perception is reality?

It has been FREEZING up here in Massachusetts this week. I think it's all my fault too because just last week I was saying to myself, "Wow, this has been such a mild winter!" Well, not anymore. I definitely jinxed us.

Now, sometimes after a long day of teaching, I just don't want to get out of the car to pump my gas. I know. I'm lazy. But the old man at the full service station in town is really nice! He calls me sweetie. I like to give him the business.

But this week, it's been too cold. It would be cruel torture to make him stand out there and pump my gas while I sit in my nice, warm car. Instead, I ventured to the local Richdale's. This, of course, is my first choice for self-serve because the owner's son is a former student of mine. Talk about small town teaching.

So, I am in line at Richdale's (the pumps are so old, they don't even have a card swiper!) when I see a boy peep out from behind one of the aisles. He's staring at me. I know he is in 4th grade because he looks familiar. I must have seen him in my hallway but I know he's not in 5th grade. I know all the 5th graders.

"HEY! I know you!" he says. "You're a teacher at my school!"

"Yes, I am," I reply.

Then a little girl jumps out from around the corner. She must be around kindergarten age. She comes right up to my knees. I thought for a minute she might even hug them.

"What's your name?" she asks. Her smile is huge and her teeth are covered in a thick layer of snickers bar. This makes me chuckle.

"Mrs. Eddy. What's your name?" I couldn't understand her response.

"Anyway," the boy interrupts. "I know who you are. You teach 5th grade, and all you guys do in your class is watch movies ALL DAY LONG."

I immediately burst out laughing. The boy looks quizzically at me. He doesn't understand why this is funny. The boy's father and I make eye contact, and I see him start to shake his head.

"Yep," I reply. "That's ALL we do!"

He doesn't pick up on the sarcasm.

"Sometimes, I ask to go to the bathroom, just to see if you're watching a movie."

I don't know how to respond to this, so I just keep looking at the father and laughing. He keeps shaking his head.

Finally, the boy says, "Yeh! And that's why I wanna be in your class next year. Because I wanna watch movies all day long too!"


I always wondered what my reputation was among the students. Now I know.

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