Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Fine Specimen of a Day

There are two main buildings at my high school. Several years ago I had the habit of standing with the Assistant Principal, Tom, inside the four glass doors of the annex building. We supervised the arrival of the students and answered questions if parents or visitors entered.

The small bus drop-off area was outside of these doors. Most severely disabled students arrived through those doors. Most of them were met by aides at the bus and escorted into the building. Some of the students know where they are and some do not. Most of these students greeted us as they passed by on their way to the cafeteria.

One Monday morning event, which Tom and I continue to use as a sum of most people's desire not to be at school, occurred at 7:15 A.M. Georgie, was a white-haired, five-foot tall, very skinny, young man that attended the Severely Disabled classroom. He was known around the building as a guy that loved to eat. He was very creative distracting other students while they had breakfast or lunch by being loud, or standing near his target and digging boogers out of nose. If his target fell for the antics and turned away from their meal, he would be found eating the food he stole from their plate. Sometimes, he was just devious. Sitting quietly and watching for the opportunity to steal food from different plates.

That Monday morning it was evident he did not want to be at school. Tom and I could hear him from the moment he stepped off the bus. "No, no, home, no!" He yelled this all the way into the annex building. His escort gently nudged him forward and through the the glass doors. Inside, he came within about six feet of Tom and me. We were just leaning against a wall waiting for school to begin and supervising the area. I spoke to Georgie as Tom and I did to most of these special students. "Morning Georgie, good to see you, Bud."

At that point Georgie stopped his yelling about wanting to be at home. He looked at me. He looked at Tom. Without warning he made his desire to be at home evident. He shook his right leg from the hip to the point of his toes. As we watched, a four inch mostly elongated specimen of excrement rolled out of his pants' leg and landed on the cafeteria floor. Then he walked off with his escort to the classroom. Tom looked at me. I looked at Tom. Without a word about the newly decorated floor we walked off in separate directions.

It has been 10 years since that morning. Georgie past away four years ago in his sleep. Seldom does a week go by we do not ask each other how our day had been, with the reply, "Just another Georgie Day."  Tom is retiring this May. He is very athletic, running, bicycling, canoeing, etc. We often joke about what he will do in retirement. I ask him this past Thursday if he was going to come by every school day after retirement so he can get his "education supervision fix?" His reply told all, "Not likely, no more Georgie Days for me."

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