Notes From A Walkman Junkie: Snoweaters
You never know what may turn up on laundry day, particularly if one has let the flarny clothes pile up a bit, ahem. I ran across my old Talking Heads tee-shirt and I immediately thought back to my kindergarten teaching days. I was wearing it one day and a little girl pointed to my shirt and asked if I was the woman in the band. Naturally I said, “yes… yes, I was in an awesome band a couple of decades ago and now I am your kindergarten teacher, success and fame are fleeting.” In the little girl’s defense, the band member and I did each have short blond hair… and ovaries. It was nearly as astute as the child who pointed out, “She got eyeballs,” when I was wearing my Rita Pavone tee-shirt. Me landing this teaching gig years ago was a bit of a fluke. I had relocated to Connecticut from Missouri and many of my social work related job interviews had been a scant bit abhorrent to say the least. I believe the dialogue in one of my interviews to work in an assisted living group home went something like this: Interviewer: “How do you feel about bathing grown men?” Me: ”I…” This was followed by the interviewer advising me to not wear tight sweaters to work as that had caused ‘issues’ in the past.
After several of these less than favorable interviews, I happened upon an ad in search of kindergarten teachers at a small private school and decided to apply; positive that kids and the mentally ill were of prodigious approximation to one another. After a brief trial run, the head teacher decided to hire me. I am still convinced she employed me merely based on the fact that I was quiet and always rolled up all the curtains in the classroom exactly even. My several subsequent years as a teacher never failed to provide unceasingly entertaining conversations and gems of wisdom from the five-year-olds. On one occasion, the head teacher, Marge, was addressing the inquiry of, “Where do babies come from?” with the kids at her lunch table. One little girl wanted to know the specific body part from which the baby made it’s exodus when born. Marge replied saying that babies come out of the vagina. The little girl then asked if Marge had a vagina. When Marge stated, “Yes, I do,” a little boy at the table thoughtfully interjected, “But, she does not use hers anymore.” A keen assumption on his part.
My time spent as a teacher also allowed me to bear witness to the greatest incident of name-calling that I have to this date ever heard. In a verbal retaliation to an unjust action on the playground, one child shouted back at the other child a simple, “Snoweater!” I must say, there are some days when I miss those little snoweaters and I really miss having my summers off. I am attaching “Summer Special” by Land Of Talk in honor of those summers and of all the snoweaters too.