Saturday, December 12, 2009

Partying With Teachers

"If I didn't know you had cancer, I wouldn't know you had cancer," He shouted.

"Thank you, I think," I shouted back, laughing.

"I hope you don't mind talking about this here," he yelled.

"No, I don't mind at all." I shouted.

Linda and I were at her staff's Christmas Party. I don't know if you've ever partied with teachers? I don't know if you've ever associated teachers with partying?

I remember as a child the first time I ever saw one of my teachers outside the classroom and realized, for the first time, that they didn't just live in my school. They were actual people with full and rich lives.

Who sometimes partied.

Since then, of course, I've married a teacher and have attended many parties with teachers, and I've become somewhat of an expert on teacher parties.

And I can tell you they are different.

For one thing, they are loud.

Which is why we were shouting.

Because, you see, teachers are professional talkers. They like to talk. And they do. And they're good at it. Animated. Engaging.

But put 30 or 40 of them in a room and the decibel level rises to a near deafening roar. They certainly know how to project.

Teachers also like to shop talk and teacher shop talk is a foreign language littered with almost incomprehensible acronyms. ESL, IEPs, IPRCs and the like. And they like to gossip. So, unless you know the names of every teacher in the school and the background to their lives, there is no hope of joining in much of the conversation.

"Well its great to see you here. When Linda told us about you're having cancer, we were really worried." He yelled.

"Barry!" shouted another teacher behind me. She gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "How wonderful to see you again. And your bald head and everything!"

You see, there is another thing about teachers that I forgot to mention.

Even when they party, they care.