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08 November 2009

Never Too Old To Be Cool in School

Friday was the last home football game for the seniors at school, and the tradition has been for the seniors to bring their home jerseys and ask one of their favorite teachers to wear them all day as a show of support. Frankly, I'd forgotten about this until a very large former student of mine, who I taught two years ago and whose girlfriend I've taught in yearbook now for three years, dropped by my room early in the morning, white and blue #82 in hand, and asked me if I'd wear it all day. My wry reaction was to ask, "Did you wash it?", but I agreed, and it fit pretty well since I had on clothing underneath it.

What I wouldn't have predicted in those first moments was how much this one little - er, big - jersey thing would make my day. After it started dawning on me how much of an honor this was (one I'd never had before), it also started dawning on me how ennobling this was, especially when everyone was making comments about it, or asking me about it, all day. Plus, a couple of other teachers were faux crabby about not being asked to wear a jersey this year, so my esteem climbed even higher, and I started standing a little straighter, chest stuck out a little more. When I had lunch duty, I purposely walked the busier routes and lingered longer at my post. When I had my planning period, I found myself inventing reasons to go walking about on small errands (to be fair, I do this on most Fridays during planning anyway). And, after school was over, when my former student came back to take some pictures with me and get his shirt back (his girlfriend, one of my all-time favorites and my son's babysitter, was just giddy about this all day), I was quite reluctant to take it off. I mean, I felt so coooool.

C.S. Lewis warned about the dangers of wanting to be in "The Inner Ring" and all the false esteem that comes with that, so I'll happily surrender the mantle o'cool. But beyond that I won't regret indulging in my day of being a BMOC. It's not like it happened for me back when it really mattered...

And, as mentioned before, it really was a tremendous honor, one that made my day not just for vanity's sake, but for the opportunity to feel blessed.

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