Treasures Found in Odd Places

Student recognition increases morale!
Student recognition increases morale!

I KNEW I had to have it!   I looked up, saw it and KNEW it had to be mine!  What was the treasure, you say?  What did I have to have?   A paper mache three dimensional sun.  THAT was the treasure I knew I had to have.   We were getting ready to start a new theme at our school:  Sailing the Seas of Knowledge (or something like that) and I thought the sun would be a fabulous addition to my classroom.

Unfortunately, there were two problems about me having it.    One –This special sun was hanging in a Mexican restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee and they were using it for decoration…..and Two — in big black letters on the side of the sun it said, “Corona”.   This was obviously something provided by a beer distributor for the restaurants to tout their products.     Anyone who knows me very well knows that neither of those factors were enough to stop me from trying to procure that special sun for my classroom!   So I did what any good scavenger—oops, I mean teacher—-would do!   I asked the waiter if I could have it.  He called the owner over and told him that I wanted the sun.  The manager laughed out loud…….and walked away.    As I left the restaurant that night, I gazed longingly at the sun, knowing I wasn’t ready to give up on getting my treasure.

I don’t actually live in Memphis but this restaurant is one of my daughter and son-in-law’s favorite haunts, so I made them promise to ask for it the next time they went in.  Needless to say, they got nowhere with my request (I’m not sure they ever even asked), so the next time I went for a visit, I suggested we head to that restaurant for dinner.  They both gave me big smiles, knowing exactly why I wanted to go there!   And as soon as we walked in the restaurant, I spotted it!  The sun was still there and it was still calling my name!  After placing my order, I asked the waiter if he would get the owner.   The owner came to the table and before I could even make my request, he said, “Are you going to ask for that Corona sign again?”  I’m sure my daughter and son-in-law were ready to crawl under the table when I jumped up and yelled, “Yes!”  but again the owner just started laughing.    I even offered him money for it (by now it was a challenge I could not shake off) but he just walked away chuckling to himself.

It was on my third visit to that restaurant (probably over the span of a good two or three months) that I finally was able to talk the owner into selling me the sun (very cheap) and I remember watching with total glee as he climbed up on a chair and cut it down from the ceiling over one of the guest tables.  As he handed it to me, he shook his head, chuckled and said, “I can’t believe you’re going to use that at school!”

But I did……I covered the “Corona” with green and white contact paper and hung it up by a bulletin board in my classroom where it became the new home for my “Star Student” display!

I tell this story for two reasons:

  1.  To remind everyone that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to make an impression on our kids and believe me, that sun DID!  They loved it when they were the student whose picture graced that board and they totally enjoyed the bright colorful display, and….
  2. To emphasize that we can accomplish many things with just a little bit of effort.  It make take time and ingenuity but thinking outside the box (who would have thought a beer display would make a good classroom resource?) produced an awesome result!

Have you found any treasures lately?