Good order observe, and deportment refined, and be to your schoolmates obliging and kind.
—from “Rules for Scholars,” issued by the Public Schools of Atlanta, 1871
Long before I was born, my parents were antique buying, collecting, refinishing, and decorating fiends. Ain’t nothing has changed in those millions of years.
Over the long weekend they were out antiquing and they found a floor globe that’s a bar. In other words, you lift up the northern hemisphere and there’s a tank for your ice and some little shelves for your bottles of booze. It’s on rollers, too. This thing is plain real cool.
So I accepted the globe with great fanfare from my parents because I like to decorate The Cozy Room of Learning with globes and I also accepted my father’s idea with additional and great fanfare. He is aware of certain classroom shenanigans and academic and social motivational techniques … that is … what school in the world … what teacher in the whole world … has a Globe of Happiness?
See, when they dipped their hands into the (former) Drawer of Happiness it always got real crowded and claustrophobic and humid at my desk in the back. Plus, they were always drooling and shaking and yelping with joy because of all that candy I gave them to eat … that their parents … I don’t get the impression … let them eat.
And finally, all the teachers are trying to teach some social skills along the way and invading a teacher’s personal space is considered creepy and squirmy and you just don’t want to do it.
So now, with The Globe of Happiness, I can push it around The Cozy Room of Learning … maybe right up to their desk if they’ve really done something super good. When I look down into the (former) Drawer of Happiness … all empty now … it looks like a vault. Cold. Metallic. It served its purpose and we loved that wonderful place. But now we start the spring semester with The Globe of Happiness and when I introduced it to them today they clapped and cheered … and then when I opened up the top they clapped and cheered even louder and Dexter immediately reached into it without permission and thank God he pulled his greedy little claw back just in time before the northern hemisphere amputated it.
They cheered for that, too. Robustly.
I got a new girl today. Sort of. She’s an eighth grader and she’s been taking classes in another school on campus for seventh to twelfth graders who need to go a little slower in even smaller class sizes. I’ve seen her around a lot, though. She's always smiling and she doesn’t walk around campus … she bounces. She’s about the happiest kid I’ve ever seen. Her name’s Gigi and I’m glad to have her aboard for the ol’ ride on the Georgia history train … but she’s got something going on in the happiness department … a side effect, if you will. Gigi’s giggle, which won’t stop, sounds like a chainsaw. I am under the distinct impression that I’ll have to get used to it. I am under the distinct impression that she giggles in her sleep.
The boys and I got her up to speed real quick on the history of Georgia … and how you get the plucked chicken … and all that stuff about refraining from licking the walls and crawling across the ceiling and chewing the carpet and whatnot.
Gigi said she thought she was really going to enjoy being over here now.
Then when I told her if you gotta go to the toilet you don’t have the ask … you just get up and go because asking to go to the toilet while I’m on a roll really mooks up my mojo. I pronounced mojo just like Austin Powers does.
Gigi screeched … Awe-some!
We were starting chapter 13, dramatically titled, The Civil War. It was extremely difficult for Gigi and the rest of us to concentrate because there are pictures of two important Confederate States of America leaders, Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown, and Confederate president Jefferson Davis, on pages 203 and 205. I know these two were fine men, but we just couldn’t get over the fact that their beards required a level of understanding which was not currently available in The Cozy Room of Learning. Their beards began down past their chins and hung there like Spanish moss wads. I’d have to say Joseph E. Brown’s deal was a bit more freaky than Davis’ … with all due respect. Looking at those beards and trying to get the class settled down I’m sure the look might have been hugely sexy in the 1860s South … but today they’d be punk rockers or tattooists and not Confederate statesmen.
Claude yelled … What’s up with that!
Petal yelled … They look like goats!
The first official day of spring semester. What did I expect?
Petal kept looking at the clock.
Tempest kept looking at the clock.
I walked over there and took the clock down.
Petal asked me if she was looking at the clock.
I said you were.
Then Debbie said she wears a watch and that’s how she sneaks looks at the clock during class. Debbie held her arm up so I could see her watch.
We spent some nice time going over all the great moments and sites from everyone’s trips and special classes from the last two weeks. Boog regaled his classmates with some great moments from our trip last week. He especially loved all that we learned about Jimmy Carter. Then Boog asked me if a donkey was the same as an ass.
I said I believe it is.
Boog wagged a finger in the air and brayed … Well, last Thursday, I touched Jimmy Carter’s ass!
Who says the first day back to the ol’ classroom ain’t fun and giggles.
Next Entry ... January 22: Elvis Is Still In The Building