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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A snow day, and another sneak peek

I am sitting at home today, enjoying a very rare inclement weather day off from DISD. Though some of my friends north of here may think that we have received a mere pittance of the white stuff, there was enough ice and wind to scare the big wigs and shut down school.

Note I am not complaining.

Instead, I thought I'd post another rough draft chapter from my work in progress -- Learn Me Gooder.

As always, feedback is appreciated...

Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To: Fred Bommerson

From: Jack Woodson

Subject: Send in the clowns. And the cleanup crew

Hey man,

Yesterday, as we were coming back inside from recess, several of my girls were enthusiastically telling me that somebody had seen a clown outside, and that this clown had killed a kid. Our transitional conversation usually isn’t quite so morbid. Most of the time, it just ranges from, “Mr. Woodson, I forgot my jacket!” to, “Mr. Woodson, I forgot my sweater!” with the occasional, “Oh no! I left my book outside!” thrown in.

I pretty much ignored the killer clown comments, instead reminding the kids to, “be ninjas” as we walked down the hallway. That’s my code phrase for, “Knock off all that jibber jabber!”

Today at recess, before any of the teachers realized what was going on, a huge group of third graders (about 50 or 60) had gathered out in the far corner of the soccer field where there is a sewer grate. I had a feeling they weren’t holding a poetry slam, so I went out to the field and chased them all back onto the playground, only to hear about twenty confirmations that there was indeed a killer clown living down in the sewer.

Well, this clinches it. Someone has been watching Stephen King’s “It.” Ten years ago, I would have bet good money that no 8-year-old would ever have been allowed to watch a scary movie like that, but my first year of teaching quelled those thoughts. Now I know it’s not at all uncommon for these kids to watch High School Musical and Freddy vs. Jason in the same weekend.

Not only that, but I also have first hand proof that my kids are so brilliant that instead of running FROM a would-be homicidal circus freak, they would actually swarm CLOSER to it. Have I mentioned that I do NOT work at a Vanguard school?

Most of the kids seem (I hope!) to know that it’s just a big gag. But Joanne seems genuinely terrified. So much so that Miss Rooker had to take her out of class this afternoon and talk with her about it, trying to calm her fears.

I can only hope that next week, nobody comes to school talking about a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury that can drive by itself.

Later in the day, there was another terrifying event. I don’t know if it was from the fear of Pennywise the Killer Clown or from a bad reaction to the fish sticks, but Wanda couldn’t keep her lunch down.

Around 1:30, I was stooped down by Charles’s desk, helping him with a math problem. All of a sudden, from the other side of the room, I heard the sound of 500 wet paper clips hitting the floor. Ah yes, someone had blown chunks.

I stood up and saw Wanda just staring at me with a stained shirt and glazed eyes. She looked like she was in a trance, just waiting to be told what to do. Had I shouted, “VOMIT!” she probably would have puked again. Had I screamed, “JUGGLE BOWLING PINS!!” she might have attempted it. Instead, I shouted, “GO TO THE BATHROOM!!”

Meanwhile, every other eyeball in the room was riveted to the brown puddle on the floor. My sarcastic inner voice came out, and I couldn’t help saying, “PLEASE! Keep staring at the throw up! Let’s all get a REALY good look at the vomit and make ourselves sick! Tomorrow, be sure to bring a camera, so you can take a picture!”

WHY??? Why do these kids STARE at throw up? Personally, MY reaction to someone vomiting is to get as far away as possible from that person and their hurlage. Not these kids, though.

Oooh, somebody got sick and made a disgusting mess?? Let’s stick our noses right in it and get the full sensory experience! Wow, there’s a murderous clown running around? Let’s go see if we can find it and catch its attention!

Hey, I think I’ve got some spoiled milk in the fridge, so I’m going to let you go now while I go smell and taste it!


Colm N Sense

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