Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Developing bad hobbits

I now see myself as a hardened teacher. No longer does that idealistic teacher that began this game, show his face. Or if he does, then it is infrequent. This dawned on me today after finishing up a meeting. We were walking away from the table and my fellow teacher pointed back and asked, "Is that your pen?" I walked back and took the pen… even though it wasn't my pen, you see.

I know, I know it's just a pen. There are greater evils in this world than ill-gotten pens, but that's not what concerns me. What concerns me is how I took it. The "mint condition" HT, fresh out of Teacher School with teaching certificate in hand, would have said, "We'll let's put in the front office and maybe the true owner will see it there." Or he might have said, "I'll put out a district wide email announcing our discovery. Would you say its color is more an azure or a cerulean?" The "mint condition" HT would have confessed to the pen not being his, but would assure that he could give it a good home. The "used and abused" HT, today's HT, just walked over to the table and took it without even a hint of a smirk on his face. I didn't say a word and put the pen in my pocket in a cold, robot-like manner. I did it like I was some Manchurian Candidate that was activated by a code word ("Pen!"). But that wasn't the case because I was thinking, "I won't say anything and just let them assume that it is mine. That's not lying." Why would I do that? I'm afraid what the next step will be for me. In a week or two I might be clutching and stroking my pens, while calling them "Precious."

Then again, "mint condition" is not always the way to go. Sometimes things need to be worn a bit. Like shoes--the comfortable ones are the ones that have stretched and conformed to the foot. Adaptability is the key. Hey, we're teachers and if we can build our stockpile by spending the least amount of money as possible, then so be it. Now, I wonder how the holes in my shoes could fit in this metaphor.

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