kite day (continued)

Recess came around. The school assembled outside the classrooms. Kites would be counted . Those without a kite were doomed . Mengele nun would point : You to the beach . You to the classroom . Classroom , classroom  , classroom. Beach . You , you . No kite no Kite Day at the beach .

My fourth graders had spent part of the morning making kites . They had attached a few inches of yarn to  little diamond -shaped pieces of stiff paper . We used all the supplies that I had available . How many have we got ? You boys count .  More than two hundred ? How many more ? We don’t have any more yarn . No , Jimmy , we ‘re not going to pull the threads out of Rosalba’s sweater. We’ll go with what we’ve got .

The second assembly :

Agnes at the bent bullhorn says again : Anyone without a kite stays . Hold up your kites ! The moment of reckoning has arrived . Three hundred students hold up kites.

Those  aren’t kites  !   The bent bullhorn was rattling .

Of course they’re kites ! , I said. They fly !  At this point I ran with one of them , holding the end of the yarn and dragging a reluctant little diamond-shaped paper as it  wobbled and spun in clumsy contortions before the assembly .

Sister Agnes , drill sergeant stance , arms akimbo , glared at Principal O’Donnell .

” Are you going to let him get away with this ? ”  There were shards of glass in her stare . The prisoners waited to hear their fate . Everyone watched O’Donnell .

And then Jesus came down from heaven . Jesus whispered in the principal’s ear . Something . There was a momentary pause .

” They fly . They must be kites ” , said O’Donnell .

The clouds scattered , the heavens opened , and bright rays of light came down upon the gathered multitude . The teachers smiled . More astute students waited for the other shoe to drop ; waited for Sister Agnes to swing that hammer and smite the enemy once again . Waited .

Nothing . With some kind of a harumpf noise that sounded suspiciously  like a curse she turned away and barged back into her classroom . We all went to the beach that day and all but one person had a wonderful day there .

Agnes took the bullhorn to the beach and directed activities on the sand  because she was in charge of Student Council and Kite Day was a Student Council event . It must have been agony for her .

Understatement : She wasn’t happy with me that day .

I was smiling all day long , though. I couldn’t help it .

3 Comments

Filed under humor

3 responses to “kite day (continued)

  1. “There were shards of glass in her stare” – that’s powerful!

    Love this story, Dan. How long until she spoke to you?

    • We never really spoke to one another after that , and for some time before that .I wrote about it once , I think . After one year working with her , I took her aside and politely but firm;ly told her what i thought of the way she treated kids ( Bad ). She put her hands on her hips like a drill sergeant , leaned toward me and said , ” Well, shit man ! , what are you telling me ? ” That was kind of the beginning of the end of talking .

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