Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monologue Mania Day #295 by Janet S. Tiger Breakfast With Teacher Dec. 4, 2014

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Monologue Mania Day #295 by Janet S. Tiger Breakfast With Teacher Dec. 4, 2014 

                                            Breakfast With Teacher
                                 A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved

              (A woman comes onstage, carrying a bag that she sets down on a table.  She stands tall, speaking loudly and enunciating clearly.)

Hello.  I am very happy to be here on the Senior Channel retrospective on (says it with great pride) 'the person who most influenced my life.' (quickly) But who wasn't a family member.  I want to tell you favorite teacher.

            (Takes a deep breath, smiles while remembering)

Inez Amupalalla was my favorite teacher, and not just because her name gave me the giggles, even now, it makes me smile.

And she was a smile, that Inez.
She had a story about her name she told the first day of school to every class.
Her grandfather was from Finland, and when he came to the United States, through Ellis Island over 100 years ago, he spoke little English.
They asked him what his name was, and he answered Petri.  But when they asked for his last name, his surname, he did not understand, and he was very tired after a long trip, and they asked him what he wanted his last name to be, and all he understood was, 'what do you want?'
Well, he was hungry, so he answered....

         (She points at her  mouth)

Breakfast....but he said it in Finnish, which is Amupala....but the men at Ellis Island were laughing and spelled it with an extra 'la'.....Amupalalla......which made them laugh even more.
So her grandfather went everywhere thinking they were going to give him ...amupala...breakfast, and when some people did, he was happy.  Finally, after a few days, another Finnish immigrant explained what happened, but by that time, her father was very happy with his new name......he felt that it was lucky, so he kept Amupalalla  

His real name, which was Laukennen, became a thing of the past, relegated to an old birth certificate that Inez' mother found when she was a girl, and which Miss Amupalalla showed us proudly as she finished her story.
And after Miss Amupalalla told this story, she would feed her students a traditional Finnish breakfast, which featured a thick porridge sprinkled with sugar and berries.  And it included the famous and wondrous and amazing ooh, can I can still remember that unusual word! - Leipajuusto!.....a  bread cheese....that when you bit into it would making a squeaking noise!.....that was served with a delicious cloudberry the end of the first day in her class, there was no doubt who your favorite teacher would be for the rest of your life, and, to this day, it is still true.

Because Miss Amupalalla was my favorite teacher, I decided to become a teacher.  And on my first day ever teaching, I told the students all about me, even though my name was only Helen Fletcher, I made them some tea with bangers and mash, and although my name did not stir any reaction, the bangers and mash was a big hit.

I knew that I was going to like teaching - and one day, years later, one of the students came back after going to England, and he visited me, and told me that I ......

          (She is very affected by this)

I was his favorite teacher......and that's when I knew that Miss Amupalalla had been my most influential person.  And in honor of her memory....

           (She goes to the bag and holds it up)

I have brought some amupala for the audience!

           (She turns to leave, stops, looks back)

Thank you....

             (She looks up)

And thank you, Miss Amupalalla!

             (She giggles and exits, not the end of good teachers, thank goodness!)

For those interested.....
Some info on Finnish words and food-


Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315 
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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