Here are a few things that happened last week when I was on my blog vacation:

1. My theater class was finishing up Death of a Salesman, and one of my seniors really got into it. She had a lot of insight I hadn't thought of, and she saw the characters in different ways, and she just really, really liked the play. So she comes up to me in the hall one day and says, "Ms. Flower, Willy DIES!" all tragically.

"Um," I said. I try to be sympathetic and diplomatic and wise, but I just am not good at that stuff. "What's the title of the play again?" Seriously, I need to work on that.

2. We had graduation. We didn't go through any religion-related drama, unless you count the part where I made the sign of the cross every time I saw a freshman.

We always have our graduation on the football field; I've never known it to rain on graduation night, which is great because our gym would be a gross place to have the ceremony.

The teachers all had to march in together, and first of all, I think we deserve some fanfare, okay? I know the ceremony is not about the faculty, but come on: didn't I bust my butt just as hard OR HARDER THAN some of those graduates? I'm not asking for Pomp and Circumstance, but I would settle for the Hallelujah Chorus or maybe Hail to the Chief. Second, we had to walk down this tiny flight of stairs that was covered with people. They hadn't gotten there early enough to find seats in the stands, so they sat on the stairs. And THEY DID NOT GET UP, even though fifty-odd people were walking down them at the same time. I would get a clue from that, but I guess some of the people who come to see the graduation ceremony maybe didn't get to sit through one of their own.

So then we got down to the field and I looked up at the stage and leaned over to Kay: "Is it me," I said, "or does the stack of diplomas look like a coffin?"

Judge for yourself:
I'm almost certain there's a metaphor in that, something about the death of adolescence and the birth of adulthood, maybe, but I am too lazy to think it through.

And then we went through the opening stuff, during which time some people did NOT stand for the graduates' entrance, and I wanted to say, "What's wrong with you? Were you raised in a barn?" Except that around here, that might actually have happened.

And then some people did NOT stand for the singing of the national anthem. But it's okay, because I wrote down their descriptions and made a full report to the Patriot Act Hotline.

At one point, some of the spectators got a little rowdy and our school resource officer had to go over and investigate. I was hoping there would be some police brutality or, at the very least, some tear gas, but unfortunately everybody settled down without a fuss.

3. At the end of the year, my kids' behavior gets worse and my temper gets shorter, and that is a bad combination. I sent a kid to the office on the last day of classes, yes I did. AND I'M NOT SORRY.

4. I keep little projects in my room to use as examples for future classes. When I teach my theater classes about medieval theater, I always tell them about the mystery cycles and they have to build floats as an assignment. Well, a couple years back, I had a group who defined the word lazy, and they just bought theirs. AND I KEPT IT.

It really is a pretty good visual aid, and I use it every year to show my kids how the cycle worked. One day my freshmen finished early, and they wanted to play with the toddler toy.

One kid took the whole ark apart and then popped it open. "Hey," I said. "I didn't know it could do that!"
"I guess I'm more sophisticated than you, Ms. Flower," he said. "OOH! LIONS!"

Here is the charming tableau they set up.

Someday the sheep will lie down with the lions, but in the meantime, the lions are gonna eat Noah.

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