Thursday, October 26, 2006

Identity Crisis

I was in my trailer, teaching something, when the phone rang. I picked it up.

"This is Miss Grundy from the switchboard. Is this NYC Educator?"

"Yes it is."

"Well I just sent a kid to your trailer with a coverage, and he says you told him you weren't you."

"Well, that can't be," I assured her. "I am most certainly me."

"AREN'T I ME?" I asked my beginning ESL class.

"Yes, teacher, you are you." they called out, with varying levels of enthusiasm.

"You hear that?" I asked her. She hung up.

A few minutes later, the phone rang again.

"Mr. Educator, I sent the kid again, and he says you told him again you weren't you. This is not funny."

My students were clearly beginning to disagree.

"You're wrong, Miss Grundy. I am me. I was me when I woke up, and I am still me now."

My students rose to support me. "That's right, teacher. YOU are YOU!"

"What's that noise anyway? Listen, Mr. Educator, you have to cover Miss Laconic's class period 7 today in room 434 C. Can you do that?"

As though I had any choice. "Of course, Miss Grundy. Anything for you." She hung up again.

A few minutes later, the APO called. "This is Seymour Blatz. I understand you refused a coverage."

"No, Mr. Blatz. That's not true. I'm covering Miss Laconic's class period 7 today in room 434 C. "

"Well then what's the problem?"

"I'm glad you asked. There's someone in this building claiming not to be me."

"Mr. Educator, claims like that are upsetting. Are you serious."

"I'm absolutely serious, Mr. Blatz. Someone is claiming not to be me."

"Well, who is it? I want to talk to him."

"I don't know, Mr. Blatz. I'm not even sure it's a him, but I'll try to find out."

"There's one more thing, Mr. Educator."

"What's that, Mr. Blatz?"

"Miss Grundy says you've been telling her monitors you aren't you."

"Well, Mr. Blatz, I am most certainly me. AREN'T I ME, CLASS?"

Screams and catcalls and "YES TEACHER YOU ARE YOU!"

"Okay, Mr. Educator. We'll try and find out who that person is."

"Thank you Mr. Blatz. Frankly, I'm a little upset about this character walking around claiming not to be me."

"I'll call security," he assured me.

"Thank you Mr. Blatz."

The bell rang.
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