Tuesday, November 12, 2013


For some odd reason, I've been getting notes almost every day at work that ask me to excuse students from recess. They go a little something like this... "Please let Fitzpatrick* stay in during recess. He hasn't been feeling well."


"Aristotle** is still getting over a cold. Please excuse him from all recesses for the week."


"Brinkleighanna*** is still recovering from the stomach flu and needs to remain inside during recess." Swell! Thanks for sending her!

So it was becoming an epidemic of notes and illnesses and the first grade team got wind of it. They told me that the kids were getting their parents to write notes because they thought that staying inside would be fun. But then I wasn't getting any kind of break in the day at all. They told me what to do.

During lunch recess the students stay in the cafeteria. It's not very fun in there.

During afternoon recess, they stay in the classroom. However, instead of playing and having a grand time, they have to put their heads down on the desk and rest. They are, after all, recovering and need all the rest they can get. I think this is a great idea because if they are truly not feeling well, rest is what they need. If they're milking it, a power nap is not something they enjoy.

It works like a charm.

There are some students, however, that still have a romanticized idea about what goes on when their friends stay inside. I encountered one such student today.

She came up to me, armed with her best pouty face. "Hi," she said, her voice dripping with fake illness. "My mom says I have to stay in today because I'm sick. Here's a note from her" she told me. She handed me a tiny scrap of paper.

Sarah is sice. Except it didn't say Sarah because that isn't her name. It had her real name. Insert real name here is sice. It was all I could do not to burst into hysterical laughter right then and there.

"Sarah is sice?" I read aloud. And by the way, in case there is any other way to read that word, I am pronouncing it as though it rhymes with nice. Or ice. Or lice.

She replied, "No. It says, 'Sarah is sick.'"

"It says, 'Sarah is sice.' What exactly is sice?" I asked. Then I looked at her. "Your mom did not write this."

"YES SHE DID!" The little girl insisted.

"She did not," I replied. Annoyed that she was really going to try to keep up the charade.

"She did so! She could only find a little tiny piece of paper. But she wanted you to know I am very sick!"

"Okay. Well. I'm sorry you're sice," I replied. I couldn't help myself. Seriously. I mean, really. If my only job for the entire day had been to not respond in a snarky manner to this little lying miscreant, I would not have been able to do it.

"So can I stay in for recess?" she asked.

It took everything in me not to burst with mirth. "Um. No."

Of course I shared this with the first grade teachers. Of course they laughed. Of course I contemplated letting the mother know that her daughter is a complete liar by showing her the note. Of course I decided to let it go. Mostly because I really wanted to bring the note home with me and keep it forever and ever. It's sitting on my nightstand right now. I can't look at it and not laugh.

And, from now on, whenever I'm sick, I fully intend to tell people that I am feeling sice.

"I can't come to your dinner party. I'm very sice."

"Last night I was super sice. Up all night with the stomach flu."

"My son won't be at school today. He's really sice."

There is no end to the joy that this little girl gave me today when she chose to exercise her devious sin nature. My world is truly a better a place.

*Not really the name of any kids in my class. Not that I'd put it past anyone. This state has some really strange names.

**Also not the name of any of the students I have. However, once, when I was subbing for a high school class, I had a Socrates. True story.

***It's only a matter of time before I come across this name. I kid not.

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