Chart Week: August 2, 1986
Song: “Your Wildest Dreams” – The Moody Blues
Chart Position: #20, 16th week on the chart. Peaked at #9 for two weeks in July.

Having a teenage crush on a teacher is kind of a rite of passage, the stuff dozens – perhaps hundreds – of trashy novels and movies have been based on over the years.

However, I don’t recall every being infatuated with one of my teachers.[1] I think that’s because while I had plenty of nice looking teachers, there weren’t any that were so good looking that they made me feel all queasy inside.

During my year in California there was one teacher who may have filled that role had I lived out there longer. She had kind of a Plain Jane look about her. She wore her hair straight and long and didn’t put much makeup on. Plus, she was generally a joyless, strict, by-the-book teacher. But she also had a subtle, natural beauty that you appreciated the more you were around her.

One day, however, she let her guard down a little. She told us a story about when she was in high school. It had something to do with a guy she thought was cute finally asking her out and them going hiking and a teacher from their school who was also hiking discovering the six pack they had stashed and not only taking it but leaving a note that they shouldn’t be drinking. Wow!

She was an English/writing teacher and I think some of her point was about how to tell a story, how to build drama, how to bring your story to a satisfying conclusion.[2] But in telling the story she also opened herself up to us. As she laughed and smiled while she told her story, you could feel the class growing warmer toward her. I remember gasps and laughter when she came to the kicker at the end of the tale.

This was not too long before we moved back to Kansas City. I wonder if I would have learned to appreciate her teaching skills more had we remained in California. And maybe even developed a little bit of a crush on her along the way.

What does that have to do with this song? Not a whole hell of a lot, to be honest. Except that once she told us that she liked the Moody Blues. In 1987 this was the only Moody Blues song I knew of. I think that is still the case. So when I heard it a week ago, it made me think of her and that moment when she reached out and made a connection with her students.

  1. I did have a Spanish instructor in college who I was interested in. College grad assistants who are just a couple years older than you don’t really count as teacher crushes, though.  ↩

  2. Shit, now that I think about it, maybe her story wasn’t true at all, just a piece of fiction to teach us rather than connect with us.  ↩