What I wrote

If you read yesterday’s post, then you will know that I was considering a letter to my former high school teacher, Mrs. Sublette. I thought I would share with you what I wrote. It’s in the mail. Please be kind.

 

Dear Mrs. Sublette,

 

I am hoping that you are the Patricia Sublette who taught English at Symmes Valley High School from 1968 until 1970. If you are not, then, hopefully, you will enjoy this letter anyway. I’m sorry to be typing instead of writing by hand, but I have arthritis in my hands, and you will have a much easier time of reading it this way.

 

My name is Susan (Jenkins) Drummond, and you were my English teacher for my freshman and junior years. I don’t know if you will remember me. I’m sure that I did nothing to set myself apart from all the other students you must have had over the years, but I wanted you to know that I have always remembered you fondly.

 

Of all of the teachers that I had in middle school and high school, you were the teacher who taught me more than anyone else. I have always spoken highly of you. Because of you, I was able to understand and read poetry properly. Because of you, Shakespeare was no longer a mystery. Because of you, I learned to use grammar correctly, in speaking and in writing. My only wish was that our curriculum at the time had been more focused on writing, or that there had been a creative writing class. I know that you had nothing to say about that. It was a different place and time. Things are so much different for high school, and even middle school, students now. The focus is on getting every student into college, not just a select few.

 

I graduated as valedictorian of my class (1971), and received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Ohio University’s Ironton branch, when it was in its infancy. Alas, I only attended for one quarter before dropping out to get married. My biggest regret is that I didn’t take full advantage of my good fortune to continue my education. I suppose you could say that I have self-educated through reading. I have always been a voracious reader, and now I write on a blog. I write about daily life and sometimes current events, and I do a few book and movie reviews. It is gratifying to have other people read and appreciate what one has to say, and to read other “ordinary” people’s thoughts and ideas. I have found that there is an amazing number of talented and creative women who write on blogs.

 

Computers and the internet have changed the world and the way people learn. I don’t know if you have embraced this way of learning, but I love it. The only downside I can see is that, in some ways, it can make one’s brain a little lazy. It is so easy to just look up an answer on the internet, rather than searching one’s brain, or the library, for it.

 

I don’t want to bore you by going on and on, but I think you would want to know a little about my life, before I go. I married David Drummond (Symmes Valley, class of ‘68) and we had three children. He is a retired chemical engineer, who worked for Ashland Chemical for 37 years. I was mostly a stay-at-home-mom, making things easy for him with his long hours and travel. We have lived in a few different places around the country during his working years:  Orlando area, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Pittsburgh, and we finally settled in central Ohio at the end of his career. We have six grandchildren, four of whom live with us, along with our daughter, who is finishing her degree at Ohio State. We love having them so close. They keep us young and active.

 

In closing, Mrs. Sublette, I want you to know how much your being my teacher has meant to me over the years. I’m sorry that I never took the time to write to you before now, but I hope that it will bring a good feeling to you, knowing that I really enjoyed having you in my life. I hope that you are well and enjoying life.

 

With fondness and best regards,

P.S.  The entire time I have been writing this letter, I’ve imagined you holding a red marking pencil in your hand, and correcting my mistakes. 🙂

I left out a lot of the reasons why I dropped out of college without giving it the, ahem, “old college try”, but I thought she might think it was partly her fault, and it wasn’t at all. I just didn’t want to muddy the waters.

I really hope that she receives it. Fingers crossed.

See you soon,

Susan

Burning Mouth Syndrome

What the heck is burning mouth syndrome? Ever hear of it? You may even have it and not know what it is.

BMS can have several manifestations. Most common is a burning/hot/tingling sensation on the tongue. It can also be a weird metallic taste in the mouth, accompanied by dryness. Feeling as if you ate something nasty and you just can’t get that taste to go away. The sensations can sometimes last for days. I have it periodically, and it is truly awful. Brushing your teeth and mouthwash helps momentarily, but it is short-lived. Chewing gum has the longest-lasting effect, but only as long as you can stand to chew it. Drinking copious amounts of water seems to make the duration a bit shorter. When I have an episode of it, I just want it to GO AWAY!!

Most people who have it are postmenopausal women. The main theory seems to be that it is caused by diminished estrogen or progesterone, but there is nothing scientific to base this on. Depression and anxiety are closely related to BMS, but it isn’t known if this is a cause or a result. My guess is that it’s a result. When it goes on for many days, it does make me anxious and depressed. It’s like fighting a demon in your mouth.

There is a whole laundry list of possible causes, which I assume are listed because of health histories given by those who have complained about BMS. None of them are definitive or can be pinpointed as Yes! This is what causes BMS! One guess, and this, along with the postmenopausal effect, is what I suspect may be the cause of mine—I’m a “super taster.” That means that I have a tendency to push my tongue against foods, or what I jokingly refer to as the “smoosh factor.”

Brownies are most likely my greatest “smoosh factor” food. I love the way they feel when you bite into them, when I “smoosh” them against the roof of my mouth. That sounds kind of gross, but you know what I mean. Don’t you?

Theory:  I made brownies two days ago. Yesterday the BMS arrived on my doorstep. Hmmm.

Resolution: Either stop making brownies, or stop eating them (not gonna happen), or stop smooshing them. Where is the joy?

There is no known treatment available.

Ugh. Just another way of life telling me I’m getting old.