Back to School Night

My lesson on Native Americans allowed us to make ceremonial masks.

“. . . and now I would like to introduce our newest teacher, Mr. Murph . . .”

Dr. T pauses to laugh.  A few amused smiles dance across the faces of my fellow teachers.  I politely offer a grin, grateful for a few extra minutes to map out my introduction.

“Actually, our second Mr. Murph . . . as you can see we’ve hired not only another Jess, but another Murph as well this year.  As many of you know, we already have a Mr. Murph teaching gym,” she gestured toward the grizzled man in grey sweats, two seats down; Mr Murph nodded.  “For the sake of the kids, we probably won’t change his name.  So we’ll have to think of another nickname for you, Murph.  Have you thought up anything yet?  Mr. Murphey, maybe?”

“Um . . .” I momentarily falter.  “Well, the kids have dubbed me MK . . . uh, using my first and last initials.”

“Ooo . . . I like that . . . Mr. MK,” Ms P, the drama teacher, interjected with a deep British accent.  “Kinda rolls off the tongue.”

A frown lingers on Dr. T’s face for a second or two, yet just as quickly, she returns to her sales-pitch, all smiles and gratitude.  Two weeks into my teaching post at Unity, and I still felt rather guarded toward the school principal. Though impressions varied among the staff, I treated my employer with polite respect and mild indifference. Continue reading