Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Little Football Anyone?

At the end of each Friday class I make everyone stand up and do the “It’s the Weekend Dance.” For some of the kids this is a harrowing experience. They are at the tail end of their elementary career and will be big bad middle-schoolers next year so they are right on the border of being “too cool” to do things like that. Getting up and grooving with your teacher is not really the hippest thing to do.

I still make each and every one of them show me a little shake in their step before they leave the room though. Their bruised and embarrassed young egos will heal and I feel like the dancing breaks down barriers a little bit — between them and me but also amongst themselves.
Plus it always gets me into the weekend laughing and feeling pretty good.

Anyway, this last Friday, while we were getting down on our weekend groove, I told the kids that if anyone would like to play, I was going to be at the high school field with a football at four o’clock.

Of my four sections of sixth graders — that is over 120 kids total — I expected that maybe five would show up. After all, I was the totally uncool teacher who made kids do totally uncool things like dance in class.

After school I went home and took a little power nap before kick-off time. When I woke up it was five minutes to four and I didn’t really feel like playing football anymore. I felt like curling back up and falling to sleep. It was my weekend. Besides, I knew that hardly anyone would show up.

Then I thought about those poor one or two kids that did take the time to come and play, how sad would that be if their teacher ditched out on them?

So I yawned, rolled out of bed and into the hot sun and trekked over to the field. Right when I stepped out of my front door, little Monica Joel ran up to me.

“You are late Mr. Tim,” she told me with more attitude than I thought could have been possible to bottle up in her miniature frame.

“No, I am not,” I told her.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“4:02,” I told her.

“Then you are late.”

I smiled and thought, well it looks like it will just be Monica and I, throwing around the pigskin. This was not necessarily a bad thing because Monica cracked me up. She once told me I looked like a broom because I was super skinny and have bushy hair.

Anyway, Monica led me all of the way to the field, shooting sass the whole way. When I came around corner, to my surprise, the field was chalk-full of kids decked out in Rita Elementary red and blue.

“You’re late, Mr. Tim, you’re late!” kids shouted at me.

It looked like the “It’s the Weekend Dance,” had not, in fact, made all of my kids avoid me like the plague.

There were about thirty kids who showed up. Laijab, the biggest kid at school and only eleven, had somehow gotten his hands on some lacrosse pads, which he thought were football gear, and he lined up opposite of me. He smiled and pointed at my face.

When “hike” was called Laijab ran straight for my chest.

If Monica referred to me as broom, then she would have called Laijab a bowling ball. I toppled roughly to the ground. Laijab cheered.

“No tackling,” I breathed out softly from collapsed lungs.

“Aw, that is so boring, Mr. Tim,” Laijab complained and got off my chest.

Maybe it would have been better if my “It’s the Weekend Dance” had scared my kids away after all...


Leah said...

If it makes you feel any better, "The Weekend Dance" would make ME avoid you like the plague.

P said...

Tim, You made me laugh this morning with your football story and your "Weekend Dance" ....I knew you would find a way to get through to your kids. I bet you are one great teacher!

fishboy said...

Where else do you surf on Majuro/Marshalls or is it only the bridge & coop school ?? I lived in Majol in 2000 for a couple years & have been back many times with my Rimajol wife . Found great surf in Mili, Arno & Ailuk, I may be relocating to Kwaj in 6 mths & from there opening up an eco resort on a small island out there(to cater to divers & surfers) . Kwaj along with Jaluit & Ailinglaplap probably has some of the best waves in Majol, I have a few buddies on Kwaj & Roi & some of the pics they sent me of the waves are crazy (similar to Mentawaiis). Lets talk & try to get this surfing thing going in the Marshalls. I'll be bringing around 6 boards via container to majuro , maybe I can throw a few more in there . You boys need to head to Arno (ulien which is the atoll right next to arno arno has a very fun right , such an easy & fun wave to ride) & Mili (there are waves all over) to catch some real waves forget Majuro, there is only 2 good spots on Majuro, 1 Calalin pass (the main pass of Majuro) has a nice right hander & then there is a nice left hander & a secluded beach break full of A-frames down by Laura . I'm not going to tell you where, have fun searching.

Tim Lane said...

"Fishboy" shoot me an email at timothy.scott.lane@gmail.com and lets get the conversation going!