“Then write a funny one,” she suggested pragmatically.
Following is my attempt to follow Tanah’s advice.
“I don’t want to go to bed tonight,” Miles said.
“Why not?” I queried.
“Because if I go to bed then I will go to sleep and the night will pass very quickly and then it will be tomorrow and then I will have to go to Maturation and I don’t want to. If I don’t go to bed then the night will last a long time and I won’t have to go to Maturation as soon.”
Though his logic was questionable, there was no question about his feelings concerning the upcoming maturation talk scheduled for fifth grade boys and their parents; he DREADED the ordeal he imagined it would be. I am happy to report that he survived the maturation talk and will mostly likely survive his personal maturation as well. Today is his 11th birthday and all is well so far.
Matt, a very bright student and genuinely good person, came into my classroom before school carrying a huge tote filled with presents. “Merry Christmas Mrs. Hislop,” he said as he handed me a gift bag. I thanked him and put the bag aside until lunch at which time I sampled its contents.
Matt has my class after lunch so, when he came to class, I thanked him again for the gift and told him it was better than the lunch I’d brought from home.
“What was it?” he queried, explaining that his mother had assembled the gift bags.
“Gourmet pretzels and some Biscotti spread,” I said.
“Are the pretzels good?,” he asked, “My mom loves them but I have never had any.”
“They are really good,” I confirmed.
“May I have one?” he asked.
Of course. I opened the bag and gave him a handful.
“May I try the spread too?” he asked.
Pause. Why not?
I opened the bottle of Biscotti and we both dipped and dined. I know for a fact that I was not the only teacher to whom Matt gave a gift but I am very confident that I was the only teacher with whom Matt shared his gift.
“I love this kind of bread,” the Wal-Mart checker said as she scanned the Italian seasoned loaves I found on the day-old rack for $0.60 each.
“I am sorry,” I said, “I took all of them there were there.”
“Oh, I know how it goes,” she said, “The good things disappear quickly around here. I love apple crisp yogurt but they are always gone when I get off work so I have to hide some. I put them behind the diet peach. Do you think that is bad?”
Heavens no! Anyone who endures working at Wal-Mart during the holiday season deserves a treat….though I do know where to look next time I want apple crisp yogurt…..
At the Christmas fund raising auction, the Drago family spent $40 for the dubious privilege of spending a Family Home Evening with the Hislops (us). I strongly suspected that one of the primary reasons for their purchase was Joe Drago’s love of Tanah’s Triple Chocolate Cake, which we promised to provide as dessert. Tanah made said cake and put it into the oven to bake however the oven, which had pre-heated with promise, turned off and promised not to turn on again.
Without an oven but not without a neighbor, I called next door to the Brixeys. Darrell answered the phone; his wife, Chris, was not home at the time. “You want me to bake a cake?” he asked incredulously. I assured him that I would do all the baking; all he had to do was turn the oven on to 3500. Being of a good (great) heart, he agreed though doing so was clearly out of his comfort zone.
Chris pulled into the driveway as I came out of their home, baked cake in hand. “You just did something that I have not been able to do my entire married life!” she said.
“What?” I asked, clueless.
“Get Darrell to bake a cake.”
Bless Darrell! Again and again! I needed to bake another cake the next day. Again Chris was not home and again Darrell stepped out of his comfort zone for me though this time he was less uncomfortable…. Today cake, tomorrow soufflé!
“I picked the scab off my cat’s ear,” Charlene said, “Can I look at it under the microscope?” Gotta love 8th graders!
Our around-the-corner neighbor John is always doing nice things for us. Hoping to express our love, we decided to do the 12 Days of Christmas for him but were not sure what to get; trinkets are pointless, he declines candy when we offer it, he avoids healthy food almost as effectively as he avoids Church…… hum….. Finally we decided to give him potato chips because it seems he always has an open bag of chips sitting next to his recliner when we visit him. I bought a box of assorted Frito Lay chip bags from Sam’s Club and we began leaving two bags/night on his front porch, accompanied by a little note.
Five days into our project John visited us, bearing gifts. He gave me a grapefruit, the girls Egg Nog, Miles some candy, and Lance some socks. “And here,” he said, “I have been receiving a lot of these lately and I can’t eat them; too much salt,” and he gave us 10 bags of assorted Frito Lay chips, minus the notes. Re-gifting at its best!
“Today in science we learned that the Earth was made by volcanoes,” Miles told me, “but I know how it was really made.”
“Oh,” said I, “how was it really made?” The science teacher in me was intensely curious to hear his answer.
“Jesus made the Earth,” he stated confidently (and correctly).
“True,” I confirmed, “but don’t you think Jesus could have used volcanoes to make the Earth? Jesus is the greatest scientist of all time, you know.” There is no conflict between science and religion that a better understanding of one or both won’t eliminate. I love that. (Ope, was that preachy???)
Have a fabulous week,