writing in oregon
A stream of sweat trickled down the center of my back. I felt my jaw clench and my guts tighten. I couldnt believe I was sitting here at the Grammy awards with my entire 2nd grade class of 117. Furthermore, I was still reeling from the excitement of the past few months. 21st century technology was the force behind this change of events. For my entire career (20 + years) as a music teacher in a public elementary school, I had put together grade-level productions. They had always brought great turnout and community support. This years production found its way to both YouTube and Teacher Tube, thanks to some camera happy parents and staff. The number of hits our hour long musical received on both sites led to quick recognition. Before I knew what happened the principal had called me in to tell me that the Grammys had added a new category, Elementary Album of the Year and that I, along with the entire 2nd grade class, had been nominated. Since we were the only nominees (new category), we were a shoe-in!
So thats how it happened. With a lot of hard work and fund-raising I was able to bring the entire 2nd grade class on a field trip to the Grammys. You should see their eyes and faces as they first saw the huge theater, and recognized some people they had seen on TV. I was exhausted from the hard work, fundraising, and other preparations that I had gone through in order to get here, in addition to carrying on with my teaching duties. Fame sure was exhausting.
Finally the time arrived. And announcing, the winner of our newest category, Elementary Album of the Year Tim McGraw smiled at the crowd and accepted the envelope from his wife Faith. Pulling the slip from the envelope he flashed a special grin that I felt was just for me Mrs. Grady and the South Creek Kids! The crowd erupted.
I stood and nervously made my way to the end of the aisle and then down the red carpet and onto the stage. Tim and Faith waited there with a smile. After Tim handed me the Grammy I turned to the microphone. As a music teacher I was used to speaking to an audience. I had never been in front of one so grand. The smiling faces of my students in the back left of the theater gave me the strength that I needed. Id like to thank the association for adding this new category. Id like to . Suddenly the orchestra started to play VERY LOUDLY!! I waited for a minute, sure that there was some mistake in the timing of the program. I WAS WRONG! Someone was boycotting my acceptance and thanks speech!
Like good little students most of mine had their eyes and ears on me, despite the loud music. I gave them the sign to exit the aisle and come up on the stage. Quickly and quietly, and with hands at their sides, they did so. 117 2nd graders stood in single file across the front of the massive stage. I counted a one and a two and a and they began to sing. They were halfway through the first song of our album when the orchestra finally ceased its interruption. Undaunted, the kids sang their hearts out and finished the song. As they brought it to a close and took a bow they were met with the most generous applause that any singer could ever hope for in a career. Surely if I have any career singers to-be in this class they have their torch lit now.
I felt no need to finish my speech after that. As for Mrs. Grady and the South Creek Kids, well we were all over the news for the rest of the week. I hear the Grammy clips on You Tube have gotten quite a few hits . Id better start planning for next years program.