Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grow an Inch

Oh, St. Patrick's Day in middle school...

The last few years have offered us a reprieve through snow days and weekends, but pinch-mania was back in full force today and worse than ever it seemed, possibly because of the down time. I myself made sure to wear green this morning, as being properly attired gives more authority to your authority when you shut the pinching down.

And shut it down I had to. Beginning with my walk into the building this morning, when several kids were skittishly jigging about while others rubbed their arms and cheeks ruefully. They were only too happy to point out the culprit, who I knew well– she is in my homeroom– a student spiritedly sporting a white t-shirt with kelly green sequin letters.

Her gray zip-up hoodie was blocking the letter 'O',  so it appeared that her shirt said "Hell,"and I said as much as I made it clear to her that there was to be no pinching at school. She in turn told me that the shade of green I was wearing was considered "garbage green" and didn't really count as green at all, which must be why I was ruining the fun.

I glanced down at my forest green fleece and asked her to come with me. There was no more pinching from her after that.

A little later, the boisterous energy with which my first period came in the door was a startling contrast to their usual 8:15 lethargy. Of course it was because of the pinching. Some students had taped green paper shamrocks to their shirts for protection; still others rolled their pant legs to more easily point out the wee green stripe on their sock; one girl wrote the word "GREEN" in marker on her forehead.

Before they resorted to tattoos or dropping trou to show off their teeny greenies, I made a general announcement about the wearin o' the green.

"How fun it is to celebrate St. Patrick's Day," I started through gritted teeth, "and yet not everyone cares to do so. Please respect their choice by not assaulting them." But alas my speech was too late.

"Ouch!" cried a girl in pink. "My shoelaces are green!" she continued indignantly.

"Out!" I pointed to the pincher. "I will speak to you in the hallway."

I got the class settled and to work and then stepped out the door to chat up the naughty leprechaun. To my surprise, he was not wearing a single thread of green. He was remorseful, though, and it was with tears in his eyes that he answered my question, "Why'd you do it?"

"Those people in green think they have so much power," he snuffled. "The whole thing is so dumb!"

I had to give him that.

1 comment:

  1. So not the purpose of the Wearing of the Green! Glad you put an end to that. Love your gritted teeth - and would have loved to have seen you point "Out" to the pincher!