Those of you who remember the 80s will know about the TV sitcom, Cheers. The theme song says, “Sometimes you want to go/ where everybody knows your name/ and they’re always glad you came./ You wanna be where you can see/ our troubles are all the same./ You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” The show took place in a bar where the bartenders took care of newcomers and regular customers alike. It was a place where people could share joys with the bartenders or shed a tear in their beer. (Wait a minute…that’s another song.)
Anyway, I view my library as a type of “Cheers” bar…no alcohol, of course. Duh…we’re a public school. But I liken it to Cheers when students and staff alike “belly up” to the bar (my circulation desk), and tell me (bartender/librarian) their troubles and joys. I smile and nod, try to ask the right questions, and I give helpful advice when needed.
Lately, however, I’ve had a different dilemma. Most likely because I have a son who is a senior, many of the students feel more free to share things with me. A big item to share is their dislike for certain teachers and/or assignments. I refuse to take sides, and mostly will back up the teachers. After all, we adults need to stick together (wink wink nod nod).
I have noticed an increase in the number of students who feel as if they should get shortened assignments and extensions on the due date. Seriously?! One student was bemoaning the fact that he had to turn in an assignment a few hours early because he was going on a field trip that day. He thought he should get a one day extension on the project. I asked him when the paper was assigned. Lo and behold it was assigned almost 3 months ago, and he still wanted a one-day extension. Oh.my.word. Needless to say, I pointed it out to the student and did not take his side. I could tell he wasn’t impressed with me at 8:00 in the morning.
My next customer walked by 5 minutes later spewing random hurtful comments about another teacher who assigned a rather large assignment. This poor child thought is was simply “too much”. I gently/firmly reminded this student that, this assignment will seem like a piece of cake when he starts getting his assignments in college next year. He just rolled his eyes and walked away. I fear I may start losing “customers” if this trend continues.
It’s time for a reality check, kiddos. We’re glad we know your names, and your troubles seem all the same. But there ends my sympathy. And thus ends another episode from the place where Shirley Temple and Arnold Palmer are found in the biography section (92), a Long Island is in the geography section (974.7), and a grasshopper is in the insect section (595.72).
Currently reading: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown