It is 7:oo am on a Thursday morning in early September and I step out of my classroom for hall duty. For those who do not work in the hallowed halls of education it just means that my colleagues and I watch kids walk by on their way to 1st block. I am very self conscious about my attire – a black polo shirt and Khaki’s. It is a bit under-dressed for my Principal’s standards so I anxiously watch the end of the hallway hoping he chooses a different route for his morning greetings.
As the students file past I am distracted by their attire. Several different versions of number 86 in white on a black field or black on a white field catch my eye. I turn my head to answer a question of from colleague and spot the corner of the D in Delhomme on the shoulder of a student who is clearly a freshman. Wow, I think to myself, that kid has some nerve wearing that to school today. I silently hope he makes it home safely but not without the appropriate amount of good hearted teasing. I continue ‘securing’ my little kingdom of the hall way for the next 10 minutes. As the minutes tick by, I subconsciously check off the Steeler jerseys filing past me me:
34 – Mendhenhall (rookie year take 2) √.
92 – Harrison √√.
7-Big Ben (only 1?) √.
43 – (Hey, these kids have good taste!) – Polamalu √√√√√
10-Santonio Holmes – (does that kid have on gold tennis shoes? I hope that he makes it across the threshold of the classroom without having to dive) – √√√
Then I see it: A black jersey running past me in a flash of speed hoping not to be sent to lockout. I did not have my glasses on . . . Is that an 88? I thought they retired Lynn. . . maybe or the life of me I could not remember who was #88 on the Steelers now – (Hey!!!! Give me a break it was 7:00 am and I had been up for 2 hours getting my own fam appropriately dressed for Steeler game day.) The white number 88 zooms past me and when he passes I see the name – Swann. . . Of course, a throwback. Both Swann and Holmes make it to their destinations unscathed.
When the late bell rings, I turn to go into my classroom and look down and see the tri-colored hypocycloids on the black polo shirt I hijacked from my husband’s closet. It is going to be a great day!
Setting: September 3, 2009 – Suburban high school in Charlotte, North Carolina.