. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: Giving the Gifts I Lug...to Goodwill

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Giving the Gifts I Lug...to Goodwill

In my long and illustrious career as a teacher, I have gotten my share of crappy gifts. As I've said before, I don't wish to sound ungrateful but I guess the reality of it is, I am. I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't need the thrice-yearly trips to Goodwill where I must surreptitiously unload my booty under the cover of darkness.

Of course, there are the numerous coffee mugs. I am drinking out of one now. It says, "My Teacher is My Best Friend" and is adorned with two ladybugs wearing Converse hightops, holding hands.

I have news for the student who gave me this mug. You can't be my best friend unless you are able belly up to a bar on weekends with me. Pretty much anyone who can belly up to a bar on weekends is currently in the running to be my best friend. But thanks for the mug all the same.

Here are some of my favorites:

The Lanyard
We teachers must wear district identification cards so as to avoid being mistaken as a stranger on campus. Evidently, the throngs of students furiously waving, jumping, and enthusiastically screaming, "Hiiiii Ms. LEEEEEEE" lack the proper ring of authenticity, therefore I must wear an official ID badge.

The picture on the badge depicts a youthful version of my former self from 1997. "Youthful" does not mean "attractive" in this case. My dark blonde hair appears a shade of green similar to the patina that develops on old copper fixtures. Although I have very curly hair, I managed to have pin straight bangs for this photo. Bangs? (What was I thinking?) My face, for lack of a better term, is"full," and I appear to be wearing a man's sweater vest over some sort of gingham shirt. I don't even recall, nor will I admit to, owning clothes like that.

Since the ID so flatters me, it would only be proper to hang it from an attractive lanyard such as this. Not only is my picture prominently displayed for all to see, I get to accidently poke kids in the eye with it every time I lean over their desks, get it caught between tables in my classroom, slam it in my car door while it is still attached to my neck, have a place to hang the many keychains, apple zipper pulls, and pendants I have been given increasing the weight to a poundage most professional rappers would struggle to bear, and catch the small hairs at the base of my skull in it causing my eyes to water with regularity. Thanks for the lanyard, kid.

The Tote Bag
I am a professional. I went to college and everything. I refuse to carry around my professional belongings in a brown and pink tote bag with some pithy saying embroidered on the front. It degrades me and my profession.

Would you give a veterinarian a tote bag that says, "I'm Into Animals"?

Would you give a proctologist a tote bag that says, "Don't Make Me Get All Up In Your Ass"?

Also, it digs into my shoulder...

The Lapel Pin
Ambiguous, isn't it?

"Whatever it Takes" to do what?

Make it through the day without grabbing ADHD Andy by the throat and shaking him until he finally sits still...forever?

Get in and out of the windowless women's restroom before the stench overtakes you and you're found face down in a puddle of your own urine that you had been holding since 7:30 that morning?

Smile and feign amusement as you listen to a student's endless "One time..." stories?

"One time, at the park, my baby brother ate dog poop..."

"One time, when I was little, I peed in the corner of my room because I was scared to go to the bathroom alone..."

"One time, last week, I saw you at Goodwill..."


Anonymous said...

Haha, I've heard a little bit about this useless teacher gift problem, but no one has ever put it quite as awesomely as you!

I am grateful that my mother (a teacher) took control of the gift giving and all my teachers got Godiva chocolate.

Edna Lee said...

Godiva chocolate, you say? I still have a few available seats in my class if you're interested in returning to the fourth grade.

Anonymous said...

haha...this reminds me of a mug my friend got that says something like "greatest teacher of the world". 'OF' the world?? hmm....gotta show that one off. but i agree with you about the gifts. that's why i have drilled in the heads of my kids that i love coffee. now....it's starbucks gift cards :) of course there is the occassional stuffed animal that looks like they robbed it from their baby brother (hence the dirt and dried saliva that covers it). once again...you are hilarious!!

Edna Lee said...

How Weird! I got the Greatest Teacher OF the World mug too, and I've written about it! Follow this link:

Mister Teacher said...

One time around Christmas, one of my little munchkins came up to me and said, "Mister Teacher, I was going to get you a present, but I didn't know what you wanted."
I guess he heard it's the thought that counts.

Edna Lee said...

Bless his little heart! That's the best gift he could give... the gift of nothing.

In all honesty, I love it when students just draw picture for me or make a homemade card. The drawings and kidafide sentiments are priceless.

Wamblings said...

LMAO! I have a surplus of violin pins, ornaments, statues I could contribute to your collection.

loonyhiker said...

I could open up a store with all the tote bags I have gotten from students, friends, meetings, and conferences. In fact, if I sold all of them I would probably have enough to live on until I died.

Anonymous said...

I comment on this post long after it was written to mention that "shaking him until he finally sits still...forever" made this up-too-late, procrastinating, exhausted first-year teacher laugh pretty hard. So thanks.