Classroom BelongingRodney McCrimmons Springfield
One of my most positive educational experiences was when I entered seventh grade. At the time I was already a huge comic book fan, so the natural transition for me was to create my own comic books. I needed to find good names for my characters, so I went to the school library and took out Bullfinch’s book on the mythologies of the world.
I went to my English class the next day with my mythology book in tow. Even from my first impression, I liked my teacher, Mr. Frangules. He seemed like he should have been a young detective on a TV show. (I must add he was the only teacher who asked his students for candy.) Strolling down the aisles, he stopped at my desk and pointed to the book on mythology, (which was huge). “What are you doing with this?” he asked. I told him I was doing research for a book that I was writing. He then looked at me with bewilderment and asked what I was doing in his class. I told him I went where I was sent.
He shook his head and went to the phone and made a call, then returned to his desk. The next day when I went to homeroom, I was given a whole new list of classes. I went to my first class, which was considered honors English. My teacher was Mr. Frangules, who looked at me with a smile and said, “This is where you belong, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.”
That was one of many positive experiences, but what made it special for me was that it was an adult male who saw something in me. I was raised primarily by women, so this moment added fuel to the fire of my education and my abilities. It is fuel I try to carry with me to this day.