Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Romper Room

Congratulations to Luanne! She was the first to answer my trivia question regarding "Romper Room" yesterday.

For those of you who don't know, "Romper Room" was a television show for small children. It's purpose was educational and it was something like "Sesame Street" or "Barney." I don't remember much about it other than it was the only kids' show on in its time slot and my sister made fun of me for watching it. That was many, many years ago before cable TV and all the fancy satellite services there are out there now. Yeah, that was even before the internet too!

Anyway, fast forward about twenty years or so. I'm teaching in a bilingual sixth grade class in inner-city Phoenix. (Yes, hormonal kiddos just beginning puberty! And, yes, I survived. LOL!) My school, at the time, was located in a not so nice part of town--between the . . . ahem . . . adult bookstore and several bars where shirts were optional.

It was just after recess. The kids were still a bit wired and I was trying to get them to settle down a bit so we could proceed with our work. Without thinking anything of it, I told them, "Settle down. This isn't 'Romper Room.' We have work to do." I got a couple of odd looks but they settled down and we went on with our day.

I'm sure I must have used that expression many times over the course of a few weeks when, one day, one of my students spoke up. I still remember his real name and what he looked like. Frank was one of my favorite students not because he was the brightest but because he just had one of those fun personalities. I'm sure that personality has taken him far. At least, I hope so.

Anyway, one day, Frank came up to me and asked, "Miss, why do you say that?"

"Say what, Frank?"

"This isn't 'Romper Room.'"

Knowing that Frank, like 98% of my other students, spoke English as a second language, I explained to him that "Romper Room" was a TV show where kids played a lot but that we were here to learn and we needed to get busy and do that.

I could see the gears turning. His mind was certainly bouncing around something.

"But, Miss, it's a bar down that way. The Rumper Room's where women don't wear clothes. Why is that? What do they do there?"

"Uh . . . um . . . Frank, the Romper Room is a kids' show for little kids like 'Sesame Street.' Really."

"But, Miss, what do they do there?"

"Uh, we'd better get back to work now. So, get out your book, Frank. Now." LOL!

Suddenly, I realized why I was getting a few odd looks and giggles here and there. It wasn't that my students were too young to have heard of "Romper Room." Far from it! Instead of calming them and getting them to focus on school, I had inadvertently sent their minds on the opposite track per se. LOL!

That night, instead of driving north to go straight home, I headed south on a little drive. Sure enough, a couple of blocks south of the school was "The Rumper Room" with signage that made it obvious as to what kind of business it actually was.

I never, ever said "This isn't Romper Room." again.

Happy Scrapping!

Oh, speaking of scrapping, you'll definitely want to stop by tomorrow. I have a special surprise for everyone. you don't want to miss it.

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