Last week I had my first real classes with the new first graders. They were, predictably, insane. They yelled at me, they wanted to touch me, they swooned over every little thing I did. You see, up until the classes many had not really interacted with me, or (in all probability) any foreigners. Up until those classes I was like some kind of crazy Tanigawa Junior High School urban legend. I am sure there were stories told only in whispers about a large white man that wondered the halls of the school. There have no doubt been sketchy photographs and wobbly video shot of me as I clumsily walk from first to second period. During lunch they probably shared dubious eye witness accounts and attributed every odd noise they ever heard to my strange and esoteric language and calls.
Now they know me, and we have reached the screaming hordes phase of the relationship. I will still be a legend, but not so urbane (aside: that technically doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but wow was it clever). Legend status will last approximately until second grade. That’s when they are really happy to see me, but no longer scream my name, try and touch me, and nearly swoon at the sight of me. By second grade, I will have my solid “crew” that talks to me all the time, and yells things like “Andrew I love you!” I will take on a kind of cult myth status by then. By third grade they are old enough to realize that teachers are actual people with actual hopes and actual aspirations of their own, so they will want to know more about Andrew the man. That is the way of things, from legend, to myth, to man.
For now I will just bask in the ability to step foot on the fourth floor knowing that when I do so about a bazillion kids will scream my name, crowd around me, want a high five more than money, find me infinitely and completely interesting, and nearly faint at every little thing I do. It’s like being the love child of Big Foot and John Lennon.