Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Regular John Keating

I haven’t really shared any stories that explain how I got to be as big as I am… until now.

For two years I was the video production teacher at a local high school. My class was one of the few that allowed the students to leave the campus during school hours if they had a permission slip signed by their parent/guardian and if I allowed them to do so. The reason that they were permitted to leave the school grounds was so that they could get footage for the projects that I had assigned. Of course most of them simply just wanted to leave for the sake of leaving and I wouldn’t agree to that. However, one day, a student who had actually gone out to work on a project brought me back a double cheeseburger from McDonalds just because. Noticing how much I enjoyed the gift, the other students concocted a plan. It was on this day that the exchange of food for freedom began.

Students would ask to go “shoot some footage” that I knew was a blatant cover for simply wanting to leave and would then offer to bring back food if I allowed them to do so. Being the mature individual that I was, and still am, I took their offer but told them to make sure to actually get some footage… which I never did see. This continued on through the rest of my stay at the school. If a student approached me wanting to leave with an obviously fake excuse for doing so, I would ask what they would bring back for me. If they wanted to abuse the privilege of being able to leave, you can bet that I was going to get something out of it.

Lucky enough for me, I had good students who were rather smart about the fact that they had an excellent thing going. Video equipment was always checked out upon their departure and they always managed to sneak whatever food they had gotten back in without being noticed. One of the most impressive displays of this was when three separate groups had gone out, one legitimately and the other two just because. All three had gone and got themselves something to eat and brought back enough food for their fellow classmates as well. Let’s just say that a lunch consisting of a personal pan pizza, cheeseburger and two bean burritos would make any food lover happy.

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