Friday, November 03, 2006

Recurring Nightmare on Elm St.

You know how some events are etched on the memory card of your brain with permanent marker, so permanent that the ravages of alzheimers, senility, or dementia cannot erase??? Like all the momentous "firsts" of your life--first kiss, first love, first better stop at that!
Or how you can never forget exactly where you were when JFK was killed, or for you younger ones, Diana, or 911, moments frozrn in time and space, or----
when you experienced the trauma of the realization that there was
About 25 years ago, in my early years of teaching at Milton School, near Elm St., the very strict principal/boss called me into her office to discuss the phone call from an irate parent---- beyond irate actually!!!
Whilst reading the Judy Blume book aloud to my class, the very loveable and hilarious characters had a discussion concerning the reality or lack therof of Santa Claus!! I should have known, ,, but I was young then---
I phoned the father, begging forgiveness, to no avail--- the daughter was devastated, father agitated beyond pacification, and I was mortified---- contemplating suicide, end of career---- blah,blah, blah,
I learned later that her parents hired a "Santa" with bells to climb on the roof of the across the street neighbour , whereupon , they woke up said daughter to prove the error of my ways!!
Recurring Nightmare you ask--- Last week, during silent/independent reading class, the ten year old boy shouted out for all the others to hear, "WHAT,,,, THERE ISN'T A SANTA CLAUS !!!" I rushed over, signalling him to be quiet, shh, shh, shh, and sure enough,,, same book,,,,,,---He wasn't satisfied with being shushed,,, so I pointed to the spine,,,,,nonfiction--- it's not the truth!! I whispered---meanwhile the rest of the class were now freely expressing their viewpoints about the TRUTH of Santa Claus and sharing stories about finding hidden toys in attics!!
"Back to silent reading, I very firmly announced------ remembering ----- and thankful that this time,,,
I was only the substitute---


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nan,

I discovered the "truth" when classmates in the 3rd grade started the nasty rumor that Santa wasn't real. It really wasn't traumatic, I just didn't tell my parents so that I could still receive the extra gift. =)

November 03, 2006 8:39 PM  
Blogger lovesjazzlovescoffee said...

Hi Nan!!!

I have never known your previous school to have a strict principal.....??????

That is so funny.....I, too, had an "out of control" Santa story that ended up at Central office, no less!!! The mom told her little girl that there was NO Santa and if you rearranged the word it spelled was grade 1.....the little girl wanted to confirm this with me...IN FRONT OF THE CLASS.....grade 1 and of course I said I certainly believed there was a Santa.....wrong answer to one mom!!! OUCH!!!!

November 03, 2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger Funnyface said...

Oh Nan. I know how kind hearted, and sensitive you have always been.
You were probably more upset,then the kid was.
I remember when I first found out. I wasn't realy that upset. But like HB, I didn't tell anyone.I too wanted the extra gifts:))))

November 03, 2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger NanNan said...

Hi HB: Sneaky kid---but you remembered the moment!!! ;)

LJLC: Don't you remember NH?
That's quite a story--- that Satan thing was a skit on SNL once with Church Lady--- damned if you do, damned if you don't--- can't win!

FF: You're right--- I still shudder thinking about Tracey S-- in fact, I think she recalled the trauma to either Jason or Jeremy in later years---- and still wasn't laughing----

November 03, 2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger Tuffysmom said...

You know what Nannan..I can't even remember when I found out there was no Santa no trauma for me.
However, I still believe in Santa Claus..and if any child ever asks me, I will say "Of course there is".
There is a Santa Claus!
Love, Marsh

November 03, 2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger Fireguy said...

I never had a "traumatic" no Santa realization moment. Always liked the story of Santa and his reindeer though...and Tim Allan makes a great Santa in the movies!

November 04, 2006 12:35 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Oh no . NOt again - thatsg right at least you were the substitute this time - hopefully he was not traumatised ! I know when I found out there was no santa I was pretty crushed - all the rumors I didnt believe then one day I was looking in my moms closet for something and tehref was toys - days later under the tree there was those toys from ... Santa :(

November 04, 2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger NorthernLight said...


As soon as you said strict prinicpal I knew who it must be... haha....

BUT the real part I am so curious about was who the student was.... hahaha! I don't think i was in your class when it was a female prinicipal so it must not have been my class... But it's funny to hear these classrooom stories...

I remember my first year when I was teaching up here. It was the first time I had to experience the day in school after a suicide. It's such a shock and sad time and I was a bit panicked as to what I was to do. At the time students were in school and the admin were talking to the school comittee to see if we would close school or not for the day. I was on pins and needles as students were opnely annoucing the news as they enetered class and waiting for my reaction.

I was told that there was no point in going ahead with curriculum since many students stayed home, and that if y students wanted to talk, just let them talk. At one point in the morning, the students were getting ansy (sp?) so it thought, "ok game time"... So I proposed the game and everyone excitedly cheered and we played... only in hindsight did I realise in horror, that maybe it was a bad choice of games to play on that day- hangman?! I was embarrassed about having picked that game in light of the suicide, but the kids didn't notice the connection and all, but it's one of those memorable classroom boo boo's that stick with you and a few years later, kind of make you chuckle a bit!


November 04, 2006 2:06 PM  
Blogger NanNan said...

Hi G; Wow, it puts things into perspective---- Santa Claus vs suicide--- I know what you mean about lucky breaks in retrospect--- I used to play a game called "murder"-- wouldn't dare do that now!!! Not mentioning any names, but did you ever know Tracy Stanley-- her dad was the manager of Zellers for years--- funny how some names you never forget!!!

November 04, 2006 2:38 PM  
Blogger kicking-and-singing said...

OMG.. I remember that book..I loved it...still it can be a pain in the butt...
I remember when I figured it out..I was about 8..but I never let on until I was 12..I asn't stupid...and I appreciated that Mom and Dad did their best to not let us find out.

November 05, 2006 3:37 PM  

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