I have a quote book. This is not a book full of historic, meaningful, or even funny famous one liners and quotes (although I do have a few of those as well). No, this is a book of things said in passing my students and colleagues. Some of these are unintentional slip-ups that they prayed no one heard. Some are serious statements and questions that elicit a giggle or make people pause and wonder. Some are just down right weird.
All of these things get written down in a cute little orange and white notebook that lives in the back of my top, left desk drawer.
I did not originally set out to have a book of quotes. In fact, the notebook we use was originally purchased for me to use in tracking my exercise, my self acre, my goals, and some positive affirmations. You may, then, be wondering how my ‘self care’ notebook morphed in such an odd manner. Well, it all started with a whiteboard and weird turn of phrase. It was the second week of my first year at a new school in my third year of teaching. This was a very small school. So small that there were only 12 staff members. That year, 7 of us were new. We were asked to pose for a picture for the newspaper and one man, our new head coach, was much taller than the rest of us. (He is, in fact, a full foot taller than me…almost to the centimeter) In order to allow the image to be framed properly, he wound up leaning over on my shoulder. I made some comment about the large man on my shoulder weighing me down. That particular turn of phrase tickled the funny bone of one of my high school students to the extent that she decided to write it out on a large white board in my room. Soon, that white board was taken over with quotes from the entirety of the school population. By Christmas break our quote board could hold no more quotes. Suddenly my positivity and self care journal was pressed into service. Each quote that was cramped onto the white board was painstakingly transposed word for word and carefully erased from its position (so nothing could be accidentally copied down twice). New quotes began to be added. A place of honor was chosen to house the book. In a ceremony of astounding pomp and high levels of self importance, I was sworn to keep the book and continue its ‘mission’ of recording the funny and odd quotes from our everyday people.
Fast forward to today. Some of the teachers will now stop me in the hallway to let me hear a snippet or two they’ve been holding on to for the book. It lives in its own little same place, hosting such precious gems as ‘those squiggled notes look angered,’ ‘I have been launching my umbrella at people,’ ‘that is how pink was born,’ and ‘I was about to surrender to my own foot.’
Sometimes it isn’t just kids who say the darndest things, and I have a book to prove it.