One Good Thing: Senior Pictures

Today was college day. The seniors did not have to wear their uniforms; instead, they could wear a college tshirt and jeans. They were told to gather in the lobby for a group picture at lunch.

One of my fellow senior teachers and I wandered into the lobby to see them all lined up and grouped together. It occurred to us that, you know, they’re all grouped together, and they’re pretty close to being under the balcony…this would be the perfect time to prank them. But what could we come up with in 30 seconds? And are we horrible teachers because that was our first thought?

Our headmaster wandered by, and we mentioned this to him. “Oh, go get the pitchers from the work room! Fill them with water, and I’ll get them under the balcony!”

We stare at him blankly. Really? You’re encouraging us in this? There’s carpet, and you’re ok with us dousing it?

“Go, go!” he tells us.

We race to the workroom, and go for the pitchers. “Wait, I’ve got a better idea!” he shouts. We turn around and sprint to his office, where he pulls out his paper shredder, filled with tiny bits of paper. We grab it and another bagful as he’s telling us to go up the back way onto the balcony and that he’ll take care of getting them in position.

We sneak our way up, and none of the seniors notice. We back up, out of sight, as the headmaster tells the students, “Ok, for the next shot, I want you to back up and turn….a little more…ok, there. Ready?”

A shower of shredded documents flutter onto their unsuspecting heads, clinging to their hair, drifting about their feet. Screams erupt. They quickly turn into “snowball” fights. The photographer keeps snapping away.

I’m having trouble deciding the best part. A student later told me, “You betrayed me!” “Yes, I did,” I replied. “What are you going to do about it?” “Get you back, of course!” she shot back. That was good.

One or two of our senior boys voluntarily found brooms and cleaned up the mess that they did not cause. That was very good.

But our headmaster, on 30 seconds notice, aided and abetted us in pranking the seniors in a very messy way. No questions, no thinking about it, just playfulness and action. That was the best part.

It was a fun day.

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