It was a cosmic joke, I suppose, that on one of the last full days of school this year that we would have indoor recess. As a teacher, I cringe mightily whenever I hear those four short bells followed by one long - it means that the brief sanctuary that I am offered each day will be just the opposite. I will spend thirty minutes looking for missing checkers, explaining why we can't go to Eminem's website on the Internet, and keeping this one from running over that one and so on. It wasn't always that way.
Once upon a time, I was the one having the recess. I would frown and pout outwardly for the sake of my classmates - but inside I was full of good cheer. Indoor recess meant a chance to meet my friends on a playing field where I felt comfortable. Board games instead of four square. Chess instead of kickball. And if all else failed, I could sit in a corner and read. That was probably the best deal - more sustained silent reading. I would guess that if there had been such a thing way back then, I would have been one of those kids clambering for the Internet connection. The smart kid - four-eyes over there - the one who never talks to anyone.
But that's not completely true. I have a couple of very nice recess moments - a couple. Like the time I pretended to be Mary Symanski's robot and played four square for her. I didn't have to play well, since I was a robot and all, and it seemed that she thought I was really cute while I was doing it. It would not be the last time in my life that I would act goofy for a girl's attention. As a matter of fact, looking back on it, it seems to have set the precedent for it. Still that was pretty much the exception, recess wise. The times I remember best were inside. Maybe the whole idea of bringing the anarchic notion of recess into the controlled environment of the classroom appealed to me. Maybe I'm just not an outdoorsy guy.
They say it might rain again tomorrow. It's okay. I can handle it. I've just got to remember to bring a good book.