On Wednesday, I had to holler at a student, “Stop waltzing with my llama!”
He had snatched my dusty rose colored giant stuffed llama, gifted to me earlier in the week by another student, from her on-top-of-the-filing-cabinet home and was slow dancing with her in front of the other students as they wandered in and found their seats.
[Meet Rubert, Rue for short. She came pre-christened with a fancy bow.]
A member of the peanut gallery questioned, “Is waltzing a real word?”
A heckler joked, “Why did the llama cross the road? To get away from Mrs. Ram.”
“Spell waltz for me. Are you SURE it’s a real word?”
“Mrs. Ram, have you ever eaten llama jerky?” a different kid asked.
I sol-llama-emnly swear ridiculousness like this happens all the time.
And it’s my own damn fault.
My teaching schtick is a well-balanced art of whimsy, silly, and that-teacher-is-quite-possibly-a-psychopath-I-question-her-stability. However I upped my own ante this year and decided to incorporate my love for the word llama into my teaching persona by decorating my classroom in llamas and purchasing a spit ton of llama t-shirts to wear to school. My favorite one reads: Comma Llama. #englishteacher.
Because why the hell not? And have you walked into a store recently? Llamas are freaking everywhere. Plus, Fortnite has introduced loot llamas, sundry filled llama piñatas, so even middle school boys get fired up about llamas. (When the kids first told me about loot llamas, I thought they meant lute llamas. I was like why would there be a llama playing a lute in a video game, but a llama piñata filled with bonus items makes a bajeebus load more sense.)
And because of llama paraphernalia proliferation and my revamped llama themed classroom, I have been fed a hearty diet of llama loot the entire month of December.
It started innocently enough. A girl in my first block walked in on a Monday morning and handed me a pair of fuzzy llama socks. They’re woolly nice. (I couldn’t help myself. That was too easy.)
Then, the next morning another girl showed up with a STUFFED. LLAMA. HEAD. For me. To cherish forever and ever. It’s flat on the back–for easy wall mounting like a taxidermied deer head. Our teacher coach affixed her to my podium with a 3M hook.
I named her Rama-Llama Ding Dong. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Other llama gifts include: a journal, a pillow, a porcelain container, a Texas Aggies shirt, and three more pairs of socks. One of the pairs of socks were given to me with chocolates, which inspired me to break out in an extemporaneous song aptly entitled “Chocolates and Llama Socks” sung to the tune of “Five Little Speckled Frogs.” I mortified the gift giver, and now, much to my glee, I have students who I don’t even teach belting the lyrics in the hallways and asking me to sing it for them.
And I can’t forget about this card; it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
I’m fairly certain this was by far the best teacher gift Christmas ever, but I am a little disappointed that nobody showed up with a real llama for me for Christmas.
Maybe, I’ll wake up on December 25th and discover that Santa left me one in my backyard.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
(GIF taken from https://giphy.com/gifs/llama-1081l2F7uGjkK4)