Posted by: chrisdavis | November 25, 2008

From Wisconsin

Last Friday I was called to sub at a middle school near the house. After the previous Friday’s experience in a middle school I never wanted to see the inside of a middle school classroom again. But, I considered that, just maybe, not all middle schools were the same and the kids in this other middle school might be easier to deal with. Anyway, never being one to turn down a challenge, I decided to give it a try.

I was really glad I did. This second school was a very small middle school (about 500 students) and they were even better behaved than the kids at the high school. It was a joy to be with them. I told them they could call me “Mr. Chris” or “Mr. Davis”. They asked if they could call me “Mr. C.D.” which I said was OK by me. One student, seeing my Winnie the Pooh tie, asked if she could call me “Mr. Pooh.” I said, “I don’t care.”

I told them what I tell every new class: “I’ve been a teacher for 25 years but have never been in a school classroom.” Then I let them ask questions until they figure it out. I tell them, “I have a seating chart, but I really don’t care where you sit as long as you do your work.” They ask, “Can we sit on the floor?” and I say, “I don’t really care.” One girl in the front row asked, “Do you care about anything?” I told her, “You know, most things aren’t really worth caring about.” She agreed.

Sunday I left Crossville and drove the 14 hours to Wisconsin Dells where I am now staying with James. We awoke Monday morning to 3″ of snow and a beautiful, but really cold and windy day. We crunched around town in the snow (the town is a version of Gatlinburg) and he took me to where he works to show me the beautiful, new, state-of-the-art theater. It holds almost 800 and is a dinner theater. I will see his show on Wednesday afternoon.

James has been put up in one of the cottages of a 1930’s era motel. It is very sparse. The door from the outside opens into the tiny bedroom with a door leading to the tinier bathroom. A low table holds the smallest refrigerator I’ve ever seen on top of which is pearched a microwave that is too big to fit and hangs over the fridge.

Today, James and I are going to Madison with the cast to eat Mexican after he practices a dance routine with one of the girls in the show. As I write this James is sitting next to me on the bed (which is the only piece of furniture other than a chest of drawers). He is reading the book, “Twilight” and sighing with sarcasm and disgust. I bought the book because so many of the girls in the schools where I sub have asked me if I’d read it. “Mr. Chris, it is absolutely THE BEST book ever written. It’s better than the Harry Potter books!” Gag.

Tomorrow I see James’s show and, then, we have Thanksgiving with the cast here at the motel. Then, I will leave early Friday morning to return to Tennessee.

Charles: the long-johns were a real life-saver.

Benjamin Perry: I brought along the knitted footies you made me and am glad I did!

Misty: I haven’t forgotten you but we’ll have to take a raincheck until I get settled down.

Phil & Debbie: thanks for letting my stay in Crossville Saturday night.

I’ve received an email from Israel about possible employment there. Nothing concrete I can write about at this time.

See you again soon…



  1. <>

    That’s undoubtedly the best lesson that class learned that day. Too often, we get caught up in the details and lose sight of the few things that really do matter.

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