Monday, November 10, 2014

There's No Place Like Gnome

School Spirit competitions are often part of large group meetings to foster both pride in one's school and as motivation to get everybody excited about the event.  I attended just such a meeting in State College for several years in a row, with a student leadership team comprised of sophomores in high school.

On one particular evening, the emcee announced that the school spirit competition would happen the next day.  Teams of five were encouraged to develop cheers, share stories, paint themselves their school colors -- anything to show school spirit.  

And..... the winning team would win........................


a coveted LAWN GNOME! 



The Te@chthought Challenge Prompt for Today:

Nov 10 Being grateful for humor - share a story about a time where humor played a part.

 Zach was beside himself with the idea of winning the gnome.  While I'm not sure that it was the GNOME, or the WINNING, that was important, suffice it to say that I have never seen Zach as pumped about anything before, or since this challenge.

"WE GOT THIS!" he screamed to the team.  And the plotting began.

When we weren't awarded the gnome, I was seriously concerned about the overall success of the rest of the conference for my team.  Gifted kids aren't used to not succeeding at something they set out to do.  The other coach and I went shopping to try to locate a lawn gnome for an internal team award. 

Alas, we were in State College, and it was November.  Not exactly lawn gnome season.

We settled for a variety of prizes from the dollar store, recognizing the quirky personalities of each of our team members, choosing a creepy Santa Claus head as a poor gnome substitute, the kids appreciated the gesture, and we all got on with our lives.

Until January, when I discovered small garden gnomes in a plastic bag while cleaning out my mother in law's basement.

The gnomes arrived.  Inside Zach's locked locker, in his backpack, under his pillow at home (with a willing sibling accomplice), on his computer in Computer Science class....  Gnomes followed him everywhere.  The Track and Field coach found out, his girl friend was in on it, as were many of his teachers.  Gnomes  were named "Polly" (Gnomial) in math class.  They resided in band cubbies. 

Suffice it to say that I will never see a gnome without thinking of the joy that the Gnoming Experience brought to all of us.

There truly is No Place Like Gnome.    Just ask Zach.