I entered my classroom Tuesday morning, to find poor Nick Bottom floating sideways under his tree, gray and hollow-looking. So, I carried his little tank into the nearest girl's bathroom and flushed him.
I can't say it was a surprise. The janitors turned off the heaters as soon as school let out on Thursday. My room got progressively chillier as rehearsal went on. I stayed late to get my grades entered into the computer (end of the term), and by the time I packed things up at 6:30, I was shivering and my fingers were going numb. Poor guy spent four days in there like that. He didn't have a chance.
I broke the news to my drama classes, which they took rather well. Aside from the one girl who thought that Nick Bottom was a student in our class (this in one of my classes that have been around each other for five months and did a play together). She figured it out after a minute or two. I asked my kids if any of them would like to say a few words. Three boys raised their hands.
Jacob stands, wipes away a few invisible tears, then says in a choked voice: I have many happy memories of Nick. From the moment I first met him... aside to me How many days ago?
Me: A week.
Jacob: back to sad ...A week ago, I knew.
Daniel another of the boys, quietly begins to sing in the background: Oh, Danny boy
The pipes, the pipes are calling.
Jacob: He was a good fish, a beautiful- aside What color?
Jacob: Blue fish
Daniel: From glen to glen
And down the mountain side.
By this point, I was laughing so hard I was crying. It only got better when Ashton got up to describe his "brother-like" relationship with Nick.
Some of these kids are so freakin' talented. They don't need me to teach them how to do it, they just need me to let them do it.