Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toy Story

Toy Story

Those who know Mrs. Scribe know that she can't possibly do her job until Room 215 is just right. Beatles posters on the walls. Crippy-crappy~including Green Bay Packers memorabilia~displayed on the shelves behind her desk. And speaking of desks, no real "teacher station" is necessary in Room 215. Give me a writing space~in the case of this year, one of the lab tables from a chemistry classroom~so I can stretch my long, long legs out. A 34-inch inseam, to be precise.

But the school year doesn't really start until the Happy Meal Toys come out to play. And this year, my 200+ collection of plastic paraphernalia didn't make an appearance until about 3 weeks ago.

Can you say "Stressed"? I prefer to say I'm "occupationally challenged." I have too many papers to grade. I have to dust & arrange my HMTs each Fall to make sure the presentation is original & well, happy. I can't do both the grading & the dusting at the same time. Of course, the toys had to be sacrificed to the God of All that is Holy at Our Humble High School~Grades.

Part of this, of course, is my fault. I added 2 Advanced Placement English classes to my schedule this year. And after a couple years off the AP treadmill, I'd forgotten about the sheer volume of student~and therefore, teacher~work. If you want to take the class seriously & if you want the kiddos to learn something, you've got to load them up. As in assignments. Which need to be graded. Lots & lots of A's, B's & mostly C's.

I've been at this teaching janx for going on 16 years. I've got 3 Journalism classes~Intro, Newspaper & Yearbook~on top of the AP gig. But one constant remains in my topsy-turvy schedule.

Students started bringing in Happy Meal Toys to add to my collection way back in the day. I have an expansive set of windows overlooking the senior parking lot, & had put a couple of tiny plastic figurines on the wide stretch of sill. My cherubs thought Winnie the Pooh & Tigger looked lonely, so they started adding contributions, 'til the perch beneath the windows was overflowing with McDonald's memorabilia.

So, something sadly was lacking during first quarter this year. I'd assign a timed essay~the bane of my existence as an AP teacher~and then glance out the window. Every time I looked through that wide expanse of casement windows, I'd remember. My toys still lingered in the closet. Locked up. Gathering dust.

I came in to school on a Saturday a while back. To dust, sort and re-arrange. Sully~he of "Monster's, Inc."~is one of my faves, but I didn't quite feel complete until I pulled Inspector Gadget from the box. At about 14 inches tall, he towers over the other plastic mementoes of Disney flicks, My Little Ponys & the original Pooh & Tigger. He came on the Happy Meal market in 2001, and had to be assembled, in 9 different parts. The good Inspector sported 2 right legs for quite some time. Extra credit to the young lad who stole Gadget's left prosthesis from his little brother's collection.

On that Saturday, at least, the papers, my cherubs, Our Humble High School, could wait. I had something happier on my agenda.

31 comments:

Amy said...

1) the little boy I babysit for has a Very Hungry Caterpillar that spends the majority of its life in said baby's mouth (to think N and I just used to hit each other with it) and

2) APYou is awesome, and I'm glad you're back at it.

quilly said...

What a menagerie! I love it! Wow! My kids used to bring me stuffed animals. I had them coming out my years -- and left most of them behind when I moved.

Cairo Typ0 said...

Awesome collection! A friend of mine used to work at McD's and always gave me a a full collection for happy meal toys for xmas every year. :)

Jenny said...

thanks for stopping by my blog :D

momentsinaneye said...

Good Morning. I am coming to you by way of SITS. Love your toys.They make me smile. I now want to get mine out and play.

Angelia Sims said...

I can't believe what a TREE, Inspector Gadget is. Go go gadget GROW!

Very cute! Makes me happy just looking at your collection. :-)

knit1kids4 said...

What a collection you have there! I'm so glad you were able to bring them back out and share with us.

Carla said...

What fun!!! I would just have to touch...all day...forget the work...

mama-face said...

I love that a student found a leg for one of the toys!

ps. If that is you at the computer you bear a striking resemblance to my sister. If it's not you; then maybe that is my sister.

I'm making the pecan pie today. Better be good. :-)

Noelle said...

i love that the kids bring toys in to you. just in case they don't tell you, they like you. they really like you. you are probably one of their favorite teachers. i bet you ROCK!

Molly said...

How fun! I have a ton that I think are going into our garage sale in the spring, but you've inspired me to keep them!

Vodka Logic said...

Is that you in the picture? Nice to see you :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I would have loved to have you as a teacher.

Theo isn't a BB...he's about a foot tall. But he's a cute turkey.

Kristin said...

Don't you sound like a super fun teacher!

Susie said...

That is quite a collection:-)

Miss Jo said...

Sounds like you have enough HMTs for your own production, "Crippy Crappy, the High School Musical." Love the superior snap, from a superior AP teacher !

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, that IS happy!!!

blueviolet said...

People don't steal your toys???

I hope you come out from under that stack of papers soon!

Jeanie said...

You sound like a fantastic teacher. What a great group of "happy" toys. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful.

Sarah said...

that must be some heavy labor of love. happy thanksgiving.

Tracy P. said...

Holy buckets, Melissa B! I thought WE had a lot of HM toys! Most of them I can throw away with a clear conscience, but some BEG to be collected. Too fun! I'm glad your students are showing you some love. You deserve it.

Helen McGinn said...

Aw! I just tossed a whole load out; now I feel so mean and dirty. ;O) xx

Quasi Serendipita said...

That is an impressive selection of Happy Meal toys! My mother always had pictures of animals with funny captions of the walls of her classroom.

carma said...

That's an impressive collection!! And I am in awe of all that you are doing....and still finding time to blog!

Heather said...

What a fun collection! You really have a full plate.... and still can blog. I'm impressed. Thanks for stopping by my blog last week. Hope you had a nice holiday.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

A 34-inch inseam? Good Lord, woman, what are you, like eight feet tall or something?

:)

Also? Dang you gotta lotta stuff!

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