Monday, February 14, 2005

"Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs.!"

"Oh! I mean, I mean, you know!! What is it....Valentine's. Happy Valen- nevermind. Whatever." My dejected student walked away, unsure what exactly he was celebrating today. What we were celebrating wasn't all that important anyway. What was really important were two things:
1. "What time are we going to stop class for the party?" and
2. "Mrs.!! Will you puh-LEASE tell all the boys that just because my Valentine's are mushy doesn't mean I LIKE them??" A few minutes later..."Except for William?"
As my little pumpkins entered my lair this morning, I received a variety of greetings.
8:20 "Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs.!"
8:21 "Hey! Mrs.! Look at my hair! My mom made me cut it! My mom married my stepdad on Saturday! He got out of jail! My hair looks stupid, doesn't it?"
8:22 [Cough, hack, wheeze] "Mrs.? I have the flu. But I don't want to miss the party, so my mom said I could come to school just for today. I won't be here tomorrow. I'm not supposed to sit near anybody. Is that okay?" (Uh, huh...riiiight. But you'll be here for the writing test with bells on, I bet.)
8:23 "Here's some candy for you! Guess what? There was another package of candy at the store that only had 4 pieces in it and it costed four dollars! That one was only three and look how much is in it!"
We managed to suffer through a semi-normal day of school until we reached the pivotal time - 2:15. The room mommies appeared and took over with games, crafts, food, and fun. I hid near the back and tried not to get any on me.
One of the games that she brought was for the kids to see how many words they could make using only the letters from Valentine's Day. Seems simple, right? It would be simple in a district that taught spelling. Some hotly debated entries in the contest were: nite, val, tave, and til. Another student thought he had won with his lengthy list of words such as: Friday, party, and candy. He missed the boat on that one, but wanted to deliberate with me at length about his eligibility.
Me: "See? Friday only uses 4 letters from Valentine's Day. They have to all come from there." I counted them with my finger for him.
He stared.
Me: "Do you see how F and R aren't in there? You can't just stick them in there."
He pondered some more.
Me: "Do you understand?"
Him: "I didn't write that. This fat part on my hand?" He gestured. "It's sore."
Me: "Umkay. Well, do you want to go try the game again?"
Him: "I think my hand wrote the F and the R without me knowing it."
Me: "Well, you know, sometimes that happens. Do you and your hand want to go try the game again?"
Et cetera.
Have I told you about my kid who looks just like Stifler from American Pie? Well. He brought me a gift I've never received before. He trooped into my room beladen with goods, and he extended his arms. His arms which were covered in beads. Colored beads. Colored Mardi Gras beads. He had a Stifler-esque twinkle in his eyes. "Want some beads, Mrs. R?" Twinkle was joined by knowing grin. Knowing grin he clearly gained from his older brothers on their trip to New Orleans last week. My mouth dropped involuntarily. "Heh, heh..." I chuckled awkwardly, trying to act like I didn't know what he was getting at. Was I being sexually harrassed by a ten year old? "Nothing says Happy Valentine's quite like Mardi Gras, does it?" I grasped for words in vain. I put on some pearl colored ones and moved away. Quickly.
We proceeded to enjoy our sugar free holiday fiesta, complete with vegetable tray, cheese and crackers, and everyone's favorite treat, beef jerky. Soon, the kids began to open their mushy-but-I-don't-like-you-but-I-really-do Valentine's cards, which now aren't "the good ones" unless they come wrapped around candy. The sugar to hormone ratio remained constant as both rose rapidly.
Next, came my favorite part. we decorated our Craft. If you don't know how I feel about crafts, well, I can't talk about it. I abhor crafts. Especially ones with jiggly eyes. Today's Craft had something even worse than jiggly eyes: my nemesis, glitter. I will be picking up red glitter for the remainder of the school year. The person who invented glitter has clearly never spent time around kids. The parent who brings glitter into my classroom must have a maid at home. There is now red glitter glued to my desktops, affixed to the chairs, and mingled in the blue astroturf carpeting. My student who believes herself to be a cat sprinkled it into her red hair as an "experiment." Then she purred and nuzzled my arm.
This has been most therapeutic to write about it. I must go finish preparing dinner that Mike has so thoughtfully started. He is baffled as to why I must have this 30 minutes of downtime in which I rehash my day. I can't explain it. Or maybe I just did.


shandi said...

Hysterical! Still laughing. Considering that I have an 11 year old boy, I can relate, but not on such a hugh scale. I will visit again. Keep up the good writing.

katielady said...

I feel for you, man. Candy-wrapped Valentines relate to my point that everyone wants bigger and better now. Remember making you own Valentine's box, with construction paper and scissors? Do your kids even get to use scissors? Joel and I were remiscing about that this morning.

What did you have for dinner? I made Joel chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy and squash pie. None of which you can find in NYC. Try explaining 'chicken fried steak' to a New Yorker. It's like trying to explain okra, which I have also tried to do.

Cliff said...

Hello Ginny :) Just stumbled on your blog through Blogexplosion, and am glad I did. You have quite a talent!!!

(Austrian Accent) I'll be bock...