"Is it true," asked a student in sixth hour, "that you once shaved your head because you broke up with some guy?" I don't remember telling this story. For a moment I don't even remember that it happened. But it is true, and so I cannot lie, and must admit as much. "Oh," he says, "I gotta admire you for your nerve."
This is the post-AP nostalgia. They say things to me that are kind and sweet, and personal. We're playing games this week. In first hour, the small class, they got bored with Apples to Apples and asked for stories. "You tell the best stories," they say, buttering me up. And so I sit at my computer, pull up google, and read to them from "Mathematical Aphrodisiac," and they say "Aww..." when I tell them that it's a true story.
Then I show them photos of the famous potholder, and they ask for more photos, and pretty soon we're looking at all of my travel pictures from Kyrgyzstan. It's a love fest. I don't have to make them listen. They don't have to take notes. We just relax and breathe, and enjoy each other.
In sixth hour, we play Wise and Otherwise, a game in which you write a plausible ending to the first half of a not-so-famous saying. I sit down with a group of students, and laugh when one of them writes the wonderful ending "Endless chatter...never breaks the bed." And then the endings get raunchier, and I briefly wonder if I will have to excuse myself, when someone writes "A hoe in the shed is better than ... a stick in the bush." But despite its near triple entendre it turns out to be the actual Nigerian saying written on the card, and so I relax and laugh with the students.
We are post-AP, we can laugh, now, and play games and enjoy popcorn and Fig Newton's and Leibniz cookies. We have earned our rest and relaxation.