Throwback Thursday: Teacher Edition: Mrs. Bridges

Grace Schuetze, Managing Editor

Sophomore English teacher Mrs. Bridges offers an insight on her high school years in the final Throwback Thursday of the 2014-2015 school year.

What were you like in high school?

Initially, my freshman and sophomore year because we had just moved back to Germany I was very much an introvert. I didn’t talk unless spoken to, and because of all the moving around that we did as little as possible in school. I did my homework, but I never went above and beyond and I did what I had to to get by. My freshman year was at one high school, my sophomore year was at a different high school, and my junior and senior year I was at another high school. I was constantly moving.

What was your favorite class in high school?

My senior year I wanted to be on the debate team because I thought I had a knack for arguing. In order to be on the debate team it was a requirement that you be in a speech class and the only way that I could be in the speech class was to be in the honors classes. I had never been in honors classes before, it had always been on-level. So they approached me and said if you really wanted to be in debate you have to be in the honors classes, we’ll let you try it. My grades went up exponentially, had the best year ever, senior year, and I can honestly say that the English teacher I had, Mrs. Ray, is probably one of the greatest inspirations that I ever had. She was phenomenal. She had come down to high school from teaching college and she said that the whole reason why she made the move down from college to high school was to figure out why none of us could read or write. She was wonderful.

What college did you attend?

I didn’t go to college until I had already moved back to Texas [from California]. I had been out of school for about 15 years, and I started at TCC to get my toe back into it and then I went to UNT and finished up at DBU.

What were you involved in in high school?

When I lived in Germany I played basketball for the base and I for high school I played volleyball. I was in band, I played flute. When we moved back to Texas my junior year and I marched and my senior year I did debate. We traveled in groups and when we did UIL contests and there was one where we did impromptu acting and there was a group of five.The fifth person was out sick and they needed a fifth person to slide into that slot. I was done debating for the day, and so they came to me and said they needed me to slide in. Never done it before, had a blast, everything was just off the cuff and we made it to the semifinals. It was pretty cool.

Was it difficult to move around so much as a teenager?

Parts of it was hard. Leaving your friends was hard, but my mom was absolutely phenomenal during the moves. Every time we moved she had a game that she put in the suitcase- we wouldn’t get our stuff for maybe 2 months because you’re waiting for it to get shipped overseas, and so you’d be without your stuff so my mom would always pack a game and a bag of Hershey’s kisses and wherever we were that first night we played games and ate Hershey’s kisses. And that was how we were introduced to the new place.

What was your favorite memory from high school?

My senior year in high school in my Spanish class Mrs. Lutz had to take emergency leave and was gone for a period of time. We had a sub and she had given us these posters that had forty words on it with the picture and spanish word and there were four or five of those posters and we were supposed to pass them around during class and write down the words. The next day we went into class and the sub said we were taking a test over the words and I laid my pencil down and said “No, I refuse.” It wasn’t just me, the whole class started rebelling, and everyone in that room laid their pencils down and refused. We refused to take the test and the sub got the vice principal and he came in there and said that the next day we would take our test and I looked at him and said “no I’m not, not everyone had the chance to get all of the words.” The next day the sub handed out the test and I laid my pencil down and everyone else laid their pencils down.I had to talk to the principal and told him what happened and he said that he understood and that none of us had to take the test. That was probably the coolest moment when you realized that we had a right to protest if you thought something was unjust, but we weren’t disrespectful, it was just a matter of no it isn’t right.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

I’ve always wanted to teach, but I moved around so much with my husband being in the military that starting anything seemed futile because I knew I would be moving in a couple of years. I didn’t want to pick up and restart my degree, so I just didn’t do it. Everything that I learned in these other jobs I think makes me a better teacher. When students look at me, I can give them true business world experiences. When they sit here and tell me that they don’t need to know this procedural writing, I can tell them yes, you do and this is why.