My high school ICT teacher always looked like she had just come in out of the rain. I think she was originally brought in out of the rain; like a cross between a lost old lady and a stray cat. She had short hair and it clung to her head in soggy grey curls. Matted fur.
Her mascara always ran too and her voice was croaky. The staff took pity and integrated her into their number. It just so happened she was very skilled with computers.
She wasn't so skilled as a teacher. It being the early days of mandatory computer literacy, we, the students, would get quite out of control being away from books and desks. We would spin in our swivel chairs, go on naughty websites and even message each other from across the room. Fortunately she had a nifty trick for such misbehaviour. She took over. She froze our computer screens and started writing a Word document telling us to settle down or suffer detention. I always yielded but the rest of the class had this childish old-fashioned sense of self-righteousness. One or two even found a way around the computer freeze but they only did it the one time. They wouldn't do it again no matter how much you prompted them.
They had wet hands. The backs of their hands were usually glistening after a detention. I thought it was sweat. Perhaps it was raindrops. Or teardrops.
She wasn't a happy woman. She looked lost in the hallways, in the staffroom, basically anywhere without a computer. It was then that she looked very dry in her fluffy jumpers and her corduroy jeans. She stared off into the distance with her eye make-up dripping down her face, head twitching every time she thought the bell was about to go. But it didn't, not until she had been trapped in a conversation with an RE teacher in need of free technical support.
She hated it when people referred to her subject as ICT. She called it IT ahead of its time. She always got so flustered when people would ask her what the letter 'C' meant in the acronym, of course it wasn't just 'computer'. I actually looked into it; it turns out ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology. I don't know what her problem was with the communication part. Maybe she didn't even know the full meaning. All she knew was information and technology.
She disappeared. Retired or so they described it, but I don't really remember her saying goodbye, having a party or even handing over the mouse to her successor. What I do remember though is her stepping outside for the last time. It was raining, not quite as heavily as the day she'd turned up, been rescued, but hard enough. She didn't have a coat on, just her usual ensemble. I would have said she would catch cold had my science teacher at the time not laughed the concept out of me.
She disappeared, to her car presumably; earrings swinging in time with her skinny arms. I forgot to mention the earrings, they were elaborate and pendulous. Two parts of her that showed off her balance, exemplified her rhythm. They looked like USB sticks. Probably not though; all that came years later.
And school just let its stray, it's odd, soggy family member, depart in the middle of a school day in the middle of a school week. Perhaps they fired her and dressed it up as retirement. She was just too good at freezing all the computer screens, at taking over.
Her name was Inwood. She moved on sleekly though soaked to the bone.