Sunday, October 22, 2006

Goin’ Old School…

Last night Greta and I joined our friends Chase and Shalaun for an evening of old school, throwback entertainment. We didn’t play truth or dare and it wasn’t even a random outbreak of hide and go seek. We did, however, go to a drive-in movie.

Here’s how it went down.

We met Chase and Shalaun around 6ish and headed to Ennis. Ennis, for those of you who don’t frequent one stoplight towns, is a one stoplight town well south of civilization. We had been told by our source that this theatre was only an hour away. Funny thing is, when you already live a good 45 minutes north of Dallas and Ennis is another 33 miles south of Big D, the math is difficult to work out. Turns out our source probably never learned how to tell time. We might as well have been driving to Houston.

We arrived in Ennis about 15 minutes before the scheduled showtime. We exited the freeway right by the marquee with the various burned-out lightbulbs and pulled into the drive-in. Apparently there isn’t much to do in Ennis because all 97 people who live there were at the movies with us.

After paying, we pulled into what is, in essence, an open field, and parked the car. We purchased copious amounts of “health food” at the snack bar, which, incidentally is immediately adjacent to the restrooms. Hmm, that might give someone pause. We returned to the car and got our lawn chairs and blankets out and set up behind the GMC Jimmy (which Chase will not allow you to confuse with a Blazer) and got ready for the other real throwback part of the night: a double-feature. Yeah, you read that right. We paid $6 per person and they were going to show us two movies! You can’t beat that deal with a stick!

It’s worth mentioning at this point that the temperature last night was hovering around a muggy 48 degrees. In other words, not exactly ideal weather for two California kids to be sitting outside. The sitting outside lasted for all of one movie. For the second, Greta and I stationed ourselves in the back of the Jimmy, still wrapped in blankets. The sound came from the speaker thingy, but also on a designated radio station, so even sitting in the car, we got the full auditory experience.

We watched Man of the Year (pretty good flick, and not the comedy farce it seems from the previews) and The Guardian (kinda like the Coast Guard version of Top Gun and which I read a pretty funny “review” of here). Good times, really. The first movie didn’t start right on time, which means that, by the time we watched two movies with a 15 minute intermission and then made the trek home, Greta and I climbed into bed at 2:30 this morning.

All in all, a great night. Greta had never been to a drive-in and I hadn’t been to one for I don’t know how long. The last movie I remember seeing from the car was Clash of the Titans (one of my older sister’s favorite memories), and possibly E.T. The whole thing felt very nostalgic, even down to the cheesy cartoon “commercials” between the two shows that basically begged you to buy more candy and soda so that the theatre in the field with the snack bar/restroom combo could continue to operate. Personally, I’d love to go again, although, preferably when the weather is north of freezing.

How about you? What’s one thing you did as a kid that you’d love to be able to do again?

Friday, October 06, 2006

My swell job...

Contrary to what you may have heard—probably from me—I have a job. Now, my job is very different than many other people’s jobs. My job requires me to travel. In fact, I rarely work in the same place twice. My job never makes me work weekends. Can’t work if the office isn’t open. My job requires first-hand knowledge of a plethora of information. The Bill of Rights, Civil Rights, left vs. right. Beginning French, intermediate Spanish, advanced physics. Covered it all. What is this wonderful job, you ask? The glamour career that is substitute teacher.

The best part, by far, of substitute teaching has to be quotes. Kids, and sometimes teenagers, really do say the darndest things. Luckily for the blogosphere, I’ve kept track this year. Here are some of my favorites.

From a day when I was teaching in a middle school class and the students had to work with partners to fill in a blank map of the United States:

A kid pointing to the general Ohio area: “No, that’s not Ohio. Ohio is somewhere over here by California. I know because I saw it on a TV show.”

Beefy kid: “That one’s Kentucky. I know because on the Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials they show the outline of the state.”

A girl pointing to Alaska responding to me telling her that she had incorrectly labeled the state as Mexico: “How is that not Mexico?”

Elementary school consistently provides the good quotes. Por ejemplo:

1st grader: “Do you have a daughter?”
Me: “No.”
1st grader: “I do.”

Me: “What’s in that Ziploc bag?”
4th grader: “Dead bugs. They’re my pets. You don’t have any dead bugs in here, do you?”
Me: “Not that I’ve seen.”

3rd grader talking about someone who isn’t in our class and I’ve never met: “Connor thinks he’s all that. But he’s not. He’s fast, but Sonic the Hedgehog is faster.”

3rd grader asking me a nearly impossible question to answer: “Are you a teacher or are you a substitute?”

Finally, from the “you know it’s going to be a long day” file:

2nd grader the moment she walked in the door in the morning:
Her: “Where’s my teacher?”
Me: “She’s not here today.”
Her: “Well, I don’t want you to be here. You tell her I miss her!”

Yes, this is the life!