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"Miss Scoltic Is Alive"

When I went to Buffalo PS64, 
there was no scheduled prayer. 
There was no "under God" in the Pledge either, 
and I have never gotten used to the addition, 
because I learned it the other way. 

Our class was about evenly split between Christians and Jews, 
so group prayer to Jesus would have been inappropriate. 

Our wonderful eighth grade teacher was Jewish. 
One day she veered off into religion, 
advocating the Judaistic view of the afterlife... 
that there isn't any, 
except in the memory of those who knew you. 
No consciousness after this life. 

She didn't present it as a Jewish theology, 
to teach us about other religions. 
She presented it as fact. 
It depressed and confused me for years. 
Maybe that's why I'm not an advocate of religion in public schools. 
I was on the other side of it. 

Miss Scoltic was the best teacher I ever had, 
except for that one intrusion into my religious beliefs. 

She's still very much alive in my memory. 

 October 26, 2003 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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