From Wicked Witch to Glenda – Story Honoring Mrs. Rainey
By: Sarah Mabry
“We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.” I wish! The wizard in my case would have been my guidance counselor, Mrs. Springfield. I did not need a scarecrow, a lion, a tin man, munchkins, or even ruby red slippers to help me out; all I needed was my schedule changed out of Mrs. Rainey’s honors English. But, then I realized I needed this class to graduate on the distinguished scholar’s path; I was NOT going to let my fear of Mrs. Rainey restrain me from that high honor. So with c-c-c-courage, I followed the yellow brick road, not to the guidance office, but straight to the classroom of Mrs. Adrienne Rainey.
It has been proven that within the first couple of minutes upon meeting someone, the brain will actually start analyzing and making judgments of that person. At my first real encounter with Mrs. Rainey, my brain went straight to action. After hearing all horror stories from the classes she taught last semester, I knew this class was not going to be poppies in Emerald City. At first, she seemed to be a nice lady, with a very professional sense of style, but I was not going to be fooled. I knew she was hiding something, even though her face gave off nothing. She was not green, her nose was not long and pointy, and there was no large, hairy wart anywhere. I tried over-analyzing her hair. It was black, long, and curly, but so well groomed that it did not help me in defining who she was. Thirty minutes of analyzing had elapsed when I zoned back into class, and as fast a tornado could sweep me up, shake me round, and put me down, I knew who she was! I was sitting in a class being taught by the Wicked Witch of the West, only this Wicked Witch was from New Jersey and spoke with a Northern accent.
As she spoke her wrath came down and even scared away a football defensive end! He could not handle the pressure of all the extensive work. Because were honors, she was going to treat us that way and give us work accordingly. We were going to have to write papers, take comprehensive notes, and give oral presentations, to name a few of the tasks we had to accomplish. We were her munchkins; she was going to make us work, work, work. I would have done anything to be somewhere else. She even said if we could not handle all that work and the tests that we need to drop honors. I was tempted to click the heels of those ruby red slippers, but I would not.
I hadn’t read any of my summer reading, which was a huge mistake. After discussing in detail “The Great Gatsby,” I regretted not reading it. She actually made it seem so interesting. I could not believe it; I was coming under the witch’s spell. I actually thought English was appealing. After months in her class, I forgot what I heard about all the work she gave, and actually corrected people when they complained about her. She was no wicked witch at all! If anything, she was Glenda, the good witch of the North. Like Glenda wanted to liberate the munchkins, Mrs. Rainey liberated my mind from its standard, dreadful view of English. The ending of the Wizard of Oz is one of happy enchantment, as was the ending of my Honors English 11 class. The biggest project we had to do in there was the research paper. After weeks of solid working, the outcome was a magical 98! Auntie Em did not wake me up, because I was not dreaming. Like the tin man, I had a new heart for English. Thank you Mrs. Rainey