Sunday, January 31, 2010

Better than Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes?

Friday morning I was planning on just doing my retired thingy -- coffee and Internet in the morning, a little exercise, a good lunch, and then an afternoon of perhaps a book or one of the Netflics that I have ordered.

Currently watching Friday Night Lights.... season 1, episodes 1-4...

and then David messes with my retired schedule mojo:

Wednesday: David calls me from work.

David: You need to be home at 12 on Friday so that Toby [contractor's assistant] can come over. He's gonna be in the neighborhood, and he needs to check something.
Me: Check what?
David: That thing on the roof and maybe a measurement on the sink. And the doors.
Me: What thing? We already have the sinks. What doors?
David: Above the porch -- the way the gutter is all whacky, and I want him to look at the doors to the laundry. The sink might need adjusting.
Me: Look at them? Adjusting? Haven't you already fixed that gutter?
David: [huffs] Can you be there or not?
Me: Okay, okay, I can be here. I mean, I'm retired; I got nothing planned.

So, Friday morning I rush around and get all my stuff done so that I can be here to let Toby come over and check something, measure something, or look at something.

Gawd. Men and their somethings to look at.... vagueness and generalities!

At 11:30, I open the front door wide, and Keats plants herself there -- you know -- in case of an influx of stray cats, buzzards, or crack squirrels try to come in the yard or [Dare them!] on the porch.

I open the door so that Toby knows I am here so that he can check, measure, and look at something.

At 12:00, a white car creeps into the cul-de-sac -- takes a slow turn, backs up, and then moseys and parks in front of my house.

Just like Mrs. Kravitz, I pay attention to what's happening in the neighborhood -- in case of random Jehovah witnesses, miracles, or Fed Ex.

Out of the white car and from KMHS comes two counselors -- Ms. Brown and Mrs. Young to my door.

Keats checks them out to make sure they are not rabid, and after ringing the doorbell, I let them enter my house. They are grinnin like they are playin' hooky.

Aside: Technically they are.

Me: Uh? I'm a little nervous. Why are you gals here?
Them: [still grinnin'] We're just in the neighborhood and thought we stop by.
Me: Whatever. Do you have bad news? Did I miss a parent conference? Do I have to come back to teaching? Are you here to "counsel" me through it? Do I have to give the Exit Exam? Learn what's in the career center? Did I steal a #2 pencil in 2004?
Them: [Looking around -- at the porch, the cul-de-sac, at the bushes] No... we're here about something.
Me: Something? Well, hurry up cause Toby is coming over soon to check, measure, or look at something, and I only got so much room in the house.

Then another strange car pulls into the cul-de-sac, and out of it jumps two former students, Anna and Caitlin.

They come skipping and jumping across the yard.... screaming...

Anna and Caitlin: Mrs. Gillham! Mrs. Gillham! You're it.

Me: I'm it?

Anna and Caitlin: Star teacher. You're our star teacher.

Me: What? Star teacher? How? I quit. I retired. I turned in my room keys, my passwords, my powerful red pens. I mean, I'm not there any more. [turn to the counselors] Is this true? Can I be named Star Teacher and be retired?

Ms. Brown: Yep. They can pick anyone they want.
Me: Really? [grins big] Heh. [smiles] Really. [puffs up a little] I wonder what my friends back in the trenches think...

Teachers [former allies] at KMHS: That Gillham. I thought she retired. How annoying is this? She wins, and she's not even here? Humph. Someone needs to read the fine print, I'm thinking. Star teacher? You mean former teacher as in she has exited the building. She's not here. Hello.

I have to say that having this surprise at my front door on a Friday afternoon was lovely and absolutely jaw dropping, but I'm glad it happened. I love those girls, and what a privilege it is to be chosen. It's a honor. A true honor....aww.. shucks.

Me: So, I like it that you girls beat all those stupid boys. How close were they?
Caitlin and Anna: 60 points behind us, at least.
Me: [grins] That a way to show 'em.

We then shared the goodie basket, compliments of Great Harvest, and relished the moment.

Counselors: Well, I guess we'd better get back to school.
Caitlin and Anna: Us too.
Me: That stinks. [shrugs] Well, I guess I'd better get back to Friday Night Lights.
Them: Not fair. [pouts] Not fair. [whines]
Me: Yeah, oh well, I just wished that I had figured it out earlier that I could not teach and still win Star Teacher. Dang. I'm good.


Keats sits on Anna's purse.

Keats: Are they leavin' soon? I'm thinkin' nap -- and this thing is in my way.

And for the record, I'd rather be named Star Teacher and be surprised at my door in my sweats and socks than win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes --this was a little like that -- minus the video camera, the check for 10 million, and the Hollywood celebrity.



  1. Haha... Only you Ms. Gillham! I bet that in the entire time of Kennesaw Mountain and forever in it's future you will probably be the only one that ever gets named Star Teacher while she's retired. What a legend! This blog just made my day :-)

  2. Yes! A legend indeed :) Congratulations!

    PS. I love the Bewitched allusion! *draws Samantha twitching her nose*

  3. Gillham, you of all people should know that getting higher scores on standardized testing doesn't make you smarter than other people. Perhaps stressed out more. But not smarter.

  4. It's a real honour to be singled out like that. How many of us have teachers that have touched our lives that we'd want to nominate for something like this?

    Up here, not many.

    Congrats my friend!

  5. Awwwwww, Jeanine. That was so nice.

  6. Well I know it was well deserved! It says a lot when after you are retired your students still give you such an honor! To say I am not surprised is an understatement! I know if you were my teacher I would have learned a lot! I do now!

  7. Wait! You turned in the powerful red pens?!!!! Don't you know, they are what rule the world?!

    So, tell me, was David all proud he pulled that one on you? What does he think of all this? Did he get to at least fix or adjust "something" in all of this?

    Oh, and...I puffed up a little for you, my friend, but mind you, just a teeny, tiny bit, hardly noticeable...

  8. I have never been so thrilled! Congratulations to my wonderful team mate! You are the cat's pajamas, girl!