On 1/7/13, I kicked off the new year of author visits with the lovely Jane Macon Middle School in Brunswick, GA. (That’s a fly-into-Jacksonville-not-Atlanta destination.)
While there, the band teacher, Mr. Clark, treated me to a story showing how kids can partake in an adult sense of humor without crossing boundaries—and how, if mutual respect has been established, teachers can openly appreciate this.
To wit, Mr. Clark told me how he had told students a story from his college days. He’d been in the band himself, and his band teacher at the time was a mean man.
Before a concert, some of Mr. Clark’s classmates had hidden a surprise among the band teacher’s sheet music—a centerfold.
During the concert, when the band teacher discovered the centerfold, the surprise didn’t end there. Somehow the centerfold fluttered off his music stand and landed…in the live audience.
Mr. Clark’s students did not merely laugh at this story; they recreated it with Mr. Clark himself. But they had the good sense not to go full monty with their surprise. Plus the way they labeled it was both informed and cheeky—so much so that Mr. Clark hung it up in the band room to perpetuate the legends of two generations.
Thank you, Jane Macon, for a funnily unpredictable visit.