It’s the beginning of the school year. During a 4th grade art class, an unfamiliar adult pokes her head in…
“Hey. Can I borrow Asnak?”
“Asnak?” I look around, confused, do I even have an Asnak in here? I don’t know. I don’t know half of these kids’ names yet. I can’t let this woman know though, how dumb would I look?
“Asnak?” I ask again.
“Yes,” she replies. I look around again.
“Um, do you mean Akshat or Anay?” Maybe she means Akshat or Anay.
“No, I’m looking for Asnak.” Crap. She means Asnak. I’m going to have to come clean.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know which one is Asnak. Are you sure he’s in this class?” Maybe she’s confused.
“No, I’m looking for A-SNACK.” What!? In an art room!?
“What!? A snack!? This is an art room, I don’t have snacks! Good day, woman.” A snack. Why would I have snacks in an art room. What a weird request. A snack. Ridiculous.
Now, in my defense, I work in a very culturally diverse area, and “Asnak” could very well be a name I would encounter. I love how diverse my schools are, but I will admit, I have had many awkward moments in which I failed miserably at spelling or pronouncing a student’s name. Heck, I grew up in the mountains of NY, where the biggest name spelling confusion we had was whether or not to add an ‘h’ to the end of “Sara.”
I also want to note that at no point did I feel embarrassed or foolish after I realized that the woman was looking for food. I was too shocked that she would come to an art room looking for a snack to be embarrassed. In fact, I felt more embarrassed for her than for myself, and while I did not end our conversation with, “good day, woman,” I was shaking my head as I closed the door.
I’ve been meaning to post this story for quite some time (it happened in September), but I’ve been busy. While picking up another day of work this year has alleviated my schedule, I still can’t get out of the door any sooner in the evening. It doesn’t help that our start times at my schools were bumped. Yes, I get up a half hour later than last year, leave the house a half hour later, and arrive at work a half hour later (ish), but I’m still out of the house for 10-11 hours on work days. Then comes dinner, getting the child down for the night, and before I know it, it’s 9:00-9:30pm, and I’m too wiped to write. But rest assured, in case you were concerned, I’m still here. I’m still writing posts, albeit only in my head. My presence will continue to be sparse for awhile as I try to balance life, work and medical stuff we’re dealing with (it’s not me, and it’s all good, guys, no one’s dying over here, but it’s very involved nonetheless).
So, in the infamous words of that jolly man made out of snow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Nah, what I meant was, don’t you cry, I’ll be back again someday.