Complete with cartoon hands and Smurf shoe covers, I faced my banamaphobia by dressing as one for Halloween.
If you read my previous post, you know I was stressing a little – ok a lot – about what to wear for Halloween. It was worse than deciding about prom in 11th grade, 12th grade or even attending Alpha Gamma Rho’s Rose Formal when I attended the University of Florida in the 1980s….but we won’t go there.
Today I find myself in middle school. Not because I didn’t pass the first time. Because I did. At least that’s what I tell my students.
IT BEGAN IN AUGUST
So let’s rewind to the first week of this school year when teachers are whipping out their “all about me” PowerPoints to punctuate the routines, policies and procedures we must cover to get the year underway. In my newly developed presentation, I branched out and used Prezi to create my online intro. It included 30 facts about me. For example, it mentioned that I love to wear crazy socks and they’re not even limited to holidays. I am married. I prefer to be called Mrs. Instead of Ms. And then there’s the slide that always gets my students’ attention. It’s the one that says I’ve never eaten a banana. Well, that was until this year, anyway.
It all started, I tell them, when I attended preschool at a woman’s home. Each afternoon our snack was a popsicle and on one particular day they were banana flavored. I explained in my kind 4 year-old-tone that I did not like bananas and she informed me that I had to eat it. I did and then promptly threw up afterward. So yes, I’m scarred for life. I’m sure my students enjoy envisioning me as puking 4 year old.
So, this year, several students in my advanced writing classes decided that my banana boycott must end. One day, a particular young lady brought me one after lunch; she informed me at the end of class that I would have to write her a pass since she would be tardy to her next class. The reason? She said she was not leaving until I took a bite. Held hostage by a teenager!
I complied – with the eating but not the pass writing and she made it to class on time.
Fast forward several weeks later. During the beginning writing time in my intermediate class, I had students practice writing persuasive paragraphs. Instead of boring subjects such as why we should have 10 minutes between classes instead of 5 or why the school day should end at noon, I had students write about why I should get over my bananaphobia.
Afterward, each of the three tables of students sent their best persuasive writer to the front of the room to present. I heard the usual about how I should increase my potassium level by eating them or that they’re healthy. One writer, in particular, took the assignment and with her most earnest efforts wrote what I thought was an excellent piece. (I’ll be included it in my next update!)
As you can see, my road to recovery is filled with students who care and want me to “move on” with life. To prove I am trying I decided – with the encouragement from a friend – to employ irony in my costume selection.
So there you have it. The reason you see me dressed as a banana is because I can laugh in the face of fruit fear! Complete with my cartoon hands gloves and Smurf adjustable shoe covers, I stood in the hallway between classes waving to students on Halloween as they laughed and pointed while uttering remarkable comments such as, “Look, it’s a banana!” The best part? We even had a fire drill, so I waddled my yellow self outside with a hundreds of students only to take roll, hear the all clear signal and split to go inside. Can you say “easy to spot”?
It might not have been the most flattering of costumes. It did make me look fat but I don’t know a lot of people whose costumes make them look almost invisible!
With my friend’s insistence and persistence in providing ideas for piecing together the costume, I think I accomplished my goal: to create a bunch of smiles, Besides, anyone can be the a superhero.