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Monday, May 28, 2012

Lessons Off the Court: Junior High Parents Night

“Tomorrow, the list for Parents night will be posted. Be sure to check for your name to see which event you’re in for the program.” The collective groan might have shook the building had our Physical Education facilities not been so old, made in the era when bricks and mortar formed the foundation of every public building. Off we slogged to the locker room. No need to hurry, History class was next; what’s the rush to get there on time?

“So, whadduyah think we’ll have to do for the program? Any guesses?” There were a lot of guesses and laughter filling the airspace in the long underground corridor, all of which continued in the locker room and out the doors back to the main building to history. Everyone put in their two cents worth. None of us like Parents Night.

“What I don’t get is why do it in the first place? I mean, we haven’t enjoyed Parents Night since Sixth Grade Square Dancing exhibition so why do we have to do this at all?” I wasn’t the one asking but I was, certainly, in agreement with the unanimous response that followed.

“Because they want us to show the parents the Phys. Ed. teachers are earning their salaries.” Groans from all of us 14-year-olds followed. Adults had been adolescents at some point in their lives; didn’t they know how humiliating Parents Night was for us? These were years when we wanted to hide away in the shadows, not be in a spotlight with a lot of adults watching us perform like trained dogs at the circus. Well, I’d wait to see the list… sometimes there weren’t enough events for the number of kids because of the small court we had to use for the program.

“Lucky you, Sojourner, you’re in two events, according to this list.” My friends were laughing, until some of them found the same demise had also befallen them.

“Hey, you guys see this? They’re matching us up with the Eighth Grade basketball team. Ha, we’ll whip their socks.”

“Sojourner, you’re on the team; but, that’s no surprise, you’re top scorer in our Ninth grade P.E. class.” My friends were a whole lot more confident than I was about our victory; I saw more of a challenge with the younger girls than their bravado indicated. The bantering continued, accompanied by a lot of nervous laughter as we all contemplated the crowd of parents watching us from the grandstands.

Then my eyes fell upon an event I would never in a bazillion years have volunteered for: Dancing! But, not just any dancing; oh, no, nothing folksy like the Walse or Fox Trot, though someone else got that privilege. Oh, no, I was assigned to partner with my former trombone mate from Summer Band four years previous to this auspicious demonstration. We would be dancing “The Twist.” I had no idea if he would take the thing seriously; or, as would be more in line with his character, make it a comedy routine since he would have such a huge audience. Maybe, I could get my parents to forget about coming? Not likely, I’d probably have to just give them the wrong day or time. I was about to experience the worst night of my entire life; I could just see it coming.

****Lessons Off the Court: Junior High Parents Night, Conclusion… Coming Tomorrow

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