Friday, January 08, 2010

The Perils of Being a Teacher's Wife

My hubby-Eric is a math teacher, and this year he's also an advisor for the Senior Class at the little High School he's teaching at. Which means that he has to go and supervise some of the fundraising efforts of his students. And so one night in December I get a call from him saying he's working the basketball game tonight, wanna come and help? Ok, I think, why not?

And so I end up sitting in the lunch area of a high school people-watching and monitoring the water bottles the kids are selling (they are also selling Italian Sodas). I have to admit that people-watching is very amusing to me. I am not a terribly social person, so dealing with a group of High School students is very difficult for me. I like to think they tolerate me, although I can't imagine I'm really that impressive to them. But they are always very polite and act like I'm ok.

Anyway, this night something odd happened. A guy with a wife trailing him approached and asked for water. We started to hand it over, telling him the price when he shouted, "WHAT? I have to PAY? You aren't just going to give it to me?"

For a moment I thought he was kidding, but his outrage was real. I looked at the students, who looked as stunned as I was feeling. The guy started to say something more, but then said, "Just forget it!" and stormed off. His wife looked really embarrased. The students looked at each other and me, and we all started asking if anyone knew who the guy was. No one had a clue.

So investigator Laura sprung into action. I found the Coach of the team and asked him, pointing out the guy carefully. Turned out the guy was one of the refs for the JV games. If he had been in uniform, we might have at least understood his temper tantrum. But even the refs should understand that the water is being sold as part of a fundraiser, and by asking for it free he's taking money from the students.

Flash forward a couple of hours. Three refs in uniform have arrived for the final game of the night. Two of them have cash on them and quickly buy bottles of water. That's right, they buy the water. The third looks a little sad and admits he hasn't got any money. He looked longingly at the water, but doesn't ask for favors. After the arrogance of the other guy, however, I feel a great deal of sympathy and gratefulness to the moneyless ref. And so I pull out some change I have, buy a bottle, and hand it to him. He attempted to give it back, but I told him that he would look funny without one because the other two both had one. "We need a matched set of refs," I said.

The students seemed amused, the refs were happy, and life felt good. It almost made up for the long night sitting around with High School kids.


trinalin said...

When I first started teaching (always juniors & seniors) they made me the freshman class advisor. Nothing more fun than being an advisor to kids you never see during the day...

I'll admit, I'm not terribly good at extracurriculars. I get panic attacks at dances and basketball games, so I avoid them. I'll go to some activities - plays, concerts, the fall fair - but for the most part, I just stick to school hours to hang with the kids.