History

Schooled

Image of stack of four schoolbooks on tan mica table with red apple on top, abc blocks stacked to the right, and five colored pencils in between
Image source: Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Guest Post by Charles Frankhauser

Out-of-the-blue, so to speak, my aunt remarked, “I have never known of anyone that had a childhood like yours.”

I am now in my 80s and that remark happened when I was in my 40s, well into a secure career with a wife, family, and two children, one of whom went on to become a medical doctor.

Up to that point in time, I never considered myself as having an unusual childhood. It was the only childhood I had and I never thought about it being out of the ordinary because I had seldom thought about it at all.

In high school, I was one of two boys in a class with girls learning to touch-type. My classmates asked me in other classes if I intended to work as a secretary. I never replied because I knew that my chances of attending college were slim at best due to a lack of interest from my mom and her second husband. I knew if I attended college I would have to type my own term papers because I could not afford to pay the usual $0.10 fee per page typed.

I decided to write a memoir to encourage disadvantaged youth to pursue education as their primary goal by all means possible and to put social experiences on the back-burner unless time permitted.

I was forced to make a life-altering decision at the dinner table at the age of ten years. Divorce became a topic of discussion between Mom and Dad during a food fight; my parents would not allow me to leave the table until I chose the “one to go with.”

Miss Williams at the last day of 5th grade distributed report cards to all in class except me. She said, “Charles, see me after class. Class dismissed, have a good summer.”

Miss Williams had me sit next to her desk. “Charles, you have not done well this year. You are my last student because I am retiring. I am failing you and I know you will call me every name you can think of as you walk home. Mark my words, you will thank me someday. You can do the work; I know you can do it.”

I walked home devastated by the pending social disgrace I knew I would encounter among friends and wondered about the reaction of my parents. Note the food fight and divorce announcement at the dinner table happened about a week later.

I titled my memoir Miss Williams in honor of my teacher. As I wrote the memoir, I thought about the above experience and said aloud, “Thank you, Miss Williams.”

Here’s a peek at Charles’s memoir.

Image of cover of Miss Williams, a memoir by Charles Frankhauser

Blurb

Life-shattering events in fifth grade, loss of self-esteem, and social disgrace set a new direction for a young boy’s life. As a result of a teacher’s insight and empowerment, the future of that young boy was changed forever.

Book Buy Link: Amazon

About the author

Charles Frankhauser realized when he was 10 years old that education was his only hope for financial survival. The memoir, Miss Williams, was written to encourage disadvantaged young adults to make the attainment of as many educational experiences as possible a primary goal in life. The memoir begins at his age of 5 and ends at the age of 28 because the “formative years” were over at that point in his life. His experiences are many and varied including his romantic interest in a girl selling balloons in a zoo and his marriage to her years later.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

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