My crazy 2nd grade teacher was way into gardening. I suppose that to someone older than a 2nd grader, that might have seemed obvious, with her framed oil-paintings of lillies and pressed flowers in shadow-boxes and her fancy vases of sweet-smelling blooms, but when you're a kid, you're oblivious.
Girls liking flowers enough to have them all over the place just seems like a normal thing that girls do. Even teacher-girls.
However, our teacher was vocal about her love of gardening. Whenever we were learning history, she somehow found ways to weave random botany into the lesson. Same with English and Social Studies.
That's fine-- but when we were learning about the human body (how skin is the actual biggest organ, even though it's on the outside and how that can be confusing) she went all Magic Schoolbus on us and started to get into sophomore-level biology. She spoke of cells and platelets and plasma and 'organic materials'.
I suppose midway through it, she became conscious of the fact that we were all either confused or drooling, so she decided to make it a bit more interesting by relating it to a gardening story.
Apparently, she lived on the same street as a doctor. The doctor in question, instead of disposing of bags of donated blood into the properly labeled biohazard receptacle, he would take them home and dump the 'spoiled' blood into the earth from which his roses grew.
"They were the most beautiful roses, his 'blood roses'," our teacher gushed, eyes shining. "I always wished I could have roses like that."
I think maybe she wanted to bleed one of us to death to help her garden, and only held off the urge by talking about the doctor's roses.
Ever since then, I have always wanted to get my hands on buckets of slaughterhouse blood, Carrie-style, in order to see if my morning glories and bougainvillea would come in stronger and prettier.
Teachers like that remind me of why it would be a bad idea to go after my credentials.