Sunday, July 22, 2012


         She pulled out two large pieces of white poster board and a couple of black and blue permanent markers. Laying them on the polished tile floor, she knelt next to them. In precise large print and simple vocabulary she outlined each rule and the corresponding consequences. The squeak of the markers echoed off of the bare walls in the room. Using a hammer and small silver tacks she put the posters up on the wall. She readjusted them several times to make them straight.  Finally, standing back, she surveyed her work.

          Walking she ran her hand along the plastered concrete wall until her fingers caught on some chips out of the paint near the door. She walked over to a shoulder bag on the floor and pulled out an A4 sheet of pale pink paper. She wrote a cheerful little rhyme  about books on it before taping it to the wall over the damaged paint and plaster. Pacing through the room again she checked and alphabetized the six books on a small shelf in the corner, lining up the spines in a row on the dented wood.

          Her eyes scanned the room marking each item in its place. Twenty-two desks stood at attention in neat rows. The clear taped name tags on the top of each desk gleamed in the sunlight.
          Then turning around, she sorted the dry erase markers in the metal tray below the white board. Picking up a green one she wrote, "Miss Hansen." Stopping, she erased the words and wrote, "Welcome!" She paused again and erased the exclamation point. Then she added, "to the fifth grade!" She capped the marker, picked up a red one, and added a flower in the corner of the board. Capping that marker too she put it back in the tray and lined up the markers again.
           Sighing, she picked up her bag and cell phone. Stepping through the doorway she glanced back into the room. She shut the door carefully behind her and silently strode down the hallway.

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