Pea Brain

Pea Brain


How taking an online class taught me the value of human contact in education. Based on a true story


It was sometime in the fall of 1963, in a school lunchroom filled my third grade peers, that I first discovered my hunger pangs.
Like it was just yesterday their faces so vivid, the sounds so crisp , the buffet of observations nurtured my insight with luring tease.
Of course all eight year olds are curious about the world around them, in fact on this particular day everyone at my table tried to dissect the lunch menu.
Mystery meat, over cooked Yuck who idea was that !? Fresh green peas looked more like over cooked canned peas doing the dead mans float in a pool of margarine water. The fruit parent dessert belonged in the science lab as we sought for answers as to what makes it wiggle, " I however had a much different menu, you see I was never really hungry for food, it seemed such a waste to me. I was hungry for wisdom, wonder, and warm words.
Most of the table chatter came from the girls side, and most of the flying yuck peas came from the boys side. I liked it to stay in the middle it had a better view.
That's when Mr. B, the janitor unknowingly taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. Mr B did everything at my school, I mean everything but be a teacher, well so they thought, I was soon to learn otherwise. .
From across the room wearing his droopy pants adorned with dust cloths and noisy key rings and of course his usual well balanced smile that never seemed to fall. His inviting eyes captured my pondered thoughts embracing my heart with safe comfort.
My little hands balanced the tray over the trash barrel not much taller then myself. Without hesitation those no purpose peas fell into place.
" Now Now little lady, why oh why would you do that? Mr. B asked. I felt his the warmth of his gentle touch on my shoulder, it was a familiar comfort, just like my mothers touch.
I turned to face him expecting to see a disappointed lunch lady look, but no, there was that Mr B, smile again. " I'm sorry Mr. B, I hate peas and who ever invented them too!" I stated firmly.
He frowned slightly with his eyes, " oh but my dear, I love peas, they taught me everything important in life in fact I used to have as many questions as you have now. Pea's gave me all the answers" Mr. Bo said in his loving voice. I gazed at him in awe of his confidence, I trusted his words as wisdom, after all I admired him the day he cleaned up my throw=up
without making a nasty face. " Well I guess if peas have answers then I should give them a second try? Huh Mr B. " I stated.
The next day I listened carefully as Mrs, Horn taught us about growing vegetables, I was hungry for learning especially about peas. Each time pea's were on the lunch menu I asked for seconds, when nobody was watching I cut them in half in search of any answers that they might hold.
Before long I loved peas, I ate them at school, at home, for snack and dessert, to fill my hunger for learning.
Mr. B. didn't miss much that went on during school hours, and when he noticed my peas were not going in the trash he came over to share more of his wisdom. " are they working?" he asked one day. I replied with a smile and nod, " I think so, I haven't found the answers yet but I did find that I like them now", I went on to say. " But Mr. B. could you tell me more about how you learned so much from peas?" I asked
He tapped my shoulder saying " Scoot over half pint, I will explain," Mr B said.
His eyes captured my adoration as he went on to say, " You see when I was a little boy, I could not go to school, we were poor and my family needed me to work on the farm so we could have the food on the table" he continued. I would watch my friends all head off to the school house with books in hand as I tended to the garden. Oh how I longed for the chance to learn to read and write and have my many questions answered. At the end of the day I would lug my bushel of peas back to the farmhouse. As the other children walked by on their way home from school they would holler, " hey pea brain, how does your garden grow?" : each time they passed by. I felt sad, left out and angry that my family had to come before education." Mr. B's eyes looked heavy with sadness.
" Oh I am sorry they hurt your feelings" , I said. " I guess I am lucky to be able to come here to learn and eat pea's," I stated lovingly.
Mr. B. stood up and started to clean off the lunch table as he went on with his words that I so welcomed. " Don't be sad Half Pint," he said. " here is the best part of the lesson, you see, I was learning so much out there in the fields, so much just from growing peas. One spring, we had a drought and most of the town lost their crops, and food became scarce. Except for my crop, I had learned so much about tending to my garden that I had the only healthy crops in the town. Before long people came from far and near to purchase food for the family table. The school children no longer called me pea brain and I was invited to attend their classroom after my chores. The school house would buy bushels of peas from my garden to serve as a healthy lunch, for those who had none."
I embraced his smile, and the pride he wore behind his everyday smile.
I gave him a hug thanking him for such words of wisdom and to this day I value life's lessons and yummy peas.



Author's Note

I apologize for all of the grammar problems quotations run-on sentences. I have a learning disability but I have stories to tell and lessons to teach. My teacher always said to my mother she'll be a great right or Sunday if only she'd learn how to spell.

My Review

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Hey Donna, this is a sweet little story.
Great moral to the janitors tale too.
I like the way you have told it.
I'd suggest toning down on the love and adoration part as it's verging on being creepy.
Overall though, great write. Keep it up!

Posted 3 Years Ago

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Added on January 28, 2017
Last Updated on January 28, 2017
Tags: humor, Lessons, life, heroes, history



Beverly, MA

I love writing from deep thoughts, emotions, pensive ,at times funny . I don't know the rules of poetry and usually right as in spoken word. I've always enjoyed writing not looking for fame at times I.. more..