Wednesday, April 20, 2011
My name came over the loudspeaker. Report to the main office, they said.
I'd been expecting it, ever since our Parent Coordinator told me that some kids were looking for me. They had something for me, she said. I shouldn't go too far. So I ran a quick errand but apparently it wasn't quick enough, because a teacher stopped me on the way back to the office saying that she wanted to reschedule our observation. It wasn't a good day, she said, and she knew I had high expectations. I was trying to talk her out of it because really, I'm not that scary, before the announcement gave me an out.
When I got back to the office, three of my former students were standing there, with a large picture wrapped in what looked like the paper we used to cover bulletin boards.
"We're here to give you a present," Jenny said. She was holding a dusty plant, which she immediately thrust into my hands.
"We feel you need it," said Alan. "A present, which we will present to you with great ceremony."
Alan was always one for a clever turn of phrase. This is one of the reasons, in fact, that I enjoy him so. He handed me a somewhat ragged stuffed bear. Dog. Something. It was white and fuzzy.
Jose then presented me with what was clearly the real present. I could tell because they'd gift-wrapped it with bulletin board paper. It was a poster in a tattered frame.
So of course I opened it with great ceremony and even though I knew they'd found these items all over school, I let them hang it with even more ceremony, because when someone goes to this much trouble for a joke, you really need to let them get to the punchline.
Kids. They're funny.