Thursday, April 17, 2014

"You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give."              ~ Eleanor Rooseveldt

On my way home today, I drove past my old junior high school, the first school I taught at when we moved here to California. What wonderful years I spent there teaching the loads of students who came through my door! We read great authors' works, we wrote together, we talked and discussed, and we learned... me along with those amazing young teenagers.  Happy times, every day of them... well, except one day... 

My classroom was the last one in the building as you walked down that open corridor past the office. My room had two doors, one on either side of the large bulletin board that was between them. I loved designing that board with displays of the original writing my English students were doing. My classroom was beautiful!

I had made sure that all the desks were turned away from those doors so that the students would be facing the front of the classroom with the blackboards right in front of them. That way the students would have no outside distractions. I always left those doors open, though, so I could see the beautiful bushes that lined "my" outside corridor. Sometimes those tall bushes would even delight me with flowers that were in perfect keeping with my colorful bulletin boards. I was an English teacher, yes, but I also had an art degree, so in this room the two sides of me could meet. It truly was a heavenly place for me to be... (sigh). The kids were the best ever, and the room was perfect... just perfect. Such luck! 

We were studying the short story, "Flight," by John Steinbeck that day. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize, largely for his enormous classic novel "The Grapes of Wrath." But I loved his short stories, and "Flight" was set here in California "up the road" from us about 300 miles or so, give or take a mile or two. I'd given the kids drawing paper and crayons to draw the last 2 or 3 paragraphs of that story, and they were hard at it. It was a sort of test for them to show me what they "saw" in their "mind's eye" when they read Steinbeck's final words.

I was wandering around the classroom, looking at the students drawings, and, once in a while, staring outside the door at the flaming red flowers, mindful of what a lucky lady I was to be teaching here in California... pure bliss! Then, all at once, two men strode into the doorway of my classroom... two grungy  men I'd never seen before, ever. They looked like they were in their early 20's, and before I could blink, they both began to fiddle with their belts and zippers, then turned around, bent over, and dropped their drawers! Yes!  I was being "mooned!" In my lovely classroom I was standing there looking at the bare rear-ends of two men I'd never seen before in my life! No words were spoken... I just heard the swish of jeans dropping to the ground around their feet and saw two sets of wriggling "cheeks" dancing before my very eyes!

One or two of the students looked up and saw their wide-eyed teacher with her jaw dropped down to her chin! 

"What's the matter, Mrs. Waldron???? What happened?" they asked, turning to look over their shoulders at the place where I was  staring. But no one was there! Those guys had yanked up their pants, zipped them, and started their run back down the corridor, past the office, towards the parking lot to their car. 

Within 30 seconds, I was running after them! "Stop! Stop right this minute! I said STOP!" I yelled uselessly. But what exactly did I think I would do if they DID stop? Who did I think I was... the police?

When I trudged back into my room, the kids were in a mild uproar.

"Mrs. Waldron!" 
"What happened?"
"Why did you run out of the room, Mrs. Waldron?"

"Didn't you see those two guys at the door? Didn't you see what they did? They were right there..." I mumbled, still in shock!

"What guys, Mrs. Waldron?"
"Who was at the door?"
"Which door, Mrs. W?"
"I didn't see anyone!"

"Those two guys just "mooned" us!  You MUST have seen them..." I gasped, weakly.

"Mooned? What's that, Mrs. Waldron?" asked the densest boy in the class... which started an excited, but very educational, give-and-take among all 36 students about the new nation-wide "mooning" phenomenon.

I just barely had time to gather the students' literary drawing-tests before the bell rang and class was dismissed. That was the easy part... The hard part was seeing the variety of strange looks that all 36 students gave me as they exited my lovely classroom with the stunning bulletin boards, and that also contained their crazy teacher who had vowed that two strangers had dropped their drawers in the doorway of this very classroom... 

It happened just as I wrote it, though... really... really it DID! You do believe me, don't you... It DID!  REALLY TRULY!!!    


  1. Yay, Terry! I love a story with a happy ending.

  2. But, I'm still wondering why in the world they would walk all the way down to the end of the corridor to "moon" me and my class. It must have been that the other teachers had their outside doors closed... They had a pretty long way to run to get back to their car!