Monday, September 21, 2009

A Criminals' Christmas Carol (2003)

So earlier this week one of my criminals, a serious academic named Jessica who looks like she should be in a Renaissance painting of a Spanish Infanta, informed me that, "Santa Claus isn't real." The rest of the class looked shocked and appalled, and Miss Victoria went right along with that. Miss Victoria is of the opinion that her children are growing up too fast, and she will use any method necessary to insure they get just a little bit more time in the land of childhood.

"Don't be ridiculous! Of course he's real!"

Class looked slightly relieved.

I figured I'd better back it up with some actual proof, so my entire Thursday afternoon was devoted to creating, if I may toot my own horn, a masterpiece epistle with the aid of red construction paper, silver and gold pens, and silver and gold glitter. The text was as follows:

Dear Class X-XXX (room number):

We have a very important message from Santa Claus. He has too many presents to carry. He has to leave some with Miss Victoria. You must come to school on Tuesday to get yours.
Signed,The Elves

Santa Claus written entirely in gold glitter, The Elves in silver glitter. I completed the package with a tiny red and green felt bootie, stuck together with my trusty hot glue gun.

Now, Miss Victoria is no dope, and neither are the Criminals. I couldn't just stick the thing up on the door and expect them to believe that the Elves had been by to drop off the mail. No no. I had to let one of the school aides in on the plan. At the end of our math lesson, while the door was closed, the note came sliding under the door. I said sternly, "Yusmery! Pick up your things! Don't leave paper on the floor!" and pointed to the note. She picked it up and said, "No! Me no leave this here!" (she's an ELL student, still has Spanish sentence construction). I took it from her and read it silently, ran to the door and opened the door - Lo! how a bootie e'er blooming - picked it up and shut the door with a bang. Everyone stopped and looked up. "Oh my goodness, sit down, Miss Victoria has to read this to you immediately!" I sounded so serious that they all scrambled to their seats.

I read the note, and as I get to the words, "Santa Claus" a gasp runs through the audience, er, I mean class. They are hanging off their seats, glued to my every word, and then as I finish I turn the note around and they see the glitter and etc. They are almost fainting at this point, but when I say, "and look, the elf was in such a hurry, he left his shoe," they are finished. They rush me, climbing over me with cries of, "Let me see! Read it again! Show us the shoe!"The shoe is snatched from my hands and smelled intensely. The cry goes round - "Eeeewwww I smell elf feet!" It is passed from hand to hand, all declaring the same result - the smell of elf feet is present. Javier runs to the door, opens it, looks out, slams it shut, leans against it and yells, "Miss Victoria! I saw the elf!"

Gone is any sign of a non-believer. Jessica is smelling elf feet with the rest of them. I get them calmed down enough to line up and go to the bathroom, and Luis comes back from the boys' room to report, "Miss Victoria, I saw an elf in the bathroom!" I didn't ask what the elf was doing.
We then sat down for our afternoon journal session. Imagine my shock when every single story is about an elf showing up in our classroom. I pinned the bootie up on the bulletin board, "in case the elf comes back for it," and will replace it with a bag of red and green hershey kisses on Monday morning.

Oddly enough, the last thing I heard every child say to his parent as he was picked up from school was...

"I have to come to school on Tuesday!!"

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