, but-chatted! In sixth grade I was even moved out into the hallway, where no one could be bothered by me and I would have to keep my mouth shut. Nope. Janitors, kids going to restroom or office-chatted.

Junior High and High School were similar but some classes welcomed open discussion, so I was able to fulfill my need to talk and still stay out of trouble. For the most part…my 11th grade chemistry teacher got so tired of my chatter she moved me to her desk. I sat at her desk until labs, and then she would put me with the worst lab partners ever. But, I still talked!

Finally, college, where talking is not only permitted, it’s appreciated. I was the most loved and (sometimes) hated student in most of my classes. Loved because I would answer questions, or go first to read, volunteer to do my project first; and, hated for talking too much on one subject when we could be moving on, but I am knee deep in analysis with the professor. I was not asked to be quiet. I loved it. I thought, after all those years of being ‘hushed’ and still speaking turned out to work very well in my favor. College professors love an engaged student. If I ever felt like I might be falling behind in a course, a few not-so-quick chats with the teacher, often led to a guaranteed good grade.

I even took multiple public speaking courses in my lengthy college career. My grade is going to depend on me standing up and talking about something I know? Sign me up for all of that! In the seven years of my college journey, all five colleges, all of those teachers, and I never got moved or scolded for talking too much.


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