I can’t say that I spend my time longing to be famous. Rich? Sure. But famous? That sounds like way too much work, especially for someone who detests having to fix her hair and slap on spackle for even part time work. I can imagine myself being spotlighted in some trashy magazine with captions mocking my wardrobe and general appearance. There’s a certain peace that comes with knowing you are a prime candidate for “What Not To Wear” and somehow soldiering on with your life.
Lately I have seen how people could want to be a celebrity. It is so cool to be recognized! With excitement! To watch someone’s eyes light up at the mere sight of you? Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. I can truly see how people dig it.
How would I know this? Because for all intents and purposes, I AM a bit of a celebrity. I get recognized. Why? I am a substitute teacher.
I take my boys to the library for a special program? Little faces around me will light up. “I know YOU! You were my music teacher!” Baseball practice? More of the same.
I stopped at the grocery store after work today. I wanted to make sloppy joes and was perusing the hamburger prices when I heard a child squeal. A little girl was pointing at me and tugging at her mom’s pants. When I walked past, I smiled and asked “was I your teacher?” She smiled at me. “You were my music teacher!”
I have only taught music twice, but it turns out it was my most memorable. Thanks to Laurie Berkner’s musical genius and my complete lack of shame, I created on the fly several kid friendly dances for the younger grades. The fact that the music teacher left me a pile of CDs that included one of my favorites seemed like destiny. We pretended we were dinosaurs and marched. We drove our cars. It was complete and utter silliness, and they loved it.
I was a sweaty and exhausted mess by the end of the day. I traveled from class to class and logged more aerobic exercise than my body is used to in the winter. I had lost my dignity but gained the admiration of young children. I had no idea as I marched around and roared with the kids that it would make me that memorable, even months later.
It was a magic I don’t dare hope to recreate, but I will bask in the afterglow and pseudo-limelight while I can.
Yes, I was your music teacher! I remember you! We sure had fun that day, didn’t we?