The first year I taught at The School we were lucky enough to get new science textbooks.
Except they didn't arrive until October.
And school started in August.
Every time we had a faculty meeting, a science teacher would wave his or her hand in the air and ask the soon to be infamous question, "Any news on when we'll get our science books?"
The answer, which our vice principal got from book distribution guys who most likely got it from a publisher rep who probably got it from a guy named Buddy who drove a truck was "They're on THE TRUCK."
We had no idea where THE TRUCK was and soon wildly exciting guessing games were going on about just, where, THE TRUCK was. Many felt that Alaska was a good guess. There was much joy and celebration when the new books, finally, arrived.
So this year, what with the standards changing and our old books having pretty much seen their better days, we are supposed to get new books. We've spent the whole year gearing up for the new books, going to publisher presentations, reviewing the sample copies, and eventually selecting the book that best suited our needs. And we were told that they would definitely be there in August, ready and waiting for school to start.
None of us really, truly believed that. For one thing, there's always a BUDGET CRISIS and one of the first things that get yanked are new textbooks, and there had been rumors going around all year about the fact that we may just have to milk another year out of our old books. That was something none of us in middle school even wanted to contemplate since our standards got all switched around and our books were built around the old standards. One idea floated was to have a class set of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade books and just use whichever book had that particular standard in it. Fun.
And then, after our experience with THE TRUCK, whenever anyone said, "Oh, yes, they'll be there in August," we all snickered and laughed and kicked each other under the table at faculty meetings.
Sure they will. As I told my students last year, "I'll believe it when I see it."
I saw it.
Today Mrs. Eagle and I were coming back from lunch and walked in by the front office only to see a young man struggling to open a door and push in a huge cart with boxes stacked on it. We went and held the door open for him so he could get through, when Mrs. Eagle noticed the labels on the boxes.
"Hey, are those science books?" she asked him.
"Hum, I think so," he said. "I'm not really sure."
"Hang on, I want to read the label," I said and I checked the label out. "It's science books," I said. "But I can't tell what grade."
Since the young man didn't know where the book room was, we gleefully showed him the way...and made him open one of the boxes so we could see what was inside.
Glory Be! They were all seventh grade science books!!!
I think we may have scared him a bit when we started squealing and clapping our hands in excitement.