Friday, March 03, 2006


Seven million Years ago, back when I was still teaching, the 5th grade classes at a certain Fairmeadows Elementary School learned about The Orphan Trains. The 5th grade social studies teacher doing this unit created some weird activity that involved students pretending to be orpahans and finding teachers to "adopt" them.

Now, quite a few of my orchestra kids were involved in this project, and THEY ALL begged me to adopt them. (The silly little 5th graders thought life in the orchestra room was all Yo-yo Ma and Snickers Bars). A certain Miss Steph was rather persistant in her quest to be adopted by Ms.VW.

Steph - You should adopt me. We're both tall with blonde hair. People will think we're sisters.

Me - I'm not adopting my sister. Go to back to class

Steph - OK, they can think we're mother and daughter

Me - uh huh, but I only have a one bedroom apartment. So there'd be no place for you to sleep. Go back to class.

Steph - I can sleep on the couch

Me - Yeah, DCFS would love that. It'd be me sleeping on the couch while you take over my bedroom. I don't think so - It's time for you to go back to class little Orphan.

Steph - You could have your room, except for when DCFS visits, and then it'd be my room for a little bit, and then it'd go back to your room

Me - Nice plan. But I don't have time to raise a kid. I have places to go, people to see, things to do. Poor little Orphan Steph would be home alone. GO BACK TO CLASS!.

Steph - That's ok, you don't need to be home all the time - I can watch tv!

The cruel heart-less Ms. VW did not adopt dear darling Steph (or any of the other dear darling orchestra students that wanted to become my children). They probably failed the Orphan Train Unit, which scared them for life and ruined any chance of future academic success. Poor Steph will end up living in a cardboard box out on the streets. (Sorry Dear)

* * *

The other day, friends had me over for dinner and asked if I'd become the legal guardian for their child in the event of their untimely death.

Y I K E S !

Many many moons ago, I was listed in my parents will to be the guardian of my youngest brother, but Phil was 16 then; the role of guardian would have been limited to signing school permission slips, and enforcing curfews.

But my friends' kid is little.

If they were to die tomorrow, I'd be teaching their child to read, playing the part of tooth fairy, buying training wheels for the bicycle, and RAISING A KID!

I really don't feel grown up enough to be that much of an adult. (I'm grown up enough to use sharp scissors - but that's about it). My current job is only part time; I live in a less-than-ideal housing arrangment, and have one of the most un-child-proofed living spaces in the world. I love their kid, hang out there all the time, but, and, uh . . .

All I can say is they better wear their seatbelts.