Coolness became important during fifth grade at Immaculate Conception school in Elmhurst. If my fledgling fellows were cool earlier, I missed it or maybe they just didn’t tell me, since I showed little potential for it.
It was cool having a lay teacher named Miss Reavis, while other classes were taught by the Sisters of Saint Agnes. Anyone with a “Miss” in her name must date boys, we reasoned. The nuns just walked across the parking lot to their convent after school.
It was cool that Miss Reavis told jokes. Maybe The Sisters of St. Agnes told jokes too since some were pretty jolly in general, but not in class.
It was cool that Miss Reavis also wore interesting clothes. Specifically, she was the only human in the building NOT in a uniform so anything she wore was interesting.
Being in the cool class gave me a confidence heretofore lacking. So confident was I that I let my Mom talk me into a corkscrew hair permanent and let my Dad talk me into my first pair of google-eyed glasses.
Cool was short-lived.