Between the Lines

Between the Lines By David Lias On Sunday, the spotlight will be on a number of Vermillion High School students.

It's a day filled with mixed feelings. Students feel the joy of obtaining one of their major goals in their young lives � a high school diploma.

There's a bit of sadness, though, too. As much as a community rejoices when students receive their sheepskins, their is also a realization that those documents often serve as young people's tickets away from the home and family.

The students, in their gowns and mortarboards, will be easy to spot. As family and friends watch the proud graduates this weekend, I hope they'll think of another important group of people that made the day possible � our teachers.

Teachers may not be as easy to detect Sunday. They tend to blend right into a crowd. During times like commencement exercises, they practically fade in the background. They don't want to take any attention away from the students.

Some Vermillion people, especially those who no longer have children in the school system, may have trouble knowing who is involved in educating our youth.

But their are ways for citizens in a community to detect who among them are teachers. Just look for these characteristics that define "real teachers:"

* Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meetings, in the bathroom and at the end of six weeks have even been seen grading in church.

* Real teachers know that sixth-graders get hormones from Santa at Christmas.

* Real teachers cheer when they hear that April 1 does not fall on a school day.

* Real teachers drive older cars owned by credit unions.

* Real teachers can't walk past a crowd of kids without straightening up the line.

* Real teachers never sit down without first checking the seat of the chair.

* Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards without turning around.

* Real teachers have students six hours a day but never stop teaching.

* Real teachers can predict exactly which parents show up at open house.

* Real teachers understand the importance of making sure every kid gets a Valentine.

* Real teachers know it is better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission.

* Real teachers can teach anatomy to high school students and not hear the giggles.

* Real teachers are written up in medical journals for the size and elasticity of their bladders and kidneys.

* Real teachers wear glasses from trying to read the fine print in the teachers' manuals.

* Real teachers know the shortest distance and the length of travel to the office.

* Real teachers can "sense" gum.

* Real teachers know the difference between what ought to be graded, and what should never see the light of day.

* Real teachers know that the first class disruption they see is probably the second one that occurred.

* Real teachers have their best conferences in the parking lot.

* Real teachers have never heard an original excuse.

* Real teachers can teach with nothing but a student.

* Real teachers buy Excedrin and Advil in bulk.

* Real teachers will eat anything left in the teachers' lounge.

* Real teachers know that secretaries and custodians really run the school.

* Real teachers know that dogs are carnivores and not "homework paperavores."

* Real teachers do not take "no" for an answer unless it is written in a complete sentence.

* Real teachers have been timed gulping down lunch in 2 minutes 18 seconds. Master teachers can eat faster than that.

* Real teachers know that Happy Hour does indeed start on Friday afternoon.

* Real teachers know the value of a good education and are appalled upon seeing their paychecks.

* Real teachers understand that June, July and August are now only six weeks long (total).

* Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; have time to listen, know they teach students, not subjects, and they are absolutely non-expendable.

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