Murdo Girl…What is an educated woman?

June 8, 2016

The following is an excerpt from an exclusive interview with retiring Jones County High School teacher, Margie Peters.

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Mrs. Peters

This exclusive interview did in fact take place. Even if it didn’t, it’s all true.

Yram Sicnarf: Good morning Margie. May I call you Mrs. Peters?

Mrs. Peters: Whatever floats your boat.

Yram Sicnarf: Let me introduce myself. My name is Yram Sicnarf and I’m an award-winning reporter out of Gun Barrel City, Texas. Please call me Yram.

Mrs. Peters: Gun Barrel City?

Yram: Yes, it’s a little town, South of Riffle Butt, and East of Slingshot, but that’s all you need to know… Mrs. Peters, out of the thousands of students who have excelled under your tutelage, is there any ONE particular student, who because of your influence, has risen to greater heights than those less fortunate?

Mrs. Peters: Oh, my goodness Miss Sicnarf from Gun Barrel, that’s really a loaded question. (No pun intended.) I hate to single out any ONE student, but I will say the whole town is extremely proud of Senator Thune. I’m sure you must have heard of him.

Yram: Yes, yes, I’ve seen the sign. Maybe it would help if we narrowed it down a little. Let’s say the class of 1970. To tunnel down even further, think female!

Mrs. Peters: Well yes, that certainly narrows it down doesn’t it? Hmm, let me think…

The sound of crickets

Yram: I recently interviewed a stunningly talented young lady who was very complimentary of your influence. She goes by …Murdo Girl.

More crickets…

Yram: Yes, Murdo Girl idolized you. She told me she credits you with the success of every one of her careers.

Mrs. Peters: Careers? You mean she’s had more than one? Are we talking jobs or careers?

Yram: Mrs. Peters, we’re here to talk about you. As an aside, Murdo Girl told me that she has never forgotten you…well there was that one time she used your name as a password prompt. The question was, “Who was your favorite teacher?” She had a momentary brain freeze and forgot. It all came back to her when she remembered how you had tricked her in speech class.

Mrs. Peters: Excuse me?

Yram: Yes the topic for the impromptu speech was, “What is an educated woman?”

Mrs. Peters: Ah yes, it’s all coming back to me. I was trying to get my students to think on their feet and be more creative. I recall a young woman who was struggling. She talked about school and college, blah, blah, blah.

Yram: So you admit to setting her up?

Mrs Peters: On the contrary Miss Sicnarf. I hope it was a valuable learning experience for her. An educated woman is a great deal more than…

Yram: I hate to interrupt Mrs. Peters, but I have an interview in a few minutes with the Senator’s father. He taught me, I mean Murdo Girl, algebra, and hired her to work at the Frosty Freeze one summer. Let’s wrap it up with this question. Do you really feel it’s important to know how to diagram sentences? I mean, how many times is an employer going to ask you to diagram a sentence?

Mrs. Peters: Are you sure this Murdo Girl was in my class? If so, she would realize the importance of using correct grammar. Knowing how to write and speak properly is part of being an educated woman. Knowing how a sentence is structured teaches the correct usage of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Some are unable to snag a good job because they don’t know a conjugated verb when they see one. I’ve noticed you always use first person.

Yram: I see…Does it help to use a lot of pictures? Never mind. I’m off to see Mr. Thune. Miss Murdo Girl has never had to use Algebra either, although she can make a mean malt.

Mrs. Peters: It’s very nice to have met you Miss Sicnarf. Don’t you want to take a picture before you go? I would suggest you take several.

I don’t see the sign. Do you see the sign?

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Is this the high school? I can’t find a parking spot. I even have a sticker. Does Murdo Girl have a sign?

