A Thin Line

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Ear muffs, pan flutes and starring roles in 70s crime shows: It's back to school time!

The school bell will soon ring in the new school year, and for many, that first day in the classroom is a source of fear and trembling. You can look at the front page of any local newspaper and see the face of a terrified kindergartener clinging to his mommy for dear life.


I don't remember much about my first day of school. But I do remember getting excited as school approached each year. Yep, I'm a dork. 


I loved the smells – Pine-Sol, chalk, pencil erasers and shavings… I even loved the look of things. The floor was especially shiny that first day, and the desks were arranged just so. The cheery crap the teacher had stuck all over the walls hadn't faded or frayed yet, and actually did make the room look bright and, well, smarter.


Everyone was wearing their best new school clothes, and we all looked good. I mean really good. New shoes, too. Bright, shiny, new shoes. With black soles, so that we could properly scuff up the newly-polished hallways.


And on the first day of school, you could always find a clean section of desktop on which to write your initials. If you were really lucky, you got a desk that had been scrubbed with Comet, so it was a clean slate. I liked to write my initials in the Comet residue. Good times…


I remember very clearly my first day of college. I went to a small college, but it was still much larger than my little high school. So when I walked into my very first class, there were more people in it than in my whole high school graduating class. It was a bit intimidating. I remember seeing people eating and drinking, and I thought, "Wow! So cool! You can eat in class!" 


The professor was running late that morning, and as we all watched the minutes click by on the clock above the chalkboard, some older, wiser dude said, "Fifteen minute rule…" I later found out this meant that we were only obligated to sit there for 15 minutes, and if the teacher didn't show, we could leave without penalty. I'm not sure of the validity of this whole thing, but it sure had street cred at my school. Everybody knew about it and everybody lived by it.


As I thought back to that day, I wondered, what could I have done to make that day more…entertaining? Here's what I've come up with. Feel free to use any or all of these things to make your first day of school more fun. And much less terrifying.


• Hold a pipe and respond to each point the teacher makes by saying, "Quite right, old bean!"

• Sit on the front row and color in the illustrations in your textbooks using all the brightest colors in the Crayola box.

• Introduce yourself to the class as "Master of the Pan Flute."

• Give the teacher a copy of "The Watch Tower," and ask him where his soul would go if he died tomorrow.

• Wear earmuffs, and every now and then, ask people to speak up.

• Replace all of the dry erase markers with permanent ones.

• Squint thoughtfully at the teacher, while looking puzzled. In the middle of a lecture, ask him if he was ever in an episode of "Starsky and Hutch."

• Ask whether the first chapter will be included on the test. If the answer is no, rip those pages from the textbook.

• Sing all of your questions…with gusto.

• Scratch and sniff all the pictures in your textbooks.

• Address your teacher as, "Your Excellency."

• Bring a "seeing eye" rooster to class.

• Ask for an additional copy of each handout for your invisible friend, Velma.

• Blow kisses at the other students.

• Interrupt the teacher periodically and ask, "Can you spell that?"

• Wear a black hooded robe to class and carry a scythe. Don't speak to anyone; just point. 


Note: While we don't condone bad behavior in any classroom for any reason, we do condone tongue-in-cheek humor. Have a great school year!


Posted: Aug 13 2010, 12:32 PM by Red On The Head | with no comments
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