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In Front of the Classes

Tue, 17 Oct 2017, 08:44 PM (-06:00) Creative Commons License

1. Getting to School On Time

Jenny and Mark had left along with the kids a while ago. They had to be at school on time — the kids in their classes, Jenny and Mark in charge of theirs. I got to hang out at their house a bit longer, sit with Zeus in the shade in the backyard, drink hot Chock-full-o-nuts coffee and leave scribbled messages lying around the kitchen.

And then all of the sudden, it was time to leave.

Are you kidding me? I had plenty of time, and now I’m in a rush!? I got in the boat-car, and drove down the street and waited in traffic.

Now Somerset is not a large city. And the schools are just a stone’s throw away from where they live. But I’ll be darned, I got caught in some kind of rush hour right there waiting for the light to turn green. And now I was looking at my watch thinking, Are you kidding me? I’m going to be late!?

But a stone’s throw is not far. 

2. Meece Middle School

The first stop was Meece Middle School. They had me lined up to talk to the eighth graders. What was it? Five classes of them?

As the kids started coming in, the teachers arranged them because there were more streaming in from the hallway. 

There was Mark. And there was Jenny. They looked like teachers — for obvious reasons. And when it was time to start, Jenny  introduced me. She told the eighth graders how she was sure they were going to make her proud and pay attention and treat the speaker with respect. And the look on her face was… Well, she looked like a serious teacher.

“What she didn’t tell you,” I said when I was given the floor, “is that I’m her cousin.” (Was I not supposed to mention that?)

First came the Jabberwocky. This was what I came to Kentucky for. There was the English version, where I spoke the partially understandable nonsense along with some pantomiming that I promised to do in the French and German so that they might try to follow along. Then came French. Then German. And after that, I gave a space talk about Mercury, Gemini and Apollo and the baby steps to the moon, complete with my favorite rocket pictures.

The kids did make her proud.

A bit of a break. Some time to let my voice recover. And then came the seventh graders. What was it? Five more classes?

There was Jack. I winked at him. There was Julia. She stared at me and smiled.

English… French… German… Umarme mich mein boehmsches Kind! And then the baby steps to the moon.

3. Hopkins Elementary

I hopped in the boat-car and drove to Hopkins Elementary School, less than a stone’s throw away from Meece.

Yesterday had been eclipse day, and today I had a late afternoon return flight to Austin just so that I might spend as much time as the Somerset schools might spare. And so they lined me up to talk to the third graders. What was it? Five classes of them?

English. French. German. Baby steps. Rockets.

And now my voice was getting weak. Frankly, I was surprised I’d made it this far. They had given me a microphone just in case. I used it.

The final round was the fourth graders. What was it? Five more classes?

There was Katherine sitting in the middle of the room. I went over and gave her a hug.

And then English. French. German. Baby steps. Rockets.

And with that, I hopped in the boat-car and drove back to the middle school where Jenny was waiting in the parking lot. I moved over. She sat behind the wheel and drove us thru black skies, torrential rain and tornadic winds to get me to the airport with time to spare.

I was beat. I mean dirt tired.

But I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in my entire life.

© jumpingfish by David Hasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License