Tag Archives: miss owen

A fascinating sketch, from what I remember.

On that day, I had been teaching in a room that wasn’t mine. Occasionally, weird schedule things happen at school, like someone having to use my larger room to photograph groups for the yearbook, or sometimes I end up subbing for another teacher on my plan period. As a middle school teacher, you learn to roll with things like this. So for part of that day, the kids and I were in a more traditional classroom that is very different from the two rooms that I call home when I’m at school. 

At the end of the day, a student from one of those earlier classes dropped by to hand me a very nice looking piece of artwork… a beautifully detailed sketch. She was on her way to the bus, so in a rush I thanked her for the gift that was clearly the result of a lot of time and patience… and heart.

For every year, I keep a folder with the title “Treasures” written on the tab, and I knew that this sketch was going in. One of my professors in undergrad suggested I do this, and so right now I have twelve of them, one for every year. Each one is stuffed with various awkwardly shaped items, and so at this point they take up almost an entire drawer of my large file cabinet.  

After the halls cleared and the buses were leaving, I got a better look at the sketch as I was walking back toward my office. There I was. Though it was a cartoony version of myself, it was a perfect likeness. It was from the perspective of this student from earlier in the day in the other teacher’s classroom. I was behind the desk in the front corner of the room. The details were amazing. Everything from that room was in this drawing. What made it really special were the words, similar to those wordle things that are so popular now, that were creatively added around me on the paper. These words represented qualities that this student sees (I’m assuming) in me, such as “kind”, “compassion”, “funny”, “music”, etc. Seeing this made my heart melt in one of those moments that any teacher experiences when they receive a gift like this. But I do remember thinking, it’s too bad the setting of this sketch wasn’t in one of our own music classrooms. Ah well. Good kid. 

I opened the top file cabinet drawer and was just about to file it in “Treasures 13-14”, when something caught my attention. There was a detail from the sketch that I had completely missed. Are you kidding me? In the opposite corner of the front of the room, as if in the shadows, this student had drawn an older woman standing out of the way. She wasn’t a part of any of the activity going on in the room. She was merely present, though she appeared to have watchful eyes. There was NO older woman present with us in that classroom earlier! The hairs immediately stood up on my neck and arms, and a chill went through my entire body. I recognized those eyes. I recognized the hair. No. It couldn’t be! Or could it? The older woman appeared to be the late Verna Marie Owen, better known as Miss Owen, from several of my recent blogs.

Was my mind playing tricks on me? Did I just have a strange, yet creative student? (She certainly wouldn’t be the first!) Or does she simply have an exceptional ability that most do not? Was this her way of letting me know that a certain someone was keeping an eye on our learning activities? Cool! No… creepy. Both!

I grabbed my phone from the nightstand and fumbled for my glasses. It was close to 5am. Though I added a few creative details to keep you reading, most of this dream was typed out in a simple note on my iPhone… from what I remember.  

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You might also like: 

“So, I had this dream…” (The Voices Blog)

Why did the full-blown apparition cross the road? (Big Séance)

The Hand That Rocks Your Dreams (Big Séance)

Being Able To Read In Your Dreams (Big Séance)

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Shop Home for the Holidays

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been absent for most of this holiday season. I hope to be back to my normal routine soon. 

One thing that has become traditional for us, is our home for the holidays “shop local” day. It’s a chance for us to check out many of the shops and antique stores in my home town of Lexington, Missouri, including Missouri River Antique Company, and the River Reader. You may remember my exciting school locker find from last year. Here are some of our finds from yesterday. 

A collection of old hymnals and song books that date back to the late 1800s and very early 1900s. I found these at Lexington Mercantile Antiques & Fabrics

 

This next one is a music book used in the “Lexington, MO. Public Schools”. Though I don’t know when they were actually used, the copyright is 1924, which would probably put it in use during the time period of several of the old yearbooks from Lexington that I own. I was very excited about this one. I found this one at Missouri River Antique Company. It’s perfect for my collection. 

 

 

 

This old carrom game board is one of Joe’s finds, also from Missouri River Antique Company. He also found some cool padlocks and keys. 

 

 

Then I returned to Grandma’s house to look for more photos of Miss Owen. I found two, both from 1953. 

 

 

This one is of Miss Owen posing with her pen pal group. For more on Miss Owen, click HERE

 

 

 

I had to include a photo of one of Mom’s candy cane coffee cakes. This is a thirty-plus-year holiday tradition for her. 

 

 

Happy Holidays!!!

 

 


Well I Asked For It: A Special Visitor At School

 

Me at work in the classroom... about a decade ago.

Me at work in the classroom… about a decade ago.

My sixth grade choir students were in their performance spots on the risers. With me on the floor in front of them, they were focused and listening to my instructions. With our concert coming up next week, we’ve recently been doing our best to be in a serious and focused place during rehearsals. In plain English… we’re seriously cramming! 

Now push pause and briefly travel back in time with me. Let’s travel back three blog posts ago, as I shared both my frustration with the lack of paranormal experiences lately, and my thankfulness for the “completely normal” things in my life. I suppose that was a little whiny request thrown out into the ether. Again in plain English… I asked for it. 

Now back to my kiddos on the risers. They really were focused… and so was I. Midway through one of my sentences, I felt someone right behind me waiting to get my attention. I heard something (I don’t remember exactly what it was) very close to my left ear, as if someone was interrupting me (rudely) or needed something. It’s middle school. Rude interruptions and chaos happens all the time. I didn’t think anything of it and turned around, probably a little frustrated, and said “Yes?” I ended up doing a double take and made a complete turn, checking to make sure a choir nerd wasn’t hiding behind me or playing a prank. Absolutely no one was there. I was a bit embarrassed and turned back around to find my choir staring at me in silence. Old Mr. Keller is just losing his mind. I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces for eternity. We all had quite a giggle. I said something like “Well, I guess we have a ghost today.” Many of my students know I’m also a paranormal nerd, and so they giggled and we moved on. 

As soon as that class left and I was eating lunch, it all hit me. The evening before this event was when I blogged about my research on Miss Verna Owen in my previous post. She was a teacher in my hometown who taught for 50 years and died in 1986 at the age of 90. The connection started when I realized I own two of her high school yearbooks from the 1920s. She had been on my mind a lot in the last few days. Just that morning at school, I kept relating all of the days activities to how it would have been for her in the 1920s… or the 30s… or the 40s (and gosh, she taught all the way into the 60s). During my morning drive I thought, Miss Owen would have walked to school in those early days. While helping students with typical middle school “issues”, I thought, I wonder how similar these issues are to those in Miss Owens’ class? And what would she have done? 

So after that goose bumpy moment, and after some thought, I’ve decided that I just may have had a visit from Miss Owen. Who knows? The very next day, I told the story to my kids. They were fascinated, and now, of course, we’ve had several Miss Owen moments. Not really, but it sure lightens the mood when Mr. Keller is more likely to be cranky and stressed before concert time. Thanks, Miss Owen! Stop by any time… 

 

 

 


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