Updated: Nov 12, 2021
As a child, I loved collecting and playing marbles.
My third grade teacher loved to collect and permanently keep his student’s full bags of marbles even if only one marble fell out of their bag onto the floor. Thanks to his students, he had quite a marble collection.
Mr. W. Also enjoyed playing and winning boys’ marbles from them at recess. Feeling I could beat him, I challenged him to a marble game one spring recess. I offered to play with the condition that if I won, he'd give back all the bags of marbles he'd collected throughout the school year. He agreed under the condition that I would forfeit mine if I lost. I agreed to his condition as I never went to school with more than a handful of marbles in my pocket and never with my favorites.
On the day of “The Great Marble Challenge” a large group of kids gathered around us in a circle. Just before we began, Mr. W. looked down at me and said he would not be beaten by a sissy girl in lace knee socks. I didn’t let his humiliating remark deter me from my goal. I was confident and focused in beating him at every game, during each recess that day.
At the end of the school day, I watched happily as every bag of marbles Mr. W. had collected from students throughout the year was returned. I gave back all that I had won that day so they could be returned as well.
My third grade teacher was young, immature and not particularly kind but he unwittingly taught me to do what I could to right a wrong, negotiate, set big goals, and overcome humiliating moments. I learned to not let anyone put me in a box and that loving headbands and lace, baseball and marbles, was more than ok.
My Abstract Painting “Marbles and Lace” was created with my third grade marble experience in mind. The red represents boldness and the love I felt for my cheering friends. The teal (my happy color) represents the lace and marbles of a little girl coming together in a moment of victory!