Monday, March 12, 2012

March Madness

Back when I was teaching junior high social studies I had a student named Robert Racer.  Robert was a straight A student, and in fact, I'm not sure he ever missed a single problem.  Robert was socially awkward.  He washed his hands after every class.  He didn't talk to girls (and wasn't much better with boys).  He didn't come to school functions, and if he wasn't doing school work he was reading.

I think most teachers have or have had a student like Robert.  So you can imagine my shock when Robert approached my desk and asked if he could organize an NCAA pool with other students.  I was almost too stunned to answer.  "Just a couple a bucks a person." he said awkwardly.

This kid had never talked during class and now he was asking me to permit gambling at school?!  I explained to him why that wasn't happening, he listened, seemed to accept my answer and went back to his seat.  I couldn't believe it!  I wasn't even sure Robert Racer knew the difference between a basketball and a coconut, and he certainly had to know that gambling wasn't permitted.  I ran to tell the other teachers on my team about Robert's proposition.

I started to get a little suspicious when some of the more popular girls in the school start approaching me begging me to allow Robert to have his pool.  These girls didn't know anything more about college basketball than Robert, and certainly didn't talk with him.  I was being set up for something.

I had recently accepted a promotion and was uniquely leaving my teaching position midyear.  I had been at this school for a while and am quite the jokester.  There were more than a handful of people who might like one last swipe at me.

As it turns out, several teachers put Robert up to asking me about the pool, knowing what my reaction would be.  To Robert's credit, he sold it perfectly.  The plan was going to be later in the day to have the school office arrest me for running a gambling ring and escort me out of the building in cuffs.  Because Robert's classmates oversold the bit, I was able to blow their gag.

Unfortunately for them, I still had a couple days left at the school.  I arrived around 4:30 am the next day and went to the classrooms of the two teachers who put Robert up the pool thing.  I meticulously removed everything hanging in their room (walk into any classroom in your building and check out how much crap is on a classroom wall) and rehung it upside down.  Student work, number lines, motivational posters, family photos... you name, I flipped it.  This is a great little harmless gag to play on your teaching buddies as it costs nothing, and generally can't be fixed before the students arrive.  Don't mess with the bull young man....

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