I Taught Barack Obama in 5th Grade

Okay, maybe that's bad grammar, because I wasn't in 5th grade, and we weren't in fifth grade together. I was newly arrived to Hawaii with a teaching certificate from the State of Massachusetts and a degree in English from Smith College.

I got a job at Punahou School, the "elite private school," which Barack attended. His regular 5th grade teacher, who he has mentioned frequently, Mabel Hefty, had gone to Africa on a sabbatical the previous year and was teaching a class in the "Academy", Punahou's high school about Africa. So I was a permanent substitute in her class. For some reason, she scheduled Hawaiian History in the time period I was to teach. Having just arrived in Hawaii, I could barely distinguish all the "K" words, let alone pronounce them. I was terrified, and a terrible teacher I am sure. I have no memory of the only black(/white) boy in the room, but he was there and I can say I taught Barack Obama.

Somehow, I thought my claim to fame would be something different. Anyway, he won Hawaii handily last night, and there were lines around the caucus voting places in Kailua, the hometown of Lanikai Bath and Body. And that's how I bring it round
to this blog name. It will be an interesting 8+ months!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually I heard him recently bragging that he had been taught by you in fifth grade...