Ain’t no such thing.

Today is the fourth day of this year’s NTAW and I have to say that I have been feeling much more appreciated (embarrassingly so) than usual. I should clarify that statement. I have been feeling very appreciated by the staff. The students still overwhelmingly regard me as a rare kind of lobotomized banana slug that was spawned just north of hell.

A thought just occurred to me: if people really appreciated teachers, wouldn’t more of them be willing to teach or at least provide them with the solid gold bathtubs that they deserve? Anyway, as part of this year’s NTAW celebration our Fearless Leaders will be providing us with a free lunch that is sure to be delicious and cheerfully presented.

Could this finally be the elusive free lunch that we were all told as children didn’t exist? You have to imagine my consternation at this thought. If free lunches do indeed exist despite the careful teaching of my parents, what else have they told me that might not be true? What if there is an Easter Bunny, or what if light doesn’t travel through space at 300,000 kilometers/second, or what if President Nixon wasn’t the greatest American to ever walk the face of the earth?

So you can imagine the creeping dread that was upon me as I wandered into the faculty lounge where this supposed “free lunch” was to appear. No one asked for any money as I received my food and there wasn’t even a tip jar anywhere in sight. It was looking like my worst fears were coming to pass and my entire worldview was about to come crashing down on my head.

As I was picking up the last of my condiments one of my Fearless Leaders informed me that, “We appreciate all you do for the Shack of Sapience.” Shortly after this cring-worthy moment I realized that I was going to have to eat lunch with teachers I don’t know well at all and would be forced to endure pleasant small talk the entire time.  I began to relax and even let out a shaky breath that I hadn’t known I was holding until then. My parents did indeed know what they were talking about. I could tell that I was going to pay for this “free lunch” and that it would cost me far more than usual.

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