Aside from the sweaty freshmen, gross dating couples, and melodramatic girl fights in the hallways; something in me still enjoys the action of high school. If I didn’t have a certain level of this insanity, there’s no way I would be teaching at the secondary level. Well, yesterday I remembered one reason that I enjoy high school so much: the practical jokes of April Fool’s Day. Lately, I’ve felt that April Fool’s Day has been ruined by social media. You know, you log on to see several ridiculous FB and Twitter statuses, such as “I guess it’s time to announce everyone. I’m engaged!” or “We will have a little one on the way.” These are followed by several “Congrats,” and “I’m so happy for you” comments. After the poster can no longer handle all the attention she needs, she says “April Fool’s Everyone!” when she should really say “Sorry everyone, but I’m so lame that I wanted to pretend I’m engaged. Then, I wanted to make you feel like a sucker when all you were just trying to be was be nice.”
Nevertheless, I was reassured in my classroom yesterday that the true essence of April Fool’s Day can still be found in the 21st century. My first class was too tired to realize what day it was; no action there. My second class came in with a sassy attitude. I would ask, “Please pass up your papers,” and they would follow with “No way. Ugh.” Then, they would burst out laughing and say “April Fool’s!” They’re freshmen, and therefore easily entertained. However, I have two particularly sassy female students in that class. So, I had the principal’s office summon them from class immediately. They thought they were in trouble. They walked out of my class with a look of stifled fear. Ten minutes later, they came back and said “Whewww! We got up there, and they told us ‘April Fool’s! We can’t believe you!” The next five minutes was spent trying to calm them down. The class got a good laugh.
Then, the last class of the day came in, and those students had a mischievous look on their faces. Every single one of them. After the bell rang, I was summoned out the door by a girl on crutches.
I stood at the door, and said, “You don’t need me to come out there; you can come in here.”
In unison, the class said, “No, you NEED to go out there!”
I conceded. What’s the worst that they could do anyway? She told me something random about possibly having to leave for physical therapy reasons–whatever. As I turn back to look at my room, the door is closed, and the lights are off.
She said, “We can go back in now, Mrs. P.”
As I opened the door, I was expecting live rats or a snake on my desk. Instead, they turned the lights on and all 25 of them threw confetti in the air, yelled “Surprise!” and started singing “Happy Birthday!” Then, they started handing out birthday cupcakes and cookies. Oh, the pranksters. Throwing a birthday party when it’s not my birthday! I think I can handle that sort of practical joke.
They did have a banner hanging up that had an old handicapped man emblazoned on both sides, with the slogan “You’re never too old to party.” Now, that was pushing it a bit. Not what I needed on the year of my quarter-of-a-century crisis. However, they reassured me and told me that I was still as beautiful as a blushing 18-year-old. They sit on a throne of lies, but I’ll take it.
All that to say, I truly enjoy a good practical joke day. It’s best done when thought out and properly executed, not haphazardly tossed on a social networking wall.