Thursday, March 30, 2006

Poker in Preschool?

First, let me start off saying I am glad to have been an "inspiration" to so many of my fellow friends and family members by helping them get started in the "blogging" revolution. It was nothing, really. Second, let me address the fact that in doing this I have somehow been the "butt" of a lot of jokes. Thus, making me reconsider ever inviting you all to my "domain", so to speak. But, because I am such a good sport I figure I will let you all have your fun at my expense. Weather or not, I had anything or everything to do with these so called "jeffrey and lissa-lou" experiences, I will never tell! That is all between me and him! I will however attempt to "quench" that apparent "need" to have stories revealed about our childhood secret antics by telling you one of my favorites.
Jeffrey and I were in Kindergarten at Holy Rosary. Since we had about 4 different teachers that year it is hard for me to remember which one is actually portrayed in this story, but I think it was Mrs. Westerfield. Oh, and no, "we" were not the reason for the short stay of the other 3 teachers that year. I had to clear that up because I know that would have been a "comment" on this blog later.
Anyway, back to the story. Jeffrey and I were in fact inseparable all through elementary years. We watched each other's backs for sure. We could also read each other's minds. There were many reasons for sticking together back in those days. If I was in a "pickle" I could always count on Jeff to help or at least attempt to get me out of it. And the same goes for him. Well, like a said this story took place in kindergarten. I'm sure all of you can remember your kindergarten days if you think real hard. Well, for the most part ours was probably not too much different than yours. We had the red and blue foam-stuffed, fold-up mats. We sat at the same "kidney" shaped tables. We made the same type of masterpieces with the shaving cream on the tables, etc... But, there was one thing that I can "bet" made ours different. Poker! Yup, that's right folks, we learned how to bet in kindergarten. Granted, it was not the same kind of poker you are envisioning in your head. There was no smoke-filled room or kids with green visors running around yelling, "I got 'pocket-rockets'!" But, there were poker chips; just like the ones in the picture above. As most of you know it is a challenge to get a class full of screaming 5 year olds to take a nap on a daily basis. I definitely wouldn't want to meet this task, but hey that is part of the job description for a kindergarten teacher. So...this is where the poker chips come in. Mrs. Westerfield decided that poker chips would be the answer to all her "naptime" nightmares. We would all ritualistically pick out our 48"x 15" area of the floor everyday to get ready for this "dreaded" event. Or was it really so "dreaded"? Not to me and Jeff. We actually looked forward to this time. After we were all as comfortable as one could be on a plastic, foam-stuffed mat we would start the "drifting-off" process. Mrs. Westerfield would roll in the t.v. cart and turn it on to the local "easy-listening" station. You know the "blue" channel that scrolled the news and played the horrible music. Yeah, that one. Anyway, after doing this she would turn down the lights and remind us all of what we would receive if we went to sleep. (the shiny plastic poker chip) Why we cared about the stupid chips is beyond me, but hey we were 5. In the ajoining room of our classroom was a kitchen area and apparently it also acted as a kindergarten teacher's retreat. This is where Mrs. Westerfield would go everyday during our naptime. I don't know what on earth she did in there to this day. I've always wondered.
Well, as soon as the door to the classroom/kitchen would close me and Jeff "ruled" the world. We could do whatever we wanted to do. It was great! This was in fact our "plotting and planning" period of the day. This is where we did our best work! For some reason, unbeknownst to us, the other kids actually went to sleep. Why? We don't know. Maybe they did not have to go home to a family like ours at the end of the day. We didn't ask questions, we just "plotted". After, I don't know 30 minutes or so, Mrs Westerfield would make her way back into the room carrying that plastic, zip-locked bag of poker chips in her hand. She would scan the "blue" lit room with her eyes, looking to see who had actually done what they were supposed to do. Sleep. Well, a lot of you know that from an early age I was taught by my father to "lay down and be still". Little did I know that this training would come back to help me later (3 years) in life. I mean, this was great! I could "lay still" with the best of em'! Jeffrey, of course didn't have the same training I had so he had to be taught. This may be the exact moment in which I became "Master" and he became my "Apprentice"!
Well, if Mrs. Westerfield concluded that you were in fact sleeping, you would wake up to the "shiny" plastic poker chip waiting to greet you from your slumber! I don't exactly remember if the chips were used as a type of "kindergarten" currency or not, I do know however that it was our mission to get every single one. And we did just that, without having to sleep a "wink" our entire kindergarten careers!


Caci said...

i love to remember those days! that was when you and jeffrey would hide under the hammock "making plans" also!!!

Heather said...

what exactly did you make plans to do?

Melissa said...

i could tell you but then i would have to kill you!

Jeffrey said...

I cant tell you what some of our plans were either. Some of them have yet to materialize.

I do remember Mrs. Westerfield and getting those poker chips. We were the best and beating the system were'nt we?

But the most interesting part of you post to me is when you were talking about what Mrs. Westerfield did in the Kitchen while we were sleeping. I have always wondered that too and have thought about it many times. Wonder what she could have been doing in there?? Hmmm

Jeffrey said...

I cant tell you any of our plans either because some of them have yet to materialize.

I have always wondered all these years what Mrs. Westerfield was doing in that room. It buggs me to no end to not know. YO CACI.. what do teachers do on their break?? Can you take me in the teachers lounge one day?? Thats another place it buggs me to have never been. I think i just have issues with curiosity.

Jeffrey said...

Sorry for the double post.. I lost my internet connection as i was publishing and when i got back on i did not see it had been added soi i typed it again. But when i published my second post they were both added.

Strange forces are at work here. Its S-P-O-O-K-Y