Magnets, Moisteners, and Spoonks

My teens, Austin and Savannah, are volunteering at my school this summer.  Today was the first day for them to help out.  After sleeping in until 10:00 – 11:00 for the past couple weeks, it was a rude awakening (literally) for them this morning since they had to be there at 8:30.  Austin was put to work packing up some teachers’ belongings and moving them across the school to new classrooms.  Savannah was placed in a room, helping kids who are attending math camp.  Their motives are not entirely noble as they need 100 community service hours to apply for the Bright Futures scholarship, but still, I’m proud that they’re willing to give their time to help out.

On the way home from school, I asked them how the day went.  They were so animated in telling me the details of their first day that I asked them to write a guest blog post about it.  They grudgingly happily agreed. So here, for your reading pleasure, are Austin’s and Savannah’s accounts of their first day volunteering.


Today started my first day of unplanned torture. For five hours I moved carts, bins, and filing cabinets across an entire school in 100+ degree heat and Florida humidity. When I wasn’t in the blazing heat of the outside world, I was moving things through halls and classrooms. With no AC inside the building, the heat was able to build up creating a steam room full of “interesting” smells. I did not feel like going to sleep at all the entire night prior to this suffering in addition to the past few nights of little sleep making everything that much worse. At least all the people working there were really cool and awesome to talk to.

One of the jobs requested of me was to empty the office of a newly retired administrator of their supplies and sort them in the supply room. I came across all the basics like pens, rolls of tape, and graphing paper, but there were some that stood out amongst the rest. I found a few multicolored rectangular magnets. With these small art delicacies, I proceeded to create a work of art that would make Da Vinci cry tears of jealousy. It was a modern piece, using magnets on the school secretary’s metal pole of her cubicle. If you ever have the chance to see such beauty, I highly recommend visiting this spectacle of the next wonder of the world.

My favorite would happen to be the small tins of TACKY FINGER, The Superior Finger Tip Moistener. Normally, I don’t dip my fingertips into questionable ooze, but this was a rare exception. This fingertip moistener was no ordinary fingertip moistener. I was definitely impressed by how moist my fingertip was after the use of this product. In my day, we didn’t have fingertip moisteners; if we wanted to moisten our fingertips we would do it the old-fashioned way. Recently, I have gotten into fingertip moistener collecting as a hobby, but no other fingertip moistener compares to this one. This one really is superior. My fingertip was EXTREMELY moistened. I am very pleased to say that when I need my fingertip moistened, I will only use The Superior Finger Tip Moistener.


When I went back to middle school, I realized just how annoying opinionated little kids could be. I walked into the classroom and was bombarded by stares. I walked around to see what they were learning. They were working on two-step equations. I asked if anyone wanted help and ended up sitting at a table helping these boys sitting on either side of me. They could not get the fact that you had to add or subtract first, then get rid of the variable. Soon after class started, another teacher walked in and started talking about how she had her gall bladder removed. The kids were totally fascinated by this. They started asking all the usual questions like, “did it hurt?” The teacher left, because she was petrified of them. Then the kids decided to talk about appendixes. They asked if you could do surgery on yourself to get your appendix removed.

“How about if you were alone in the forest and all you had was a rusty spoon, could you take out your own appendix?”

“Uhhhh,” I looked at them like they were, well like they were annoying middle school kids.

“What if a girl was alone in a forest? Could she take out her appendix?”

“Sure,” I said, hoping my answer would satisfy them and we could move on to the math problems, “she could take a sharp stick and use it to do surgery on herself.”

“No, there are no sticks,” they stated confidently.

“There are no sticks in a FOREST?” I asked, eyebrow raised.

“They’re up too high and she can’t reach them,” they stated, making this up as they went along.

I stupidly asked, “Where did she get a rusty spoon?”

“She found it at a party.”

“I think she should just use her cell phone and call an ambulance,” I suggested.

Then they started babbling about how this mythological girl in the forest is lost and doesn’t have a cell phone because she left it at the party where she got the rusty spoon, but the spoon is actually a spork… (This went on for about an hour.)

Finally the bell rang for them to get breakfast; a delicious combination of a juice box, cereal, cinnamon crackers, and warm milk that can stay warm for up to 7 months! This milk brought up a whole other conversation on how disgusting it was but they always drank it and would have a competition on how many they could drink in a day. Once they finished their “delicious” breakfast, the kids started working on inequalities. Let’s just say I had to do the whole worksheet for them.

After a couple miserable painful exhausting hours, it was time for lunch. The kids got their box-o-food which was filled with a cold, soggy sandwich, some more warm milk, and a fruit cup. Since the kids can never stay on topic they saw a spork in the box which brought up the whole appendix story again. Then they said it wasn’t even a spork because there was way more spoon than fork, so they decided to call it a spoonk.

Then the kids started talking about how my hair was green, I told them I swam everyday and the chlorine makes it green. They insisted that they never saw a girl with green hair and that they thought it was so gross to see, and you’ll never guess what came up again. The appendix story, and what if the girl had green hair, what if she was made fun of, that’s why she left her party, and then her appendix exploded, and she had a spoonk, and helicopters couldn’t find her, and her parents didn’t like her. . .

I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

Want to read more from Dawn? Get her books Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) here!

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