Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wax Museum, 2002-2005

What do Thomas Edison and Christopher Columbus have in common?

Both were depicted by my kids in their Wax Museum projects.

This is a project that is normally done in our elementary school at the end of third grade. The kids all dress up as their favorite historical personalities, the parents come, kids stand around the classroom in costumes, each kid is wearing a button, you press the button, kid tells his famous person’s bio. Then (as you may have guessed by now) everyone has pop and cake. I12 did his three years ago; K9’s was yesterday.

I admit that I had long planned a blog post about this. The plan was to compare my experiences (and funny stories) from I12’s and K9’s Wax Museums. It didn’t quite work out as my life is completely unpredictable. (I really should’ve known better). Anyway, here’s how it went for me and I12. He had a really good teacher that year (major luck for him, as there are only two really good teachers in that whole school), and did pretty well academically. For his Wax Museum, he decided he’d be Thomas Edison. This turned out to be the easiest costume ever. Right there in the book, it said that Mr. Edison was an extremely crappy dresser, and that his hair was always in disarray. So all I had to do was go through all the various hand-me-downs that we got from our relatives when we first came into the country, and pick the most horrible-looking shirt and pair of pants, approximately I12’s size (if the clothes were too small or too large, that was even better). As for his hair, it was always in disarray anyway, so no problem on that end.

When I showed up for the event, the kids were standing very quietly around the room, and the parents were walking around from one kid to another, pressing each kid’s buttons. (Normally, they only push their own kids’ buttons, so that was definitely an exciting experience for us parents!) I went through a couple of kids and listened to their bios that they had to tell in first person. Following me was a couple, much older than me, and very prim and proper. Their son is on the gifted count together with I12.

When listening to the kids, it struck me as funny that every one of them would end the speech by saying, “I died in (year) from (cause)”. Of course I said nothing and continued my tour around the classroom.

The couple was still moving along with me. At one point, the wife turned to me and said, with a sweet smile:

“They are so cute! But, it’s really hard to tell when they’re done with their stories”.

I, on the other hand, knew very well how to tell when they were done. In my job, among other things, I’ve been doing 24x7 support for the last five years. I am good at it, and never hesitate to assist in troubleshooting an issue.

In my most helpful computer-support voice, I offered, “When they’re dead, that means they’re done”.

For a second, the couple stared at me funny, then started moving away as fast as they could without actually running. To this day, they seem to be afraid of me. I cannot imagine why.

This was three years ago. Yesterday, I went to K9’s Wax Museum, and boy, was it different! First of all, K9 does not have the same teacher that his brother had. His current teacher sees K9 and his two friends as a trio of troublemakers. All three do well academically, and could probably use more challenge. A couple of months ago, I wrote a letter to both the principal and K9’s teacher, asking them to place K9 and one of his best friends in the same class for next year (I didn’t ask for K9’s other best friend, because his parents think K9 is bad influence. I know that because the parents called K9 at home twice. But that’s a whole different blog post). I pointed out that they were both bright students, natural leaders, kind and caring of other kids, and a teacher could benefit from having them both in her class. I ended by saying, “Each year in this school, K9 gets separated from his best friend at the end of the year. Could you please make an exception this time?”

But back to the Wax Museum. I came into the classroom, found K9 (it wasn’t easy, because this time, it was very hectic and very crowded), and listened to his bio (he was Columbus). He ended by saying:

“Please avoid any small talk with Mrs. N”.

“And why is that?”

“She said she wanted to talk to you”.

I went over to K9’s best friend and he gave me the same motivational speech. Of course, after that, I felt that I kind of had to track down Mrs. N and talk to her.

Mrs. N told me that the three best friends had been talking in class again, yesterday and the day before. I replied, “Sure, I’ll talk to K9”, although how I can convince him to be quiet in class when there is only four days of school left, I have no idea. She went on to tell me:

“But they won’t be able to do it next year. They will be in different classes. All three of them!”

I’m sure Mrs. N said something else after that. I saw the mouth open and close, but I could not hear the words. I must have looked like a wax figure myself. For once in my life, I asked this God-forsaken school for a favor, and not only did they refuse, they chose to tell me that at a kids’ party. I would’ve found out myself next week, on the last day of school. I honestly don’t understand what the rush was, unless Mrs. N really wanted to say it to my face and see my reaction. Well, she sure got what she wanted. The reaction was definitely there. I couldn’t stay in that classroom anymore, so I went outside and had a cigarette. I hope the school premises are smoke-free.

Later last night, K9 and I had a “pity party”. I won’t go into detail, but will tell you that it involved a lot of ice cream and a Seinfeld DVD. Oh, and I got back at the school by leaving a bad (but completely accurate) review on Hehe.

The Goldie has spoken at 10:40 AM

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