05 novembro 2008


They called her Elsa, even though it wasn't her real name. At school, on the first day, our previous teacher tried to teach us how to correctly say, in the german accent, Helga. But all the children in the class could only produce vaguely similar sounds, and she settled for Elsa. Helga wasn't too thrilled to have moved here from Europe, and also to have her name changed by a bunch of 7 year-old-children. We'll keep calling her Elsa, afterall, hard habits... die old.

The principle had decided that learning Spanish was too average-like for our forward and progressive school program, so she introduced German and French as foreign optional languages. Untill this day, i have no idea whay 7 year-old-children would be interested in learning, in the most stupid way ever, Bonjour or Guttentag, needless to say these were subjects in which everyone got B's or A's and for them were able to convince daddy (ten years latter, of course) that it was a brilliant idea to spend a summer in France, to perfeccionate the language they had so passionately studied as a child!

At the time we left middle-school, we had learned nothing but greetings, days of the week, numbers, seasons, directions and classic oral constructions that could serve us to not starve, to find some place; and most importantly a) where's the toilet and b) dou you accept credit card? Despite the poor didatics and the low level of progress in the foreing languages department, fun was guaranteed in Elsa's classes.

She was a large fortyish german with pink skin and light yellow hair that looked as if it had never been touched by a brush. She also sweated a lot and had some sorte of compulsive disorder about organization.

Every Wednesday, at 9 sharp, she would enter the room and wait untill we rearrenged the desks (yes, she drew a little map and made copies for the whole class to know her sitting arrangements). Then, at 9h05 she would play the Guttentag, Guttenmorgen, Guttenwhatever song. During the first time she played it, we were just supposed to listen. The second round, we had to sing aloud during the chorous, when she smartly dimmed down the radio. By the fifth round, already halfway through class' time, we were singing without the old tape recorder, with different voices and tones, as a real choir would. She even taught us moves to match some parts of the song, which were actually helpful, since we only understood the Guttenmorgen, Guttenmorgen, Guttentag! part of the song. The rest was almost like learning German in Libras.

The last half of our productive class was all about writting. We made up words for about twenty minutes and spent lhe las fun moments watching Elsas's mania in organizing her collection of porcelan cats, dogs, turtles, owls, frogs, and all sorts of species. Each class she organized the antiques by a different criteria. One week would be Darwin, another week, Lamarck; and yet another week, by their colour pallets. Very amusing.

Anyway, Elsa really liked summertime, when she'd put on a two-piece bikini and show off her very white and voluptous figure. I remember on fild trip to the Water Park outside the city, the wholw school was there. Elsa was wearing a new pair, red thongs... A bit scary for the children, funny for the staff and embarassing for the other teachers. We could see the blond and curly hair around her bottom part and under her arm pitts. She wasn't too careful when it came to looks.

Night came and we had to go back home. But Elsa wasn't feeling too well, she had a fever, was sweating, shanking, really sick. The headmaster decided to make a pit stop at the ER before going back to school, where our parents waited for us. We're all curious to know what had taken our German Teacher down.

She left, went in the hospital, was there for 20 minutes and came back, very timidly, saying it was all okay. We were delivered ack to our families and a few months passed before we discovered what had made Elsa sick. Another teacher, at a Xmas' party, drank too much eggnog and spilled out the beans: she had forgotten a tampon, an internal woman's menstrual pad, inside, for two months. It had gotten so bad, she developed an infection, and had to take antibiotics for a long time.

Elsa never new all the students had found out about her little oblivion, but nobody never, ever, dared to get closer to her...