Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Group Picture Day

As the journalism teacher, I am High Ruler of the yearbook. As High Ruler, one of my many defacto jobs includes group shots of all the clubs. This task is grueling because I must create a schedule that works with other teachers' schedules so I don't steal them away from classes, figure out all the groups that need pictures, etc.

Herff Jones comes and sets up two large flash units that look like umbrellas with large light bulbs inside. I worked with two others, one who took the pictures, the other one was there solely to be grouchy. The grouchy man that came to help, an older gentleman, needed an instruction booklet for middle school kids.

These beings, these so-called humans known as tweens, are concrete learners...you need to be very, very, very specific.

This was how the man tried to assemble the students on the risers so they looked pretty for the picture:

"You," he pointed in a vague direction at three different students. Five kids pointed at themselves and asked, "me?" symultaneously.

"No. You," he said.

"Me?"

"No. You."

The third kid down the row, "me?"

"No. You. With the red shirt."

(Our school colors are red and white...)

"Me?"

"No."

And so on. He did this several times throughout the day. Then later on in the day, some kid was leaning against the wall, and the man wanted to sort them tallest to shortest. So he decided to be very, very, very specific again:

"You."

"Me?"

"Yes," the man said. Thank God, I thought, the right kid called out.

"Go to that wall," the man said.

"This wall?" the kids said pointing behind him.

"No. That wall."

The kid leaned against the same wall he wasn't supposed to lean against.

"No. That wall."

"This wall?"

"That wall."

Until I pulled out my shot gun and blew the old man's head off and walked over to the right wall and pointed at it. "THIS WALL!" I screamed.

Once all the kids were on risers, he knit-picked every single one of them:

"Fold your arms this way."

"Make sure your hands are outside of your sleeves."

"Pick up those pencils on the floor."

"Stop moving your hand in your pocket like that, it looks gross."

"Move over to the right, we need to see your face."

By the time they were finally finished, I had written an instruction booklet for the man, you gave it back to me and said, "I'm retiring tomorrow."