If you are unfamiliar with the critter that crawled from my Spanish Moss sample, you can read Part 1 here.
The story does end as you would expect it — without a glowing review of class decorum . The principal would return to conduct a another review when there would be no disruptions. Specifically:
- Everyone would remain at attention during the national anthem.
- Any “episodes” that were to occur in my classroom would be first written in my planning book. We had very detailed planning books with every thing that students were to learn written out ahead of time. My planning book was very thick (yes, even at the beginning of the year) because I wrote my day-by-day accounts well ahead of time. Who can possibly know when a gigantic bug would emerge from Spanish moss?
- “Learning objectives” would be stated for everything that I planned to have occur in the classroom. Obviously, a critter crawling out of Spanish moss should have been covered under, “Teach students to explore new situations with open minds” and I should have more foresight. (I will now.) Perhaps, the student who had crushed the bug had prematurely ended the exploratory learning.
Incidentally, the principal never once asked WHAT had emerged from the mass of Spanish moss. Neither did she laugh when the students had all left at the end of class and I said, “Well, I bet you’ve not had that happen in a class before!”
Later, as I walked down the hall to the lunchroom, one of my colleagues saw me and began laughing. She told me the whole school was talking about the event. At lunch, my colleagues wanted to be entertained with a first-hand account. The story had spread like the depths of science fiction — into wild ginormous creatures devouring innocence and evil alike. Which leads me to speculate that Spanish moss is vastly underestimated as a fertile element in Science Fiction.
“Harry Potter” hadn’t been written back when this happened, but every time I see the “Order of the Phoenix” (based on the 5th book) with Dolores Umbridge becoming headmaster at Hogwarts, I am impressed and greatly entertained with how well the movie portrays some aspects of the world of education.
But now — a couple of decades after a bug emerged from moss in my classroom — I have a giant bucket of Spanish moss fermenting and “de-mossing” in my backyard. As far as I have noted, nothing has emerged from it. Eventually, I hope a woven wall hanging will emerge.
When the green mossy part falls off the moss, the black part underneath is the stuff I will wash, then spin so it can be woven. It’s worth noting that I keep the moss in water because if you just clump it into a bucket, it can spontaneously combust. And it is 80F outside these days.
I now end the weaving of my teaching tale (true as it was) and show you more about weaving with Spanish moss in the third installment of the “Weaving with Spanish Moss” series.