Once upon a time, when I was a naïve child with no inkling of racism, sexism, or any other isms, I thought that a career as an educator – ahem, second grade teacher – was the greatest job this wonderful world had to offer. I flirted with idea of being a WWE wrestler and a marine biologist as well. But then I realized that being choke-slammed or plunging to the deepest depths of the ocean in search of unidentified life wasn’t nearly as important as wearing pencil skirts and being given apples by eight-year-olds.
What appealed most to me about teaching wasn’t the concept of educating the next generation or grooming a future Barack Obama. Oh no, that wasn’t it at all. You see, grade school teachers were the ultimate sign of femininity – with their crisp, white blouses and cute kitten heels – and I was struggling to attain the 1950s American Dream. After all, I was 12, and I thought that being the girliest preteen in the room was as crucial to life as fresh air and running water.
Then, I grew up. I learned about all of the harmful isms and I realized that I was better fit to serve the world as a writer and activist than the perfect prep school teacher. Yesterday morning, as she tearfully bid adieu to her co-hosts and the audience that has loved her for almost two decades, Ann Curry grew up as well.
After spending 15 years smiling with her mouth instead of her eyes as she sat on a small plastic couch and interviewed Chris Brown about his latest album and Brielle Hunter about her sordid affair with John Edwards, Curry finally gets to remove the mask that she has been hiding behind and step into who she really is – a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred, gritty journalist.