Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two kinds of unique

Gonna take a break from the 12-Days series today ... Don't think anyone will mind.

1. Between fifth and sixth periods today, I heard a commotion in the hall. I peered out of my room to see a mass--a critical mass, you might say--of kids walking fast and loud in one direction. It looked like they were heading to watch a fight. But they weren't. They were just walking along as a group, loudly and happily trying to do something uniquely goofy.

And it worked. Soon, other kids were racing to catch up, following along, trying to see where everyone was heading. A couple of security guards came hustling up nearby stairs; they must have heard of a possible disturbance. From my vantage point, I could see this growing group just sweeping everyone else up along the way, including a kid from one of my classes. I called out, "Hey, where you heading?"

"I have no idea!" he smiled, and hurried down the hall. This is a kid who loves to pretend he's a leader in class, loves to show off and say funny things, to have the spotlight on him. But I guess he loves to follow, too.

About 15 seconds later, the leaders of the group switched course, and the whole mass of kids came charging back past my room, laughing, shouting, cursing. I'm going to predict that these kinds of group walks will become more commonplace in the days leading up to winter break.

2. Seventh period, students were quietly finishing their reading journals, preparing for a test tomorrow. Softly, almost to himself, a student started singing something along the lines of: "Questions, answers, have to answer questions ... la, la, la, la, la."

The kid next to him, a long-haired classic rocker, snickered, quietly said, "Hey, I love that song. Wasn't it at the top of the charts a while back?"

The singer stopped singing, probably a little embarrassed, probably wondering if he really had sung out loud. "Yeah," he said, "but I think the song just gave me a headache."

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