Lottery Ticket Gift

This past Friday was the last day of school before our Christmas break. It’s a day that has a weird blend of dread and anticipation stirred together. The dread is due to a few of natives running wild, pre-sugared before arrival and re-sugared as the day advances. The approaching couple of weeks of non-academic life tends to tempt a few of them to release their energy and excitement in unintelligent ways. The picture analogy that comes to mind is one where people riding a roller coaster keep their hands up as “The Beast” or “The Magnum” plunges toward their deaths. Whee!!!!!

On the other hand, the anticipation that flows through the staff is one that includes a respite from any 13 and 14 year old asking immediately after the assignment directions have been explained three times and displayed in bold print on the classroom screen, “What are we doing?” Teachers are ready to Saturday and the anticipation of keeping their comfy slippers on for like…the day!

The last day of school before the break also brings with it a few gifts from students and their parents as a way of saying “Thank you!” or, in some cases, “My condolences for putting up with our son!” My desk received a few offerings of chocolate, cookies, candy canes, Starbucks gift cards, and one interesting jar of pancake mix.

And then there was the lottery ticket!

The student, who I have in two classes, wrote a nice note and placed it in an envelope, along with a lottery ticket. It wasn’t a Mega-Million ticket, but rather one that could bring as much as $35,000 to the winner.

And it got me to thinking! Were the parents of the student hoping I’d win, take the money and take a hike? You know, so the school could get a REAL teacher into the classroom. Or did the parents fall one gift short of Hershey’s Pot-O-Gold box of chocolate as they were buying gifts for their child’s instructors, and had an extra lottery ticket laying around?

Or, did the student get into his parents’ stash of tickets, like I use to get into my dad’s loose change, and take just one. They wouldn’t notice that there was one less!

Getting a lottery ticket and a gift has a number of ramifications attached to it. A plate of cookies doesn’t cause me to have nearly as much mental anguis

And here’s the other thing. I don’t play the lottery. I don’t even know how I’m suppose to scratch off something on the card. It looks a lot more complicated than the scratch off card they used to give you at Kohl’s, that revealed what percent you would received off your purchase. This card, however, has rows of unrevealed riches, unrealized possibilities.

And so it’s laying on our kitchen counter at home, staring at me, itching for a scratch, whispering to my innocence. I can’t decide what to do, but I have to figure it our soon, I’m down to the piece of chocolate in my Pot-O-Gold box.

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