As I have now returned home to Minnesota (and landed a new teaching gig there) this little classroom escapade from a few years back in New Orleans resonates even more. A good start-of-a-new-school-year memory from the Marchives.
Friday was a ‘dress down’ day at school – pay five bucks for the privilege of wearing your favorite pro or college team jersey and jeans. Yee-ha! My inner-city New Orleans high school kids know nothing of hockey, so I was interested in gauging their response to me wearing my U of M hockey jersey.
With the exception of one kid who said, “Ummmm…Michigan?” (detention, AND an automatic ‘F’ for him) the kids mostly got the ‘M’ for Minnesota part, because they know me well enough, but my favorite interaction was with one of my more thoughtful tenth graders, a gregarious kid who always shares his writing with the class, and who often ponders things before speaking – a rarity in my classroom.
“So, Mr. Lucker…Minnesota, right?”
“That’s where you went to college?”
“One of the places.”
“That a hockey jersey?”
“Yes it is.”
“You were a hockey player?”
“You played football.”
Pondering pause, trying to fathom, “You weren’t a basketball player?!”
Pondering pause, ‘I give up’ head shake, shrug.
“I was a mascot.”
Pondering pause, eyes growing wider.
“What Minnesota is again?”
Pondering pause, head shake of incredulity.
“Damn, Mr. Lucker.”
He smiled, still shaking his head as he went back to his writing.