September 04, 2012

PHS Title Belt

PHS Title Belt proudly displayed chez MLH
Today was the first day of school, a new beginning: new students, new teachers, new supplies, new clothes, new shoes, new attitudes....Despite all of the new excitement, three questions prevailed:

1. What happened to the blue carpeting?  The carpet in my classroom was replaced with a new epoxy floor, making the room cleaner and brighter, yet most students felt it seemed colder and less cozy.

2. What happened to the fish?  Jacques, aka "Bubbles" our betta, is alive and well and currently residing chez Larson-Horne. My nephews and Mr. Horne have become quite attached to him and decided that he should be "home schooled!"

3. What is that belt?  That's a long story! Every year at the final faculty meeting, our principal gives us a quiz that usually consists of questions about what has gone on during the previous school year (valedictorian, prom queen, sports victories, school plays, etc.). He also asks for donations from staff members to use as prizes (T-shirts, coffee mugs, Summerfest tickets, etc.). Two years ago, Pewaukee graduate JJ Watt was drafted by the Houston Texans. New NFL players are required to take the Wonderlic Test. So instead of our traditional PHS quiz in 2011, Mr. Van Hulle administered the Wonderlic. The top score on the Wonderlic is 50 (JJ scored a 31). I scored a 48, but one staff member beat me; she got a 52! Of course 52 is impossible, but we contributed her scoring error to her advanced "pregnancy brain." Rather than allowing her to be the first to pick a prize and to honor her unbelievable score, this staff member was awarded The Belt, a studded black leather accessory that was quite impressive around her "bump!" I don't know if any knows who donated The Belt, but it changed hands several times last year. It was exchanged at the PHS Staff Christmas Party and went to the teacher with lowest score on last year's staff quiz.

Our final activity of the three day teacher in-service last week was a scavenger hunt/race to find the "ultimate Pirate treasure." We shot baskets and raced from clue to clue around the non-air-conditioned school. In the end, the treasure was revealed: The Belt!  After two years, it has been decided that The Belt should now stand for something positive. In the spirit of teamwork, The Belt has been renamed the Pewaukee High School Title Belt. Each week, the previous recipient will pass the honor on to a deserving colleague. The winners of the scavenger hunt (not my team despite having the head football and basketball coaches) had the privilege of nominating the first recipient of the Title Town Belt and I'm eager to pay it forward:

"SuperBowl/Title-Belt”Salute Of The Week: Melinda Larson-Horne (from Mike Spoerke and his gold medal winning team):  For her tremendous dedication in assisting with technology training - thank you, Melinda!!  And thanks for displaying the belt so prominently in your classroom!! - PHS Week #1 Bulletin (8/31/12)

The Belt does look pretty ominous hanging on my wall! Students were imagining the worst: a consequence for bad behavior or missing work?! Our lovely Moroccan exchange student was actually quite alarmed and asked in her native French what that was for! Now that my students know the story, I hope they will grow to appreciate the true meaning of The Belt as it is displayed in a deserving teacher's classroom each week.