Stinky Jane

“Stinky Jane, Stinky Jane,
Washed her hair in a toilet drain”

Mr. M,

Promoted to 5th grade. I got Mrs. A this year. You’re not in the room down the hall. They say you quit teaching. They say you didn’t know what to do with Stinky Jane. I have to stay with all you left behind. Do you know that, Mr. M? Do you know what you left me with? I hope you’re happy where you are because you didn’t leave any happy for me here.  But, I wish I could tell you one thing. I didn’t really hate you. It’s just easier to hate you then to tell the truth. I hate me.

Mr. M, it wasn’t always this way. I used to have friends. I used to be nice to teachers. I was a safety patrol and got to stay and clean erasers. I got to go to birthday parties. I got to play tag with my friends. I got to have friends.

I tried to be nice to you but you wouldn’t listen. You wouldn’t see what was happening right under your nose. You and the other 4th grade teachers, were you stupid or blind or something?

Maybe it was that experiment I heard some adults talking about where they were trying to see what would happen if someone said people with blue eyes were bad. All I know is all the sudden you couldn’t talk to someone who wasn’t in your class or nobody liked you. Only, my best friend was in a different class and I didn’t want to be on the side away from her. Me and two others wouldn’t be on the side they told us to be on. When it ended the three of us that didn’t play by the rules became the ones no one would talk to.  I was the only one in our class. Did you hear the things they said or see the feet that tripped me? Did you care?

At first it was okay. This was like home so I could take it. I was a good student and could do my work, that is, I could do it until we got to speed reading. I’m a good reader. I get all the comprehension questions right. I read all the books I can get from the library. I couldn’t read those words on the screen, they moved too fast and changed too fast. But I couldn’t fail! It was the only good thing my mom and dad said about me, “Why can’t you get good grades like Jane?” It was the one thing my sisters couldn’t blame me for. It was the one thing that was mine.

If you didn’t want me to figure out the small c’s you should have corrected our work yourself. How was I to know you were watching me drawing in all the extra lines when we turned to the answer key. How long did you know I was doing it? I only found out when you gave me the F on my final grade.

I was so mad at you. Why should I give you any papers? You didn’t care if I could do the work or not. Why should I ask for your help? You knew what I was doing and you never stopped to find out why. Why should I say anything to you? You didn’t listen anyway. So I used my wadded papers to help me keep my silence and you just sat there saying nothing.

Except you said something to mom and dad at the parent meeting. You told them I should see a sycologist. Now my sisters had “crazy” to add to the names they called me when mom and dad were at work. My parents told, you know. They didn’t think I needed any help, thank you. You just made it worse for me at home and at school. My sisters told the kids at school that you said I was crazy and now no one talks to me. Not even the girls in the other class that no one talks to.

I hated you for what you did to me. I am not sorry I wrote I hate you on all my clothes pins. I couldn’t make any dolls anymore anyway. Nobody wanted anything from Stinky Jane. Nobody wanted Stinky Jane. I don’t want Stinky Jane.

Did the other me quit too because I was too much for her to handle? Is Stinky Jane all that is left of me?

How could you go away and leave me like this?

Stinky Jane


2 thoughts on “Stinky Jane

    1. ljandrie57 Post author

      Thanks for reading it. This little girl’s story is the one that helps me remember to have grace for my students but also to honestly confront problems I see so that I can help them.


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