Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Come Here, My Dear

The chaos that is afternoon packup erupted in my classroom one day after school. I detest chaos. Particularly manic chaos. Ten year old manic chaos. Ten year old manic Friday afternoon chaos. It hurts my brain just a little bit. One of my repeat offenders was spotted across the room not putting his chair up, and not sitting in line as expected, but instead twirling his backpack about his head and shoulders in some bizarre ceremonial dance.
"Come here, my dear!" I called sweetly, beckoning with my pointer finger. He froze. The room fell silent.
"Ooooooh! Busted!" one of his future cellmates narrated in a hushed whisper to my left. The aforementioned manic chaos had halted, kids frozen in action: mouths hanging open, notes mid-pass, lockers stuck ajar.
"What's going on?" I queried, puzzled. I needed to know so that I could achieve this level of stillness and silence again in my future.
"You called him my dear! That's what you always say when someone's in big trouble." one of my pumpkins explained, very matter of factly.
I pondered this tidbit of information. Do I do that? Really? I mulled this over, unaware that I had created such a stigma around an affectionate phrase. Huh. Interesting. What's your phrase?

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