MY SPANISH TEACHER WAS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
WHO UNDERSTOOD HOW TO COMPORT HERSELF
Her response to correct answers was: Punto! (Point!) Incorrect answers she noted with: Estúpido! This requires no translation, and would never pass muster today as sensitive teacherly encouragement.
But while a thoroughly no-nonsense educator, Mrs. Landa had a heart of gold. Which accounts for the passing grades my good friend, Johnny Kline, and I received despite less than stellar performance in Spanish. We could usually sweet-talk her into extra credit for making papier mâché piñatas or singing Mexican folksongs in class.
Petite and outrageously beautiful, Mrs. Landa had been a dancer, and she moved with graceful authority on the six-inch heels that served as punctuation marks for a womanly presence both commanding and sensual. Her quick wit, coupled with a withering motherly glance, was sufficient to disarm any sassy teenage innuendo emanating from male fantasies in which she no doubt played a featured role.