it was going to be a school meeting like most others – mandatory for full faculty, late starting, long-winded, boring, filled with useless charts and graphs, power point pages read aloud, appropriately timed applause, and a series of speakers with monotone voices droning on and on and on……
just prior to the start of the meeting, one of my teaching partners came in, so to be nice, i went to one of the many rows of look-alike generic chairs and picked up one to give her so that we could sit close by each other. keep in mind, this was a thoughtful process and i followed appropriate chair moving protocol – at least i thought so. i looked for one that was unoccupied and without any ‘saved chair’ marker, such as a purse, jacket, book, etc. as i grabbed one and began carrying it away, i heard someone yell, ‘hey!’, though i kept going without stopping or turning, thinking someone was just trying to be funny.
as i carried the chair over to where i’d been sitting, i heard someone running after me and suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder. i turned around to see a teaching colleague from the upper school, also a parent of one of my former students. as i looked at him, i could see he was surprised to see it was me, yet not surprised enough not to look indignant and blurt out, ‘you took my chair, i was going to sit there but i was up talking!!’
i still thought he was kidding as i glanced over to the area where i had taken the chair. it was filled with many empty chairs just waiting to be ‘taken.’ the moment it hit me that he was NOT kidding, was when he asked me to put it back and then offered me a chair which was exactly the same and situated exactly 2 seats away from where i had plucked his chair.
i found it all hilarious, and happily carried it back to his spot and took a duplicate chair back to my spot. i thought about how similar this was to the overreactive behavior i sometimes see in my kindergarten classroom, though the kinders would usually just get over it and let it go – it was the absolute highlight of my otherwise colorless meeting.