Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Somethin' to Talk About

Every so often, I have a moment occur in my day that makes me think to myself,  How is this happening?  How am I sitting here observing this right now?  Ryan thinks that I am a magnet for bizarre experiences.  I think he may be right.

I just had such a moment.

A little background: I am great friends with all of the night janitors at my school.  This can be attributed to the fact that I am one of the only teachers who is still in the building when the late shift starts.

Night janitors are great people—but inevitably quirky.  And certainly dedos.  At my first school, the night janitor named Valancy spent her break each evening talking my ear off about Anime and Star Wars conventions.  When I left the school, she made us matching Indian dream catcher necklaces, and I still have mine.  I love unexpected, unique people.

Just now, John, one of the elderly night janitors at my current school, came into my classroom and said, “Rachel, I hear you like to sing.”

A little taken back by this random comment, I suspiciously confirmed, “Yes, I like to sing.”

John continued, “Well, then, you have some homework.”

“Okay?” I replied, my wariness increasing.  

“You need to find us a duet to sing together.”


“Who would we be performing for, John?”

“Nobody.  Anybody.  I just like to sing.”

I tried to graciously decline his invitation to perform.  “Well, I’m a little scared to just start singing in front of people at random times.”

“You are?!  I’m not!” he declared—and proceeded to launch into a heartfelt rendition of “Just to See Her” by Smokey Robinson.

As I watched him singing—his eyes shut in order to get the full sense of the song, his arms pantomiming the lovers’ embrace, his eyebrows moving up and down for dramatic emphasis—I couldn’t help but think, Is this really happening to me right now?  I also couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face.  So bizarre!  So delightfully bizarre!

When he finished, I clapped enthusiastically, and he liked that reaction so much that he gave me several encore numbers, including “Lady in Red” and "Dancing in the Moonlight.” 

At the end of such a passionate performance, how could I deny him his duet?  And so, we ended this unexpected melodic interlude with—at his request, I might add—a duet performance of “Let’s Give ‘Em Somethin' to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt. 

As I sang the twangy words and tried not to giggle, I noticed that a few students were in the hallway, presumably getting their stuff after a long basketball practice or something, and also presumably hearing this oh-so-random janitor/teacher duo.

I think we gave them somethin' to talk about, don’t you?


  1. I just LAUGHED OUT LOUD! A gut buster. This story killed me. I can JUST imagine how this scene went down. My favorite part: the kids hearing the two of you sing. I can only IMAGINE what they were thinking. HAHAHA! Oh Rachel, that made my day. So so funny:)

  2. Haha. Awesome! I'm dying to know what happened to the lost homework! I found your blog and I love it!! I hope you're doing well:)

  3. Yeah, what DID happen to the homework?!? What a delightful man! Next time you see him, you should get into the holiday spirit with a little "Baby It's Cold Outside" action.

  4. I wish I could have been there for that!

  5. Oh MY. That is so funny, I can barely even picture it. What a good sport ;)

  6. Rachel... I can't even tell you how much I enjoy hearing your school stories. I also one of the only one who is still at the school after dark, almost every night...
    The night janitor at my school and I are friends as well and she drew me a nice picture of Dr. Seuss on the white board last week to add to the theme in my classroom... Love those night janitors.

    Keep the great stories coming!

    By the way, the real question was... how was your janitors singing? Was he good?

  7. You are awesome. Love it! BTW, you sang to my young women on Sunday. :) I played them "When all is said and done" and talked about your mom.

  8. that is HILARIOUS. and i can TOTALLY imagine it. i always think to myself: what kind of workplace do i have? it's seriously CRAZY and so unpredictable.

    i love that you sang along :)

  9. All I can say is Wow! How funny!

  10. That is so great, maybe you guys you can duet it up at church sometime for us :) Wish I could've seen it...BTW, I know the bunco loser prizes weren't the coolest, but you could have at least thrown it away when you got home instead of leaving it at my house :) I'll bring it on Sunday.

  11. Hahahaha ohh how you make me laugh!

  12. Oh my! What a great story! I can see this happening to mom as well, can't you?! :)

  13. Yes, that would be so funny. I'm sad I missed the concert. Maybe in the next school play they'll find a part for the duo!


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