Wednesday, May 04, 2005

AKA The Hairy Zit

Did you ever wonder what your reputation was around the workplace? I didn't, but today I'm afraid I found out anyway.
Our kids are working feverishly under a teacher-imposed deadline for the articles they are writing for their newpapers. They got to choose to work on a newspaper that featured Alamo news, literature news, or our school. The school newspaper is getting out of hand. We have already had to censor the advice column: Dear Addie Advice, My friends won't tell me what second base is. They make fun of me because I don't know. Will you tell me? Signed, Confused. We have also censored the Crime Report: The person behind the bathroom graffiti at our school has been caught! John Doe will get one day of ISS for writing Mrs. Smith is a %*&!@ on the bathroom wall in the fourth grade hall. We had to bring the kids to a stop on their Least Favorite Teacher survery before things really got out of hand.
After yesterday's Come to Jesus talk, the one of our groups decided to do an "Also Known As..." list about the teachers to show our true personalities. They shared the list with us at recess today. Some of my colleague's aliases included: The Boogie Woogie Fashion Queen, The New Britney Spears, and OU's Head Cheerleader. I eagerly awaited my own fresh, hip identity.
"What's mine?" I asked.
"Yours is The Wise Writing Wizard!" came the reply. I tried not to show my disappointment. The Writing Wizard? Come on. Why do I always have to be the geek? My teammate snickered at me and winked. Sure, she could giggle, she was Britney Spears.
I petitioned for a different, cooler name. One that was fabulous. One that encompassed my many fine qualities and stunning good looks. They thought. They huddled. They returned en masse to present me with my next identity.
"Your AKA is The Funny Stick!" They smiled proudly. I wrinkled my forehead in confusion.
"The Funny Stick?" I asked, trying not to hurt their feelings.
"You know, like funny bone....cause you're funny...but, you know, stick cause you're skinny..." the leader's voice trailed off as she squirmed uncomfortably. This was not going well. My teammate tried kindly to tell them that "stick" wasn't really a compliment. She suggested thin and slender before encouraging them to try other possibilities. She suggested that they think of other things they know about me. Off they went to brainstorm while I, the Funny Stick, sat on a bench and tried to see myself from someone else's viewpoint.
Soon they returned triumphantly and I looked up warily. This time, they surrounded me and threw their arms around my shoulders. Britney Spears looked on in obvious amusement.
"What's my name?" I asked apprehensively.
"The Beached Beagle!" they shouted, thrilled with their own cleverness. "Beached! Like a beached whale, because you love the beach and we made it beagle because of Gus!" They laughed and laughed. I sat on my bench with a vision of myself as a beached beagle looming before me. In the end, I meekly suggested that we just go back to the Writing Wizard, but it seems that time had passed. We were on to bigger, greener pastures here. Nothing could stop them now.
One of my little friends idly picked up a piece of mulch and then waved it excitedly in my face. "Have you met your relative?" she squealed. Unrivaled hilarity ensued.
"Heh," I mustered up. Britney Spears fluffed her hair and grinned. Maybe they will grow bored of this game soon.
I suspect that tonight's IM conversations might yield more clever AKA's for me. Perhaps if I'm lucky they'll include some of my finer qualities like my arm hair or a zit. One can dream.

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