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A Timely Excerpt From Simmer Down, Mr. C

30 Oct

As a teacher, Halloween takes on a whole different meaning. It went from being something I used to anticipate to something I dreaded. As the kids walked in that day, I could feel the tension in the air. These kids were wound tighter than a guitar string. Trying to get and hold their attention was becoming more and more difficult with every slow-sweep of the minute hand. Six boys already had their faces painted like vampires. Two girls came in wearing see-through fairy costumes, leaving little to the imagination. “Go to the office, girls,” I said. “There’s no way you’re wearing that in here.” They both rolled their eyes and left in a huff. By lunch, I had collected four sets of vampire teeth, two fake cigarettes, one pipe, three containers of white make-up, and six sword-like weapons. “You’ll get these back in June,” I said, knowing full well I wasn’t planning to keep them that long. What kind of a cruel tyrant keeps kids’ toys until June? I really wanted to, but knowing some of their parents would be here later in the afternoon to help at the party made me realize I didn’t have the guts to follow through with it…

The party was supposed to start at exactly 2:00 with an all-school parade. Because this was a new experience for me, I told my kids to start getting into their costumes at 1:30. Huge mistake. It took exactly twelve seconds for most of them to get ready, leaving twenty-nine minutes of pure pandemonium. Even the most mild-mannered children were running around like they had hot coals in their pants. Kids screaming. Boys engaged in sword fights that involved gouging each other and trying to cut the other person’s head off with their plastic weapons. One kid took it upon himself to hide behind the door and try and scare everyone that walked through. The pinnacle of his success came as one of the classroom mothers came in carrying a tray of meat and cheese. As he jumped out, she dropped the whole thing.

 

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Writing

 

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