June 14, 2014

Mr. Marcum, Respect, and Snickerdoodles

I was in second grade the first time I showed disrespect to an authority figure. It was probably the last time too. Mr. Marcum was a tall, strong man, with a commanding, yet sweet voice. He had a wonderful singing voice as well, as I remember him teaching us songs like "Attitude," and "Father Abraham," don't forget the "Going on a Bear Hunt" song either. Yet one morning we were playing my most favorite grade school game, kickball in the gym. I loved it when I would step up to the the plate and people would move back, obviously not intimidated by my size, but my kick! The kicker always requested how they wanted the ball "pitched". My older brother always said, "Slow and bouncy." So I did too. The ball came slow and bouncy, I kicked, obviously not my best, but what I lacked in size I made up for in speed, or so I thought. I raced to first base, long blond pig tails in the wind behind me. I stepped on the corner of the thick black base line, sure of myself. But Mr. Marcum called me "out".  Now way was I out! I argued my point. Umpires don't usually change their minds, especially in front of  a class of second graders. Neither did Mr. Marcum. Fuming, I trotted back to my team, yet beyond them, I kept walking. Right up behind the bleachers where I sat down to pout. I pouted the whole game. Mr. Marcum gave no notice, until it was time to leave and they were all lined up at the other end of the gym near the chin-up bar. He asked me nicely to come down. I was silent. Then he said in a very loud voice that echoed in the gym, "Come down here right now or I will have to come and get you." I stood up, noticed everyone staring, folded my arms and walked across the gym floor to where they were lined up. It felt like the length of a football field. I don't remember if Mr. Marcum talked to me about it later, but he did send me a nice hand written note in the mail. It was written on blue, unlined paper, I still have it. He talked about how much he liked me and such. He said I was a good girl. After that I felt like he was my best friend and I was his favorite. I don't know exactly why I shared that story with you, but he used to bring cookies to school every now and then. His wife made the most scrumptious snickerdoodle cookies ever. Here is the recipe. I followed it exactly as she has written here, however I remember her cookies being more cakes like, which means she probably used all shortening, and baking powder instead of baking soda. I also think 400 is too hot. Either way here are Maureen Marcum's Snickerdoodle Cookies.

1 cup shortening or mixture of butter and margerine or shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons sugar and 1T cinnamon to roll dough balls in.

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees

 Cream the butter and shortening together.
 Add the eggs and sugar, and cream again, scraping down the sides.
 Mix the dry ingredients together, then add it half at a time and mix well. You may need more flour so it doesn't stick.
 Roll into balls, then roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. This makes 3 dozen, which my family will consume in one day. Definitely a recipe to double!

One more thing about the respect. I have to get my opinion in on this thing. I never told my parents what happened at school that day. I knew in my heart I was in the wrong even if I was "safe" at first base. That's what's wrong in America today. Kids lack respect.  When we moved, our kids had to readjust to a different school, peers, and teachers. One child came home one day insisting that a teacher had been rude or mean. I wanted to go to the school and give them a piece of my mind, right?! Wrong. My husband talked some sense into me about teaching children respect. If we showed the child we were on their side no matter what they did, they would learn to disrespect the school, for always. Instead my husband sent ME to talk to the teacher with the child present about what happened. I was to be on the teacher/ school's side as long as they were not competely in the wrong. Which they were not. (Some of my children can be a little sassy.) Well we nipped that one in the bud and there has been no disrespect in school again. The child has learned the rules and follows them. What would've happened if I had just gone and cussed out the teacher? (If I could've brought myself to it.) My child would still be disrespectful, all through the school years. Let's teach our kids respect. Of course if the other side is wrong, show your kids you will stand up for them too!

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