As with all items in our classroom lost-and-found, the blazer appeared out of thin air, never having been worn into or carried into the room, but simply materializing in the corner next to the cubbies.
"Children, how can this sweatshirt/coat/hat belong to NOBODY?" I will ask from time to time when the lost-and-found pile spills its contents onto the floor and reminds me that this same sweatshirt/coat/hat has remained unclaimed for months.
The children always swear it belongs definitely to Tyler and Tyler swears it definitely does not belong to him and we go about three rounds of this before setting the matter of ownership aside to settle another day.
"Tyler? Are you SURE this is not yours, because I really think it is yours and the other kids really think it is yours."
"No, THIS is mine!" insists Tyler, holding up a nearly identical sweatshirt.
I place the imposter back on top of the ever-growing pile.
Beneath Tyler's sweatshirt, well, OK, the unclaimed sweatshirt we'll call it, sits a small, black blazer. I am honestly not sure if this was left behind by a kid on picture day or after a performance, or if it's actually a petite women's blazer forgotten by someone observing in our room.
Whatever its mysterious origin, the blazer has now all but found a permanent home. Michael has discovered the transformative power of a lost-and-found blazer.
It began one early fall day before coat season had set in but after we had left the short-sleeve months. The recess air a bit cool for Michael, I suggested he look through the lost-and-found pile for another layer. A few minutes later, Michael stepped out onto the playground wearing the black blazer--ostensibly for warmth, but clearly more so for style. He was a cool dude and he knew it.
You could tell that Michael felt transformed wearing the blazer. Donning it, he went from a regular eight year old boy to "Hey-Man-Alright-Takin'-Care-of-Business-On-My-Way-to-a-Meeting-but-Let's-Do-Lunch-Important-Guy." Michael managed to be somewhat cold several times over the next few weeks and eventually more or less appropriated the blazer as his own for any uniform-free situations.
Last night was our big performance of all that we have learned about geology. Now, performances happen to be just such a uniform-free situation. The kids got to leave their regular uniforms at home and instead wore shirts vaguely resembling the color of whatever stone they portrayed in the skit. Granite, Marble, Basalt, Sandstone--all came on stage in turn to apply for the job of building material. As we were getting some last minute things ready for the performance, Michael pulled out the blazer.
"But you're Basalt! Basalt doesn't wear a blazer!" I exclaimed. "Just wear the gray shirt you came in, Michael! Sans blazer!"
Michael obliged, but asked if he could wear it again after the skit. Yes, Michael. You can be Important Guy after the skit. And indeed, as soon as he was finished with the role of Basalt and was ready to answer geology questions from the audience, Michael swapped out for his favorite role as Important, Blazer-Wearing Guy. He did the role justice.
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