My friend, Peggy, that I taught with for many years at the beginning of my career has the ability to make anything fun. With Peggy boring meetings, classes with dry presenters, and especially long car trips are a blast. I doth crown Peggy the Queen of the Road Trip. She can make driving through the never ending corn fields of the midwest a party. When she moved from Arizona I was so sad because, even though, I knew that we would always be friends I also knew that we would not be able to see each other as much as I would want. Now, not only do I not get to see her but we also very seldom speak.
The other day when I was in another district training where I was being trained in something that I already was trained in many times I decided to play one of Peggy's games called Who Do You Want to Be Today? I have been going to the meetings alone lately because my little buddy, Ericka, the Language Support Specialist has been on maternity leave. But she is back and we were actually sitting at the same table. Now, teachers are the worst group for sitting in a learning setting. They do everything they would never allow their students to do while teaching: pass notes, text, roll eyes, think about lunch and talk! Many think I am a snob because I refuse to participate in these for a couple of reasons: one, I have been a presenter many times and I can feel the presenter's pain and two, once I start it is hard for me to stop. Okay, most of the time I pay attention!
So, here we were . . . . . going through the second day of Cognitive Coaching for the Poor, one more time. Cognitive Coaching is a very expensive program which the district can't afford so we were participating in a less expensive version. I have had the original, intensive week long program - twice! And I was getting a little antsy. We had to do name plates and I hate name tags which I really need because I can barely remember my own name let alone someone else. So I thought what would Peggy do?
I looked at Ericka and wiggled my eyebrows, "If you could be anyone in the world, who would you want to be?"
Ericka replied, "What do mean, like Malibu Barbie?" Could I expect anything else to come out of a young, skinny blonde's mouth?
"Yep, that is who you are today. Write that on your name plate," I demanded.
"Cathy, I can't. I just interviewed for an assistant principal position within the district," she whined.
"And writing Malibu Barbie on a name plate would keep you from getting that job? Malibu Barbie, is there anyone here in this room that was on the interview committee?" I asked.
"Well, no, but . . . "
"Just write it on the name plate, do you need help spelling, Malibu, Barbie?. Get it? That's a joke? Besides no one is going to see the name plate but us. It is going to stay on the table. You don't have to wear it on your forehead!"
"First, normal funny people don't have tell someone when one is being funny and second, you know, you're kind of a Diva when you don't get your way. Are you going to be Whitney, today?"
"No, Malibu Barbie, I am not" I replied as I wrote my "name" on my name plate and showed it to her.
"Heather Thinthighs," she giggled, "you want me to call you Heather Thinthighs all day long?"
"Yes, Malibu Barbie, I do! And I also want you to call me Heather Thinthighs in public, if we go to lunch."
"Okay, Heather, whatever you say," she conceded, "but, I still think your name should be Whitney."
"Excuse me, Malibu Barbie, what did you call me?" I growled.
"Okay, okay, HEATHER THINTHIGHS!" She replied with a raised voice which caught the attention of a friend, Juli, that works at the district.
She sauntered over to our table and asked, "Hey, can I sit with you two? What are doing?"
"We are doing what we were told to do, filling out our name plates," I answered with my eyes lowered as if I just got caught with my hand in the cookie jar.
She read our name plates, "Malibu Barbie? Heather Thinthighs?" She hesitated, clapped her hands together and said, "Oooooo, can I be Duchess for the day?"
I replied as I gave Malibu Barbie the I Told You So look, "Yes, Duchess, you certainly may!"
"Oh, goooodie," she replied with her teeth clenched and her back straight sitting and sounding like a proper Duchess.
Malibu Barbie didn't go to lunch with Heather Thinthighs that day. During lunch, Heather Thinthighs called Peggy a.k.a. Penelope Perfectshapedass.
Just call me In. As in, In Cognito, a.k.a. Poquito Paco Bell. Get it? In Cognito? Incognito?
The Flip Side
Poquito Paco Bell? Three names? No wonder you're a wuss! Just call me Lizard Master!