Warning: Some of these stories will make you laugh, some will make you feel all warm inside and others might straight up piss you off. I hope that you all remember how we, as former students, treated our substitutes back in the day and see that our position in the schools has changed but the kids seem to be getting worse. I never said that this blog would be in any order. I can remember certain things better than others and hope that my lack of sleep from the past few semesters of college doesn’t affect the stories.
During my second year of subbing for the district, I had made a name for myself as the “heartless OCS teacher”. I was tired of constantly hearing the kids say, “it’s not fair” or “but the other kids always get to do that” or my personal favorite “but my mom and dad always let me do that at home”. By this time, if I was seen walking through the halls, a silence would fall over the kids. It was creepy and cool.
This was the Friday before Super Bowl XLVI, 46 for those of you who can’t read Roman numerals. The students were able to wear their favorite team’s gear for Spirit Day. Since it was the New York Giants against the New England Patriots, the school was draped in a very patriotic Red, White and Blue.
The school that I was working at usually gave me 3 locations to hold my OCS. There was the Library supply room which was quiet … too quiet, an extra classroom inside the building that offered too many distractions for the OCS kids or a storage classroom in the portable building that was shared by the Orchestra class.
I liked the 3rd one the most because:
- I’m a band geek from way back when.
- Most of the kids that were in OCS couldn’t stand the music (torture #1).
- In order to get to the building, we had to walk past the playground that these kids wouldn’t be able to play in (torture #2).
- When the Orchestra was done playing, the kids had to listen to the other kids outside playing (torture #3).
- I actually believed that the building was haunted (I’ll cover this one later).
On this day, I had 3 “jokers” occupying my OCS room. Two of them were repeat offenders, while the last one was a clueless tag-along. I don’t remember exactly what they were in OCS for but one of them was about to learn a lesson that he wouldn’t soon forget.
Shortly after the 6th grade Orchestra finished playing, they rushed into the OCS room to store their instruments. There was this one kid, we will call him Boy, that was always smiling and joking but that day his head was down and it looked like he had just finished crying. When I asked him what was wrong, Boy answered by saying, “it’s this stupid shirt, sir.” I asked him to show me the shirt and there it was, right smack in front of me …
A duct tape Tom Brady New England Patriot’s Jersey. I looked surprised but 1 of my OCS kids started to laugh at him. Boy started to get red in the face, and then told the OCS kid to shut up. I asked Boy, “What’s wrong with it” (Little did he know that I had made a few shirts of my own in the past like “Save a tree, eat a beaver” for my college buddy and the countless number of iron-on Star Wars decals from when I was younger)? Boy answered with “Everyone’s been making fun of me because of this shirt today.” My OCS kid quickly commented with, “Because it’s not a real jersey, stupid. It’s made from duct tape for crying out loud.” Before Boy could say another thing, I asked my OCS kid, “What has your dad ever made for you?”
His face quickly went from laughing to shock.
I explained to the group that jerseys are expensive and maybe his dad couldn’t find one in his size because we live in Texas and don’t carry many New York or New England team’s merchandise in our stores.
I told Boy, “You, my friend, own an original Tom Brady jersey. That is the coolest jersey I’ve seen yet. Who else can ever say that?”
I asked him if I could take a picture of his shirt, Boy agreed then he walked back to class with his head held up and smiling again while my OCS group was dead silent for a good 10 minutes.
It’s not every day that you get to stand up for someone else but I’m glad I was able to get that Boy out of his funk and back to normal.
Too bad his Patriots lost to the Giants that weekend.
Oh well, the picture of his shirt will last forever, Forever, FOREVER, 4-EVER!!!!