Small gifts I received today from students, and a big gift from a friend:
From Dan: A series of bad jokes that made me groan first thing in the morning. (Well, this actually happens every day . . . )
From Jess: A small sailboat folded out of notebook paper labeled "S.S. Huthy."
From Andre: Closed curtains that I couldn't otherwise easily reach.
From someone in mod 1: A slightly dirty kleenex left on a desk.
From Elizabeth in mod 3 English 12: Good news that she was able to complete her Tuition Assistance Program form and therefore complete her financial aid application to the college she will attend in the fall, Russell Sage.
From Eric, mod 6 English 12: A copy of a New York Times article about credit recovery, today's discussion/lesson, with a drool spot.
From mod 8 English 12: A truly thoughtful and mature discussion of the same New York Times article, with only two attempts to sidetrack the lesson, neither of which was successful.
From Gary, my friend: The promise that he would spread the rumor that I was a dangerous person to be reckoned with, that he would tell people, "Don't mess with Huth. She'll cut ya."
(I'm still not sure what prompted this, but sadly, I like it.)
From Katie: A great, if inadvertant, joke, when confronting the word "anonymity."
("Miss?" she asked. "Isn't that where Nemo lives?" As I tried not to laugh, she started to laugh herself and said, "Oh, no. That's . . . " and the entire class said as one, "Anenome." Two minutes lost from class, but well worth it.)
Finally, also from Gary: My 28-year-old Yamaha FG-335 guitar.*
(After he called me a lazy-ass for not playing anymore, he took it away and had it fixed and reconditioned. It has been unwarped, restringed, and oiled. It is a beautiful thing. If only it sounded beautiful when I played the three chords I still remember . . . and he will not tell me how much this cost. I am afraid, however, that I will be required to play "Smoke on the Water" for him at some point.)
*I received my guitar from my parents for Christmas in 1980 when I was a freshman in college. In this other life, attending a Catholic women's college in hyper-preppy Burlington, Vermont, I happened to be friends with people who were completely insane every weekend, spending Saturday night at whatever UVM kegger was advertised, but who still managed to play for folk mass Sunday morning. And so I began a short period of embracing my Catholicsm. It was a scary time. It was a short time. Nevertheless, I did get a beautiful guitar out of it, which I continued to use fairly regularly until a friend popped a string on it, which I was too lazy to replace. And so there my poor guitar sat, unused, unloved, warping and getting old, in my son's bedroom.)
I should mention that Gary tells me that aside from my being a lazy-ass, he had the guitar fixed for me because I gave him my piano (another gift from my parents. I'm a very lucky girl).
I'm pleased to note that Gary, much less of a lazy-ass than I, has been using the piano to play and to write songs. And it looks lots better in his house. Sadly, more use than it got for years sitting in my house.
What I did realize, however, is that I have no way to tune my guitar now. I will have to call Gary and have him play me a low E.
I will now work on my calluses.