Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for Christine

The folks over at ModCloth are affording me the opportunity via their ModCloth Thank-a-thon contest to write about a person I am thankful for. Please enjoy my extremely sincere attempt:

The Office Supply Store:

“Do you think it’s worth a dollar fifty to make our boss happy?” I asked her. We were standing in front of a depleted end cap at Staples, weighing whether or not a package of multi-expressioned smiley face push pins would be part of our next diabolical plan. A stranger standing next to us, pretending to ignore our conversation, smothered a snort.

School:

FISH. It’s an acronym for something. I have no idea what it stands for other than it’s in a book , one that’s among the favorite self help texts used, supposedly, for breathing life back into stifled, floundering grade school faculties across the country. Campuses, at this very moment, are having staff retreats – playing “get-to-know-you” games that involve answering questions like, “How have you made you students’ day? If you have a story about that, grab a red construction paper fish from the pile,” and “How have you been there for the kids lately? Take a green fish if you have,” or “Take a yellow fish if you’ve played lately.” Think, pair, share; think, pair, share. “Now, everybody, throw your fish.”

Or something like that.

It’s times like these, when I’m sitting in the middle of a faculty FISH exercise, a pile of papers in my inbox needing to be marked, that I’m glad to have my equally cynical cohort, my accomplice extraordinaire, Christine, sitting next to me. Mocking such endeavors in the form of secretly exchanged glances, or the defacement of construction paper fish, or by the planning and executing of diabolical plans – chocked full of jackholery - are the only ways we know how to deal with the overwhelming proof that in our country teachers are not considered intellectuals.

Apparently, we’re FISH.

Choose your attitude:

A black and white printout touting this message is taped on the back of the main office door, so that when one exits the office, she sees the sign. Underneath the message are two faces, the elementary equivalent of theater masks: a happy face and a sad one.

“What’s up with this sign? I would wager that it’s part of the FISH philosophy,” I said to Christine as we walked together out of the office.

“Dude. There are more than two choices aren’t there? I mean what about being mad (zigzag mouth) or surprised (large oval mouth) or indifferent (a line)? Are these two the only options? ”

“We should add the others. Obviously, this sign is lacking.”

It was agreed. With enthusiasm, everyone, including the office staff, riffled through their desk drawers looking for markers, finding any excuse to throw caution to the wind.

“This will be a great joke,” we exclaimed. “It’ll make our boss’s day! She’ll laugh at our ingenuity and praise us for playing! This is our way of FISHing without being intrusive! And she’ll understand that positive change comes from all sorts of places, including sad faces. It will be brilliant!!”

Markers in hand, we set about “correcting” the sign. We added all sorts of facial options, delighting in our creative genius, liberating the masses, hoisting our own petards! We were cheered and revered by all and, after many high fives and giggles, our mission complete, we skipped back to the realities of our lives – down the hall to our respective classrooms.

The Next Day:

The next day the sign had been replaced with a new, clean printout. The glory of our masterpiece had been taken down without the slightest acknowledgement or reprimand, thrown like a dead fish onto a trash heap.

The Office Supply Store:

Christine raised an eyebrow and smirked. “It might not be worth making the boss happy, but a dollar fifty to make us happy? Absolutely, it’s worth it.”

“I’ll take two packages. Let’s add a card that says ‘See! There are more than two attitude choices!” I said with a fist in the air.

“And we’ll put one package on our boss’s desk when she’s not looking!”

“Yes! And I’ll divide the other one between us as souvenirs.”

And we skipped off to the checkout counter having crafted a new reality, one that involved as many expressions - diabolical glee, perhaps - as we could imagine.

** Thank you, Christine, for being my very dear friend - the one who hears me, goes to bat for me, and is a complete jackhole, no matter what others think, with me. I am thankful for you, always and forever. I love you!!

4 comments:

Jen said...

We all need good friends like Christine and I am so thankful you all have each other!

You are such a rebel defacing that sign!! So did you put your name on the card with the pins?

My school tried to implement the Fish philosophy at our campus twice! Never really lasts! I guess it's good in theory!!

Tammy Howard said...

You are very lucky to have each other!

Christine said...

And I'm unendingly thankful for you. Jackhole.

I love you!

rich said...

