The Day Before Winter Break

blog post
My name is Stu Dent and I’m in seventh grade.

The Day Before Winter Break

It’s called winter break at my middle school but for me it’s the day before Christmas break. Well, for some of us yesterday was.

The rest of Stu Dent’s story is on I, JMB, Say
<!–We had a basketball game last night and won. Some of the guys on varsity figured they should have Friday off, and it was only a half-day anyways. We had our JV game on Tuesday, but coach pulled me for the second half, and I got in the varsity game on Thursday for a few minutes. I figured that qualified me to hang out with the 8th graders at the mall. Nah! It was just like lunch. I discovered the 8th grade lunch groups were also 8th grade mall groups. I must admit that I wish I’d gone to school.

Well, having only a half-day on Friday meant having slightly longer periods one and two, cooks’ choice lunch, and the holiday assembly, unless of course you were assigned to in-school suspension. But even the two guys that were in ISS last year told me they got to stand by the gym door with the suspension room lady.

My first period is Ms. English’s history class. Two or three girls spent before and after school time under her direction since the Monday after Thanksgiving decorating the room. The room was wrapped with a happy holiday banner in the language of 27 countries with their flags displayed above the signs. I’m sure none of the ‘stan’ countries celebrate holidays this time of year. Bet they don’t just call them holidays when they have them either. Figurines in costumes of the countries were all topped with a Santa hat. The battle-ready Samurai was the most ludicrous to me. I asked about having a Christmas tree. She told me it might be offensive to some. I almost asked about a Nativity, but I knew better than get into it with her and dropped the subject. She gave out nuts and dried fruit wrapped in grape leaves tied with brown twine.

Second period is 6-7-8 PE. Mr. Shute gave varsity basketball players the option of a shoot around in the upstairs gym or just sit it out. I was scheduled to at least be on the bench for the evening game and chose to do a little shooting with the 8th graders. After a few minutes of not being passed a ball, I opted for the sit-out. No treats from the PE teacher.

I’m Mr. Angle’s student TA for basic math in third and am in his 8th grade Algebra class 4th. Mr. Angle was on leave since Monday so he and his family could be in Bethlehem on Christmas day. So last Friday he brought in cookies and fudge with walnut pieces his wife made. He said I should pass out the fudge to the basic math class after the quiz on Wednesday. Fourth could eat theirs during a PBS video about Pythagoras. I couldn’t find the fudge in his office – I think the sub took it. One of the eighth-grade girls said I took it. I like fudge, but walnuts give me sores on my tongue. The cookies were good.

Lunch was called ‘traditional holiday’ on the menu board. Being snarky of mind, I felt like asking the lunch lady for sufganiyot and latkes. I’ve had both at my family-friend’s home on Hanukkah. Sufganiyot is said ‘sufganiya’ and is like a jelly doughnut. Most people, I think, know about latkes. I didn’t want to get into a discussion about the definition of holiday. But she did smile and say, “Merry Christmas,” as she plopped jellied cranberry sauce next to the slice of dry turkey breast on the tray.

English is fifth period. Old England was Mrs. Dazayore’s room theme for Christmas decorations. She didn’t put Santa hats on any of the characters. Well, we just finished reading and writing an opinion paper on A Christmas Carol. One of the guys got screeched at for trying to turn in a download of a summary of the Dickens story from a web site. Mrs. who insists on being called Ms. Dazayore insists on personal opinion even if she doesn’t agree. I like that because it gives us a chance to explain why we believe something. Of course, ‘just because’ is never accepted. Someone said Ms. English was ticked when ‘Ms.’ Dazayore’s theme won the informal room decoration contest. Each of us got a small bag of English toffee bits.

Sixth period for me is music appreciation in the first semester and will be art in the second. Anyone in choir, orchestra, or band gets to skip art. I would like to skip art too, but Mr. Harp said, “Stu, I’ve never met anyone who is more tone deaf and devoid of rhythm as you.” His voice was never mean, but I know he is right. He does give me Cs for attendance and trying. That sort of makes up for me flat-out flunking the Recorder unit. Harp gave out 40% off cards he got from the music store at the mall.

Thursday, Coach Shute got the varsity team dismissed from their seventh period class. That was a usual for away games, but it was a home game. They always met on the stage in the cafetorium because the locker room was used by the last period girls PE class.

Well, that’s about it. I hope they make the day before winter/Christmas break an automatic excused absent, so I don’t have to find a way to get a note from my parents without telling a lie about hanging out at the mall. Well at least I have two weeks before the hammer falls. Or, do I?–>

<!–Someone please take away my spoon, I may have stirred enough.
My current opinion is that I should avoid stating my opinions so, no one gets a feeling that I’m presenting a deliberate misinterpretation of an opinion related or unrelated to a fact or other opinion.

As my octogenarianism continues, my mind wanders as I wonder. Or could it be that my mind wonders as I wander?
It is a fact that I have opinions – or is it?