Murdo Girl…Snapping back

I’m beginning a new exercise class tomorrow. Remember when I signed up for yoga last year? Here’s the story…

Like almost everyone in the free world, I woke up New Years Day with a resolve to get into shape. I didn’t set the bar too high because I think that’s the reason why others who might be lacking in self-discipline, fail. I decided my plan would be to exercise a few days a week and stop eating anything white. I couldn’t start right away because of our New Year’s trip to Galveston. Under those circumstances, I have no control over what other people feed me right? Don’t be saying that it’s not what, but how much I eat that counts. I don’t like to hear that nonsense because if the truth hurts, I wear it!

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Lav and I participating in a vigorous and challenging class with Gus. Lav and I are the ones with the crowns on 

For years, I was so committed to running, I didn’t have to worry about a fitness resolution. I could catch up easily if I got waylaid for a month or two. Unfortunately, all that ended a few years ago. Actually it’s now been double digits ago. Anyway, shortly after that, I came to the end of the elastic in my skin. I hadn’t realized that when elastic has been around a while, it doesn’t snap back. Old elastic begins to resemble cottage cheese. All that kind of bothers me, but there is one thing that I’m having an even more difficult time accepting. I experienced it yesterday in the midst of a yoga class. All my flexibility is gone and rigor mortis has set in.

I struggled from the git-go.

I was already humiliated enough when I discovered if I tried to stand straight with one foot against my calf, I would fall over. Then the instructor said to move the foot upward toward my knee while still balancing on the other foot, and continuing to pay attention to my breathing. She said we could use a block that she had placed beside us if we felt “unsteady”. I was hoping she didn’t notice that my eyes were crossed and I was very close to hyperventilating. With very little oxygen going to the brain, I couldn’t feel my arms, let alone remember if I was supposed to hold them out like airplane wings, or above my head. I cannot breathe right when I am trying to look at the sky through my right arm while I make sure my fingers are spread wide and my eyes are actually closed. By this time, my friend, Barbara and the instructor had stopped making eye contact with me, anyway.

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When I was supposed to have my eyes closed, I caught a glimpse of my feet. I looked at my right foot. Not bad, I thought. My nails were clipped and filed and I had painted them with a couple of coats of orange-ish colored polish. I was pleased since I hadn’t realized you did yoga without your shoes on. It really does pay to be prepared for anything. I couldn’t see my left foot yet because it was still trying to get to my knee.

When we were again seated on our mats, I saw my left foot. How in the world could I have forgotten to manicure the toenails on my left foot? Did the phone ring? Did the doorbell ring? Did I run out of time before I had to shower and dress? I don’t know!! Now what? If I stopped to put my shoes and socks back on, that might draw more attention to my dilemma, and later people would ask me why I decided to put my shoes on in the middle of the class? I guess I could have told them I got cold feet, which would have been true. Instead, I did my best to put it aside and continued to struggle through the remainder of the class. Even though I was sitting, I still felt like I was falling. During the drive home, I made a Thursday resolution to never let that happen again… starting Thursday. Now for the remainder of my life my left foot will be on a different schedule than my right foot.

I remember a time when my Grandpa Sanderson was showing me something, and I noticed that his fingernails were flat. I didn’t make the connection between flat nails and aging. I just noticed. I don’t know when it happened to me, but I have flat fingernails, too. Are you looking at yours? There is nothing you can do about it.

The bottom line is, you cannot outrun mother nature. Even if you have everything lifted, tightened, tugged and sandpapered, you will not look young forever. Your knees will still sag and so will your bottom. It will be more difficult to stand on one foot, and getting up from the floor hurts. Your smile really will look like a frown turned upside down and you cannot live in dark shadows forever. You can whiten your teeth now unless you have a mouth full of crowned teeth like I do. Crowns don’t whiten, which is the only thing I have found negative about a crown.

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My mother said, “Mary, you will get to a certain age when you have to decide if you are going to be plump with a good face, or be slim with a lined and sunken face.” She said to stay plump and sit down a lot. Thanks my forever beautiful Mother. I’ll do my best, but I will go back to that yoga class…as soon as I can find the time for a mani-pedi. How much do they cost now anyway? I think I’ll have someone else do it.

From now on, I will try any excercise that doesn’t begin with a Y, and I won’t drink anything white…except milk.

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