Saturday, February 6, 2010

D is for "Drop 'Em!"

Back when I was teaching at No Name High School, one of the things we did was chaperone an all night alcohol-free party for the graduating seniors.  ( That's Without Alcohol, not with Free Alcohol!)  It was called Project Graduation, and many communities have established this as an annual event.  The idea behind it is to provide an opportunity for the students to celebrate graduation with their classmates safely in a drug-free, alcohol-free environment..

 We would rent a large fitness facility that had a swimming pool, racketball courts, and a large area for a band and dancing, so there would be something for everyone to do.  The teachers would run a casino night with black jack tables, craps tables, roulette wheel, etc.  Each participant would start with a certain number of chips, and at the end of the night. the chips would be cashed in for prizes donated by area businesses.  There would be pizza and chips and soda and snacks; board games, dancing, racketball, swiming, etc.

We would bus the students from the school to the out-of-town fitness facility.  We searched their gym bags to make sure no drugs or alcohol were brought in, and once they arrived at the destination, they would not be allowed to leave and return, to discourage anyone sneaking out to down a few.  I took part in this activity every year for several years, and it was quite a successful event.

There usually were several busloads of students attending, with teachers serving as chaperones on the bus.  The only problem I recall was one year a student on the bus in front of ours decided to "Moon" us.  Of course the kids thought this guy dropping his drawers in the back window was a laugh riot, but the principal of the school was not pleased.  He took me aside and asked me if I could identify the culprit.  I had to admit I just didn't recognize the kid from that angle!

After spending the night at Project Graduation, we teachers would be back in school the next day without benefit of a night's sleep.  Luckily, this would occur during final exam week, so if we had any classes, we only would be proctoring exams, not having to teach.  I recall a young teacher I'll call Alice (again, names changed to protect the guilty!) asked the Principal of the high school if she could wear jeans to school that day. 

"I know we have a no jeans for teachers policy, but I don't have any exams to give tomorrow, I'll just be in my empty classroom correcting and grading yesterday's exams.  I wouldn't ask, except that I'm so tired that I'm afraid if I go home to change, I'll fall asleep and not make it back here," she said.

"Well, okay, this once," the Principal replied, "but just make sure you stay out of my sight."

So Alice came to school in the same attire she had worn for project graduation, and spent most of the day grading exams in her classroom as promised.  When it was lunchtime, she went to check her mailbox in the Faculty mailroom, and found an envelope with a letter addressed to her.  It said:

Memo to Alice Johnson

Dear Ms. Johnson:

It has been brought to the attention of the Faculty Dress Code Committee that you have been seen wearing jeans in your classroom.  This is a direct violation of the Faculty Dress Code, Section 3, Article 4, and  is, indeed,  a serious infraction.

After discussion, it has been decided that if you will report to the Assistant Principal's office and drop the offending garments, no further disciplinary action will be taken.


John Stevens, Chairperson*
Faculty Dress Code Committee
No Name High School

*yep, the same culprit guilty of yanking my chain in the F is for Faculty post.

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leigh said...

That is awesome! I remember our Project Graduation when I graduated in 93. It was fun and thank God there was no mooning!

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Melissa B. said...

We have an All Night Grad Party. Same principle, except the parents chaperone. Some of the teachers do show up, but not all night. And all I can say about Mr. Stevens is that some people are so petty! Don't you think he had anything better to do?

Where Have All the Robins Gone?

Eternally Distracted said...

Those alcohol-free nights sound fab... I wish we had them when I was at school, although I may have been one of the ones trying to sneak a bottle in - I certainly wouldn't have mooned though ;0)

My name is PJ. said...

I like this guy! He'd be great at a party!

DJan said...

Your friend is certainly worthy of getting paid back some way. I hope it happened in a funny and timely fashion. Mooning: I did it once with a crowd but I don't even remember what it was at!

gayle said...

That guy sounds like a lot of fun! My girls had project graduation....thanks to people like you!!

Shelle said...

That sounds like a wonderful thing to do for graduation! The kids all get to be together and have good safe fun!
That Memo from the Faculty Dress Code Commitee is hilarious!!

Hope you are having a great weekend! Happy SITS Saturday!

Silke said...

Oh, that made me laugh out loud! You are quite the storyteller!! :) Silke

Elenka said...

That's one thing, for sure, about being a teacher....never a dull moment.

Eva Gallant said...

leigh: Thanks for dropping by!

Melissa: He was kidding.

Eternally: No mooning? No fun! lol

PJ: He was so fun to work with!

DJan: It was really hard to pull one over on him; he was so quick!

Gayle: Glad you had one too.

Shelle: Thanks for dropping by.

Silke: Thanks.

Elenka: That's the truth!

Ann On and On... said...

Even though it has been 20 years I do remember my grad. night party. No mooning that I can recall. I was too busy dancing.

Lille Diane said...

This is hilarious! You are a great writer, and story teller, Eva. Brilliant~

Wolf said...

i've never heard of project graduation before, and we didn't do anything like that at my high school, although i wish we did, it sounds like it would be a lot of fun!

Cranky Mommy said...

How funny, although I thought you were going to say you recognized the jeans from the display in the bus the previous day!