illustration of fifth grade portrait angle of christine, long hair and bangs, with red flushed cheeks

We were talking amongst ourselves in my fifth grade class when my friend said something hilarious, causing me to burst out laughing. I even startled myself with my sudden laughter. I stole a glance at Mrs. Mink and made eye contact with her for a split second.

It took Mrs. Mink a few minutes to get the classroom’s attention. When we all quieted down after a few minutes, she made her frustration quite clear. She then said to us, “You know, sometimes when people laugh loudest it’s because they are looking for attention.”

I was sure Mrs. Mink was directing her comment to me. Just me. 

Today, I think about Mrs. Mink’s remark on occasion. It really left a mark on me. I get a tiny feeling of glee, though, when I laugh aloud. I delight in knowing I can enjoy playfulness and laughter. My fifth grade teacher, on the other hand, found ulterior motives in it. How sad for her.