For six Octobers in kindergarten, fourteen in second grade and seven in junior high, I began the month with James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay, An’ wash the cups and saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away...” Every class enjoyed the poem, but the second graders were the most persistent as they pled, cajoled, and bargained for yet another performance.
- “If we’re really good…”
- “If we get our work done…”
- “If we get the room clean and pack up early…”
They could have saved their bargains if they’d only known how little it took to get me started or how much I enjoyed their anticipation of the Gobble-uns. I hated to see the season end as much as they did when they joined me in the now-memorized chorus for the last recitation at the close of the Halloween party on October 31.
Since leaving the classroom, I have not once missed core curriculum standards, test preparation, lesson plans, or report cards. But come the first of October, I do get a twinge of nostalgia for a class of wide-eyed students anticipating the Gobble-uns “that’ll git you ef you don’t watch out!”