a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





December 22, 2002, 1:43 pm

"Will Jessica Biensoul please report to the media center? Jessica Biensoul to the media center, please."

I screamed. It was the ONLY afternoon where I would have time to do Christmasy things for the week. The only time I didn't have SOMETHING after school that begged for my attention.

I ran to the media center, stunned to find the meeting of our school Business Advisory Board in full swing. "Um, did I know about this meeting?" I whispered to Chris as I sat down; she gave me a look.

"Didn't you get the note in your mailbox? You're giving a presentation today."

My insides dropped the entire length of my small intestine. A presentation? On what? For why? What was I supposed to say? If I was supposed to give a presentation, obviously I wasn't prepared, but was I to say I didn't remember, or was there some way I could slyly find out the subject of the presentation and somehow fenagle my way into a half-assed blurb about how I was "waiting for some people to get back to me"?!?

I sat, in agony, as the Business Advisory Board handed out Student of the Month awards. My heart dropped into my stomach when Chris said, "Jessica? Anything to report?"

"Uh...don't forget about One-Acts!" I stammered; "Faculty One-Act included! Drama will be doing 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' in April! Come see it!" Everyone laughed.

My principal rose, "Seven years ago, when I came to Glen Burnie, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most wonderful people I've ever known, Mr. Bob Biensoul (my dad). It pained me when I knew the last Biensoul daughter would be graduating from this school, but lo and behold, Jessica graduated with her Master's degree, and was looking for a job. We had an English position open, and based on the 30 seconds you heard her speak, how could we NOT hire her? She is, without a doubt, a treasure. She is a ray of sunshine, and you have to see her teach. She is a natural and one of the most dynamic teachers I've ever seen in the classroom. So, to Jessica, I'd like to present our Educator-of-the-Month award. Congratulations."

Tears of pride and confusion streamed down my face.

I'm not saying that I don't deserve it; I work hard, very hard, and I think I'm good at what I do.

But there are some days I'm not my best; there are some days where I'm not "on" or I'm not doing my job as I'm supposed to. There are papers that I don't send back or attendance I don't take sometimes.

Surely, there must be someone else?

Then, I thought, maybe this is a wake-up call, to live up to the "hype" that's been surrounding me.

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