Psychotic Animatronics

Monday, March 16, 2020

#SOL20: March 16th

          A half day Institute Day was ahead of me.  I got out of my car on this last day of school before the IL shutdown, and I saw a boy ahead of me with a book bag on.  No one else was around, yet he was running towards the front door of school.  Panic flooded my mind, thinking this boy and his family had no idea that school was cancelled.  I quickened my step to catch up with him, even though I was afraid that I was going to have to tell a boy I didn't know about a global pandemic.  

          "Hey there!  We don't have school today.  Can I help you?"

          "Yeah, I know.  My dad told me to come to school anyway to get my things."

          I brought him into the office, had him sit down, and then went into a staff meeting to get his teacher.  I figured that in times of great uncertainty, seeing your teacher is always one way to make things better.  The building was getting briefed on how to plan for at home learning, yet she jumped right up to see her student.  Teachers really do put kids first, always.  Especially this teacher.

          She discovered that he wanted the book he was reading from class.  She went back into the meeting, and he and I walked up to his classroom.  The whole way there he talked about his book, which happened to be from the Five Nights at Freddy's series.  Now, it was not a lie when I told him that I knew nothing about the series.  To be honest, I thought it was a video game or something.  But he went on and on and on about the characters, and the plot, and his favorite things about it.  He told me that it was about these animatronics who were from a pizza place.  He told me he planned to read the whole series.  When we got to his classroom he walked right to his desk, found his book, and then turned back towards the door.

          "Is that all you needed?  Do you need anything else?" I asked gently.  The classroom seemed way too empty for a Monday morning, and honestly I worry when he will be returning.  This was his last chance to make sure he had all his things.

           "Yep.  I'm ready.  I just needed my book."

          "Ok, so this book must be pretty good if you wanted to have it.  Tell me one reason why I should read it."  

          "They are psychotic animatronics.  They turned that way because they were locked inside the pizza place for too long."

          I turned to him, and thought how oddly coincidental that reason was on the eve of a quarantine as schools close for the next 3 weeks.  Here we go, about to get locked inside of our homes, hopefully not destined to become psychotic animatronics.  I don't think I will ever read that book, but I certainly will always remember this young reader as we prepared for time away from school.  

1 comment:

  1. That he was SO excited about the book ... a bit of light in all of this -- Some of my students read that series and play the game, and it's all kind of creepy story and humor and meme-like narratives, but they're reading and that's that!