Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Spectacular Backfire

I really don't go for people making a fuss about my birthday. This is especially true at school, where I neither expect nor want my coworkers and students to pay tribute to my entrance to the world. In the past, my strategy has been to be very elusive about when my birthday is, since if no one knows it's coming they can't do anything about it.

I employed the same method with my students this year. The problem, and what I didn't consider, is that when you intentionally withhold information -- especially personal information -- from middle schoolers, it just makes them that much more hell bent on finding out.

Thus, I've spent all year deflecting the question of how old I am and when my birthday is. It quickly became a game: trick Miss C. into giving up the big day! And I kind of enjoyed it. It was funny.

Then they discovered that each teacher has a list of the other teachers' birthdays. And some of the teachers have this list hanging somewhere. By about a month ago, I think half of the student body had the day committed to memory.

So my plan backfired. Big time. And I knew this yesterday when, as they always do at morning assembly, they asked who had a birthday and the entire fifth grade class said, "Miss C.'s birthday is tomoooooooroooooooow!"

Welp, so much for that.

The end result was actually really heart warming and morale boosting. My 7th graders made me a huge card, and a couple kids actually got me gifts. That's exactly what I was trying to avoid, but I couldn't help being tickled. Among the pile, a large stuffed duck I have christened Trogdor the Great.

The sisters also made quite the fuss. I hear they tried to go out last night to find me Boston cream donuts (my favorite) and, failing that, then drafted my partner teacher into stopping this morning to get me some. They gave me not one, but two lovely gifts, including a statue of Mary Help that will hold a prominent place in my home for a long time.

They sprung a cake on me at dinner, this after the lovely front office staff presented me with a homemade one this morning.

Finally, kudos to my parents for funnest and most clever gift of the year: a box with 23 more-or-less random gifts, including a recorder and a squirt gun. The family brilliant comes through again.

In summary: my grand scheme failed utterly, but this ranks among the top birthdays of my short little life. As usual, I can't complain.

1 comment:

The Bantering Bookworm said...

It just shows you that your students and the sisters know just how blessed they are to have you around.