I have reoccurring dreams of not being able to talk, not being able to express important thoughts, not being able to say important words....because my mouth won't work- or my jaw is locked tight and my teeth crumble. I wake up exhausted.
Last night was a new twist:
I was in an adult education art class, making garden stones. The instructor approached me with a clipboard in hand, "are you a homeschooler?"
"well, I need to see your transcript before you continue this class."
"did you ask anyone else in this class for a transcript?"
She gave me a diabolical, pity smile, "Dr. Ziegenhorn, you need to obtain your transcript and present it to me before you finish that" she pointed to my project...
Anger ignited and spread through my whole nervous system. I sprang up from my seated position and stomped down the maze of halls, looking for the head of the community art college.
When I rounded one corner, I was stopped in my tracks by Tom Hanks.
"Excuse me, Dr. Ziegenhorn."
He had a state document in hand, stamped with approval from Amway Products, and he flipped it in my face as he began to fuss at me....
He told me that I could continue the class if I gave them my transcript AND he continued, "if you do not get the top grade in the class, you can still help cut, in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"Why would I be allowed to cut, if I did not make the grade?" I yelled.
"Because homeschoolers are used to getting attention for everything they do in school."
My voice rose an octave as I began to defend myself and my schooling and then something occurred to me.
"Wait a minute! When you saw me coming down the hall, how did you know that I was Margaret, that I was homeschooled?"
Tom and a female military officer accompanying him looked me up and down with a "because of the way you are dressed" look...smirk, on their face.
My hands began to flail up to the sky, down to the ground and back up, as I defended my fashion,
"WHAT! I wore this at Germantown Highschool! I wore this at the University of Memphis!"
and then something else occurred to me....
"I wasn't homeschooled! I have a freakin public school diploma and..." I stuck my face right up in his face, gritted my teeth and tried to say "I have a degree in education from Memphis State!"
but....instead.....it came out
"nah. bah. nagee. n. mwananan...."
My mouth had become as dry as a desert and my bubble gum had expanded and the bulky stickiness kept me from my testimony.
Frustration and anger grew as I protested in garbled gab:
"I wasn't even homeschooled!"
"There is nothing wrong with the way I dress!"
As I was escorted out of the building, I looked at my reflection in the glass doors.
I woke up exhausted and fuming mad, with a racing pulse.