Thursday, April 5, 2012

Twisting The Night Away

I taught in a school with a fairly high teacher turnover rate.  The results of constant new faces is that people stop bothering to get to know each other unless they work directly with each other.  In a junior high setting where I was, there are lots of people you really don't work directly with.

I was on an academic team with a first year teacher named Joan.  Joan was a sweet girl.  She was quiet, single, didn't go for beers on Fridays, and generally kept to herself.  Basically, she was the perfect target.

As Christmas approached, the staff organized a 'Secret Santa' exchange.  You pulled a name and were supposed to buy that person a gift in the 10-15 dollar range and give it to them sometime during the last week of school.  On the final day before break, everyone would reveal who gave who gifts.  I pulled Joan.

Each staff member listed a few things on the sheet they might like in that range (side note- I always listed the same thing- BEER; I'm easy...).  Joan's read as follows:

Borders Gift Cards
Board Games (Sorry, Twister, etc.)

The week of the gift exchange.  Joan was pretty excited.  Everyday during our plan period, she would run down to the office to check her mailbox to see if her gift had arrived. On Wednesday, it did.  

Joan entered the classroom we were meeting in with a big smile on her face and a small package.  She opened the card and read it to herself.  As she sat reading, her face slowly became very red.  When she finished reading she put the card down and said, put her hands over her mouth and said, "Oh my gosh" out loud several times.  The rest of us on the team inquired what was wrong.

"I didn't mean it that way!  Oh my gosh.  I feel so naughty!  Oh my gosh!"

She handed the card to the teacher to her left, Beth, who knew what I was up to. It read:

Dearest Joan,
I find it highly inappropriate for a single young lady to be tangling herself up with random men on a Twister board.  So since you like to read, here's a book you obviously need spend more time reading.


As Beth sat reading the card out loud to the rest of us, Joan had unwrapped a copy of The Bible.  Joan sat there, visibly upset, pleading her case that her request was misinterpreted.  "I don't even know who this woman is! (we had no Rosemary in the building, but when people don't talk, it's easy to create human beings out of thin air).  

Beth tried to comfort Joan, but acknowledged this was inappropriate on Rosemary's part.  "Well, that does sound like her.  Regardless, you need to talk to the principal about this Joan."

That sent her, particularly as a first year teacher, into a whole new level of panic.  "But I didn't mean it this way!"

Eventually we convinced Joan the right thing to do was to go talk to the principal and she left for his office.  The rooms all had phones in that building.  I picked it up and called the principal in his office.  

"Dude- Joan's coming down to talk to you.  Play along with whatever she brings in."

"(Sigh) What are you up to now?"


A very nervous Joan inched into the principal's office and asked if she could talk to him for a minute.  He invited her in and offered her a seat.  She handed him the card and the principal quietly read it to himself.  

"Well.  Are you promiscuous Joan?"

The principal eventually agreed to speak to Rosemary and sent Joan back our way.  When she returned, a $30 dollar gift card to Border's was sitting on her desk.  She was a remarkable sport about the gag (though I don't think she thought it was as funny as the rest of us did).  Sure, it was a little cruel.  But it was also a little awesome... :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment