But Which One?


Mrs. Crivelli was my sixth grade teacher. She was known for instructing the class in penmanship and choir for the most part — however she did teach other things.

One late morning she surprised the class by holding a pop-quiz. I was sitting there lost in my own world, hoping she wouldn’t call my name as I was scared to death of speaking in front of anyone because I stuttered so badly.

But suddenly, I was snapped out of my reverie as I heard Mrs. Crivelli speak my name. My worst fear was being realized.

“Tommy,” she directed, “spell Humboldt.”

My mind went blank even though I knew I knew the answer. It seemed as if I sat frozen in my seat forever before I got any sound to come from my lips.

“The river or the county?” I asked.

You should have heard the laughter. I couldn’t slide far enough down in my desk to hide my embarrassment.

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