Gould Academy and the Chamber of Secrets

May 3, 2011

OVERHEARD IN SPANISH CLASS: “Teacher: Why are boot verbs called boot verbs? Student: Because they make an L!”

Many of you don’t know this, but there is a secret society at Gould Academy.  It is an exclusive club that only a select few members of the Gould community belong to and each year only a few new members are accepted.  They arrive at Gould without ever passing through the admissions process.  Members of this secret order have access to locked rooms, can leave the dorms whenever they like, they can even have cars if they want.  They are heavily recruited and they pay nothing to be a Husky.

They are teachers.  And they like to write in boldface.

The Gould faculty (from Latin, meaning “power, knowledge”) are responsible for students’ education (Latin: “to lead out”), discipline (Latin: “instruction”), and at a boarding school act as in loco parentis (Latin: “your parents are crazy”).  Teachers at Gould teach, of course, but they do more.  Much more.  They also coach.  And advise.  And drive. And organize, cajole, push, prod, cut hair, loan clothes, bake cookies, chaperone Bassnectar concerts.  We are cheerleaders, alarm clocks, personal assistants, wardens, entertainers and ambulances.  Students are our “big kids” and our children are their little brothers and sisters.  Students see us everywhere.

Except one special day a week.  On Thursday mornings Gould changes it’s schedule, and everyone gets a special, health- focused activity and catches up on sleep.

But not us.  WE gather together in that very special place, Gould’s very own  Chamber Of Secrets (also known as the faculty meeting).  Since everyone (sane) on campus is sleeping during our 5:30AM meeting (ok, 7:45, but it FEELS like 5:30), the students really have no idea what we talk about in there.  I did some exhaustive research on Monday night (by “exhaustive, I mean I asked the 5 girls in the Gehring lobby) into what students THINK we talk about.  This is what they said:

  • “You talk about how awesome I am.”
  • “You have a moment, and then sometimes you gossip about students.”
  • “You talk about new kids, when they’re new.”
  • “They are all about gossiping about kids’ personal lives.  Or in could be like a MENSA meeting, with tobacco pipes in your mouths.”
  • “You talk about everybody.  Every single student.  Especially me.”

Clearly we as adults on the campus live exceedingly boring lives.  According to the student body (meaning these five) we talk about them.  That’s it.  Sometimes with pipes in our mouths.  The reality is much more interesting, much more intense.

Okay, they were right.  We talk about them.  We talk about teaching them, we talk about celebrating them, we talk about every way that we can help them grow into the amazing young adults that they are becoming every day.  We agonize over discipline, we fight for the right to spend time with our students, we sing their praises, and when we can’t praise them we dream about creating moments so that we CAN praise them.  You see, there is in there a truth about the “Secret Society” on our campus:  We are here for the students.  We are not here for the short hours and we are not here for the ginormous paychecks (although those ARE nice).  We are here because we see great value in working with people going through the most topsy-turvy, emotional time of their lives.  And even at 7:45 in the morning, before the coffee kicks in, we love it.  Just try and imagine it.

It’s even better when you imagine all of us with pipes in our mouths.





2 Responses

  1. Avatar Stackett says:

    Great golg Doug! I love it, however I am not sure how I feel about smoking a pipe…. Maybe one day we should all wear gowns like in Harry Potter!

  2. Avatar Doug says:

    Thanks, Stackett! Which house would you be in?

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