The Life of Bon: A christmas surprise

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A christmas surprise

I am of the general opinion that high school English teachers do not receive half the thanks that they deserve in this life. 

My best friend, Crazy A, teaches Kindergarten. I try not to turn different shades of envious green as she describes to me each Christmas the many gifts that her adoring students lavish upon her.

Gift certificates to Cafe Rio, Chiles, Pizza Hut, you name the rest. 
Handwritten drawings and thank yous describing in detail how wonderful she is.
Straight up envelopes of cash.

You name it and she gets it from her adoring students and their ever-so-grateful parents.

Now I'm not discrediting Kindergarten teachers at all.  Heavens knows it's a rough job knocking some sense into those four year olds and I'd rather be dead than spend a life time trying to get children to understand the difference in the C sound and the G sound.  But what about those students' teachers ten years down the road?  Is there no Christmas gifts for analyzing their thesis statements and toiling over their serious grammar issues?

Alas.  There is not.  By the time kids have been in school for ten years, the teachers are no longer Gods, the homework no longer fun, and the students no longer eager to give Christmas gifts to their teachers.

I have accepted my fate of giftless Christmases from my favorite seventeen year olds.  And while still jealous of the endless gifts my Kindergarten teacher cohorts receive, I pray that come Heaven there will be mountains of gifts to repay me for the ungrateful spirits I now teach.

Today during second period I received a surprise.

It was a gift.  From a student.

The gift was a liter of diet coke, attached with a note.

I approached the gift with caution.  Not only was the gift itself highly unusual, but the bearer of this gift was one of my most rambuctious and... dare I say... disrespectful?... students in all of my classes.  I have kicked him out of class at leash half a dozen times and there isn't a class period that goes by that I don't tell him to sit down and shut his yapper before I ring his little neck.

I opened the letter suspiciously.  It read:

Dear:  Teacher.  I would like to personally thank you for putting up with me and being such a great teacher.  I would like to thank you for the time you put in to teach a lesson every class period.  I know sometimes that I goof off and am disrespectful but I would like to apologize.  I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Sincerely:  Ben.
I wonder if kids realize how much little things like this can mean to an exhausted and stressed out teacher handing out quizzes and grading papers all the way until the 23rd of the December.  This year I will forever be grateful to Ben for whatever strange thing inside him that triggered him to get me a Christmas gift.

It ain't no gift certificate to Cafe Rio.  And it certainly ain't no wad of cash.

But by golly, I'll take it.