Today I was of an easy disposition. My spirits were as light as the twirling leaves that scuttled across the schoolyard grounds. A short week of work before a long and restful holiday gave today a certain jovial luster.
It was a contagious mood, sweeping up and down the halls – and it could have made the teachers` tasks somewhat difficult, were they not also swept up in the holiday fervor. Trifling offenses were winked at and the clamor was one of an overeager bustle of youths.
On the whole, the day was mostly wasted inasmuch as academic progress was concerned – but within our little band there was another day of growing closeness to one another, as we spoke of those things for which we are thankful.
During the Luncheon hour, I took advantage of the few minutes of leisure granted to walk around out-of-doors. By this time the cafeteria had already let out for Recess and the student body was walking and mingling about – most of the girls were socializing in one form or another while most of the boys were engaged in various types of sport and/or other raucous activity.
I made my way out in the broad field where it looked like a large group of boys were picking sides for a game of football – yeah, I was just going to supervise them so that they didn`t get into any mischief… rrrright.
The looks on their faces as I approached was priceless.
Having obviously grown used to my rather stern countenance and assertive manner, most of them looked around guiltily, like the cat who swallowed the canary – but when I held up my hands in a “throw it here” gesture, they relaxed.
I offered my services as “all-time Quarterback” to which they eagerly assented – but when the Vice-Principal happened by, he decided to join one of the teams as its Quarterback with me leading on the other. Hmmm… interesting.
For fifteen epic minutes, the two squads faced off in a serious battle of “touch-football” – a savage contest of 12-to-15 year-olds with two grown men cheerfully leading each charge.
The game ended in a 14-14 tie and Recess was over. I noticed how the students crowded close around me and talked about the game as we walked in, and when one of them asked, “Hey Mr. P, did you play any college ball?” I threw back my head and laughed.