I love the Fish system. When my students act up I throw dead fish at them. What? That’s not it? Oops.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for Christine

The folks over at ModCloth are affording me the opportunity via their ModCloth Thank-a-thon contest to write about a person I am thankful for. Please enjoy my extremely sincere attempt:

The Office Supply Store:

“Do you think it’s worth a dollar fifty to make our boss happy?” I asked her. We were standing in front of a depleted end cap at Staples, weighing whether or not a package of multi-expressioned smiley face push pins would be part of our next diabolical plan. A stranger standing next to us, pretending to ignore our conversation, smothered a snort.

School:

FISH. It’s an acronym for something. I have no idea what it stands for other than it’s in a book , one that’s among the favorite self help texts used, supposedly, for breathing life back into stifled, floundering grade school faculties across the country. Campuses, at this very moment, are having staff retreats – playing “get-to-know-you” games that involve answering questions like, “How have you made you students’ day? If you have a story about that, grab a red construction paper fish from the pile,” and “How have you been there for the kids lately? Take a green fish if you have,” or “Take a yellow fish if you’ve played lately.” Think, pair, share; think, pair, share. “Now, everybody, throw your fish.”

Or something like that.

It’s times like these, when I’m sitting in the middle of a faculty FISH exercise, a pile of papers in my inbox needing to be marked, that I’m glad to have my equally cynical cohort, my accomplice extraordinaire, Christine, sitting next to me. Mocking such endeavors in the form of secretly exchanged glances, or the defacement of construction paper fish, or by the planning and executing of diabolical plans – chocked full of jackholery - are the only ways we know how to deal with the overwhelming proof that in our country teachers are not considered intellectuals.

Apparently, we’re FISH.

Choose your attitude:

A black and white printout touting this message is taped on the back of the main office door, so that when one exits the office, she sees the sign. Underneath the message are two faces, the elementary equivalent of theater masks: a happy face and a sad one.

“What’s up with this sign? I would wager that it’s part of the FISH philosophy,” I said to Christine as we walked together out of the office.

“Dude. There are more than two choices aren’t there? I mean what about being mad (zigzag mouth) or surprised (large oval mouth) or indifferent (a line)? Are these two the only options? ”

“We should add the others. Obviously, this sign is lacking.”

It was agreed. With enthusiasm, everyone, including the office staff, riffled through their desk drawers looking for markers, finding any excuse to throw caution to the wind.

“This will be a great joke,” we exclaimed. “It’ll make our boss’s day! She’ll laugh at our ingenuity and praise us for playing! This is our way of FISHing without being intrusive! And she’ll understand that positive change comes from all sorts of places, including sad faces. It will be brilliant!!”

Markers in hand, we set about “correcting” the sign. We added all sorts of facial options, delighting in our creative genius, liberating the masses, hoisting our own petards! We were cheered and revered by all and, after many high fives and giggles, our mission complete, we skipped back to the realities of our lives – down the hall to our respective classrooms.

The Next Day:

The next day the sign had been replaced with a new, clean printout. The glory of our masterpiece had been taken down without the slightest acknowledgement or reprimand, thrown like a dead fish onto a trash heap.

The Office Supply Store:

Christine raised an eyebrow and smirked. “It might not be worth making the boss happy, but a dollar fifty to make us happy? Absolutely, it’s worth it.”

“I’ll take two packages. Let’s add a card that says ‘See! There are more than two attitude choices!” I said with a fist in the air.

“And we’ll put one package on our boss’s desk when she’s not looking!”

“Yes! And I’ll divide the other one between us as souvenirs.”

And we skipped off to the checkout counter having crafted a new reality, one that involved as many expressions - diabolical glee, perhaps - as we could imagine.

** Thank you, Christine, for being my very dear friend - the one who hears me, goes to bat for me, and is a complete jackhole, no matter what others think, with me. I am thankful for you, always and forever. I love you!!

4 comments:

Jen said...

We all need good friends like Christine and I am so thankful you all have each other!

You are such a rebel defacing that sign!! So did you put your name on the card with the pins?

My school tried to implement the Fish philosophy at our campus twice! Never really lasts! I guess it's good in theory!!

Tammy Howard said...

You are very lucky to have each other!

Christine said...

And I'm unendingly thankful for you. Jackhole.

I love you!

rich said...

I love the Fish system. When my students act up I throw dead fish at them. What? That’s not it? Oops.