Chuck's column: Time for a story
Hello everyone. Ready for story time? Let's begin.
Once upon a time, there was a new high school teacher. A naïve teacher, but earnest in his efforts. This teacher arrived at his school, trying to soak in everything he could soak in on his first day of employment. The job, however, didn't give him much time to soak anything in for the demands were upon him rapidly.
However, he was happy. Teaching freshmen of all ranges and abilities. Playing it low profile. Sneaking in under the radar, as they say. And life was good.
Because he was a new teacher, and his students seemed to enjoy him, many of their parents took a liking to the new teacher as well. Several of them welcomed him into their homes. Since his original home was in a far away kingdom called Wisconsin, he accepted their generous and genuine hospitality, for his own family was so many miles away.
And it came to pass that first December, when he was leaving town to return to Wisconsin, he thought he would stop by "Claude and Judy's" house, parents of both a senior and a freshman, to simply wish them a "Merry Christmas!"
Alas. His plan to make this momentary stop was met with opposition. "Claude and Judy" invited him into their home, despite his car being packed with his desire to hit the road. "We have a question to ask you." And the seed was planted.
Their "question" was more of a "favor." And the favor involved themselves and a group of about 20 other parents. They asked the new teacher if he would help them (all the parents), after the first of the year, by coming over to their house to teach the parents a danceline to the song, "Sea Cruise." They needed his help so they could pitch their graduation lock-in party theme to the senior class in a senior-only assembly.
"I don't know how to choreograph a danceline!" the new teacher insisted. But "Claude and Judy" didn't care. They believed in the young teacher and believed he would bring all the parents to the Promised Land of Movement.
And the new teacher caved.
Several weeks later, the new teacher found himself walking through the dance movements in his own living room before joining forces with the adults who requested his assistance. Although he felt inadequate, he kept his appointment with destiny and the parents, and he followed through on his word.
And the parents were happy. And the presentation was made. And he was brought into the presentation as well. All was right with the world and the class of '83.
But our story does not end there. "Claude and Judy" did not tell the new teacher his name would go into a planning book that would go to the parents of the next graduating class, EACH YEAR, and that they'd contact him EACH YEAR to help them with their plight. EACH and EVERY year. For 31 years!
Recently, he met with the new parents again. And soon he will teach them their dance and create a skit to present to the class of 2013 come Feb. 7. He's older now. And the parents have grown younger. Thirty-one years later.
Somewhere, "Claude and Judy" sit in their rockers, smiling at each other, remembering fondly that magical Christmas night when they roped this poor ignorant lad into his mission that has had no end.
And all is right with the world.