It was April first, and I had nothing prepared for April Fool’s Day. I usually have some gag to get things off on the left foot. I needn’t have worried, though. A. provided the amusement.
We have a vocabulary routine where we focus on a different Greek or Latin root word each week and build a list off of that root. This week we had the Latin root MISS or MIT to work with. This led to a list that featured words like omit, submit, and emit, as well as words like mission, missile, and dismissed.
One of the assignments the kids have to complete is writing each of the words in a sentence. They practice the words during the week and then take a vocabulary and spelling quiz at the end of the week. Since last week was a short week, we were going to take the quiz on Thursday rather than Friday. When it was time for the spelling portion, A. approached and reminded me that I had forgotten to check his assignment. Then, he casually suggested that I could use his sentences as I gave them the spelling quiz. In retrospect, his nonchalance was impressive. The typical fifth grader still has some difficulty with the poker face that most successful pranks require.
Unsuspecting, I commenced with the sentences on his sheet. “Number One, Dismissed. You are all dismissed, Dis–” But I did not get to finish repeating the word, because A. and then several others, had leapt to their feet, slung their backpacks over their shoulders and headed for the door.
“Okay, have a nice weekend!” he said as he marched off for an early dismissal.
“Wait a second, let me see that sentence again,” I said. “Oh, wait, I read it wrong. It says, ‘You are NOT dismissed.’ Sorry. My mistake. I’ll be more careful.”
They had pity on me and returned to their seats.
I scanned the rest of the list and noted that A. had quite a few little gags on the page. This represented considerably more time and effort than he usually put into this homework assignment, so I decided to play along.
A later sentence read, “There will be an intermission today.” This was notable, since it was already a shortened day. The class applauded my unintentional generosity.
Still later, the “mit” parade began. “Oh, and I will not omit that I will give everyone twenty-five dollars!” I noted that he had actually spelled out the twenty-five, just in case I was thinking of dropping a decimal point in front of the 2 and the 5. No such luck.
The next few sentences relied on the tried and true fifth grade comedy bit, the fart. It never fails to fill the room…with laughs. I held my nose and continued to read. “Emitted. Oh, and by the way, I emitted so much gas when I just farted, I could fill up a helium tank. Emitted.” During my reading, A. had reached down to his backpack and pressed gently on the outer pocket, where he had strategically placed his trusty prop. A long, low, but clearly recognizable sound emanated from the whoopee cushion. Touché, A.
I’ll spare you his sentence for “transmit.” I’ll just let you know that it involved more flatulence, a walkie-talkie, and the principal. It received many guffaws from the giddy fifth grade crowd. It never gets old. Well, if you’re eleven.
I admit, though, that A’s submission rescued my April Fool’s Day. I had been remiss in omitting some gags. I will long remember his mischievous missive, remitted without charge, even with its overuse of the gaseous emissions. Mission accomplished, A. You get an A for the day.