Monday, October 20, 2014

Shhh! Don't Tell

It's no secret that I'm a BYU fan.  A die hard.  I kinda think I was born that way.  Sure, someone had to buy my first BYU shirt for me, but pictures show that I chose to wear it quite often!  See that girl with a Y on her heart?

I'm pretty sure it was my favorite shirt.

It appears that I wore it until it was worn and stained and a little too small...

Evidence also shows that my brother, who as a BYU student was once voted Fan of the Year, was also true blue from birth.

I didn't follow the football team in my early years, but I vividly remember that my brother and parents did.  On a family trip to Utah in summer of 1985, we got to meet the National Championship team at a watermelon bust held at what was then called Cougar Stadium.  And once when we bumped into LaVell Edwards in an elevator at the Wilkinson Center, my dad shook his hand and stated, "I'm never washing this hand again!"

Years later, as a cheerleader warming up for football games, I used to take great delight in greeting LaVell as he walked past me onto the field.  

"Hi Coach!" I'd always say.  He always returned my greeting with a friendly, yet reserved LaVell-type hello.  Those BYU years were magical for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email at work telling me that our school district would be joining others in our region in participation of a program called, "Discover U."  We were strongly encouraged to wear our college gear for the week of Discover U and we were also to make a concerted effort to talk with our students about our college experiences.  

You want me to wear BYU clothes for an entire week?  Sign me up!  I anticipated Discover U like a child waits for Christmas.  Not only am I a Cougar of the proudest sort, but hoodies and T-shirts are much more comfy than my typical teacher-wear.

Our school counselor made a graph to show where the teachers in our school were educated.  It was hung in a prominent place and the students really enjoyed looking at it through the week.

I was the only BYU Cougar.

But my daily attire left no doubt about wear my loyalties lie.

On Friday of Discover U week, I made a point to share with my students a bit about my college days.  I expressed how important it was for me to go to college so that I could become a teacher.  I told them that they too can go to college to become anything they want to be.  I was surprised at the depth of their interest and desire to ask questions.  One of my second graders even asked, "Did you follow in your parents' footsteps?"  

"Yes, both of my parents went to BYU too," was my proud reply.

I told my students that my college years were filled with fun and happy experiences.  And then I showed them this picture:

I used the document camera to project it onto the wall.  Their mouths gaped and eyes were wide as saucers.  And since I'm a teacher with a propensity for dramatics, I leaned in close with my finger to my lips and whispered, "Shhh!  Don't tell anyone that Mrs. Hatch can fly!"  

"They'll think you're crazy!" I added.  My third graders played along with my silliness and giggled in a we're-on-to-you sort of way.  But my first graders?  They bought it hook, line and sinker.

I like that they believe that this old worn out, chubby body might have Wonder Woman-like powers.  They don't need to know that I'd spent that entire week nursing a bad back that I threw out while drying my hair.  Yep, it's true.  I can't even bend over to dry my hair anymore.  But shhh! Don't tell them that!  

Have you seen this commercial that ends with Ziggy Ansah saying, "I didn't just come through BYU, BYU went through me."

I feel exactly the same way.  Is it any wonder then, that my children came out looking like this?:

We're Loyal Strong and True (even while wading through a truly heartbreaking football season) and we'll tell anyone who will listen.  It's definitely no secret!

Go Cougars!