Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The true story of Samuel and the creepy janitor.
My second job at Sylvan is remarkably unremarkable. However, I will say that one of my favorite aspects of the job is that I get to interact with kids of all age groups. During one session today, I was tutoring a 5 year old, a 18 year old and a 12 year old at my table. It was at this session that I had the following conversation with the bright-eyed, innocent, ultra-gullible 12 year old boy that just started his first week of Junior High at Bennion.
Once again, I will be playing the role of "me", a strikingly handsome man that has sacrificed a potentially lucrative career in modeling to teach the needy children of Utah. Although this character receives in payment but a trifle of what he is really worth, he continues his good work, hoping someday to be the first Mormon of Jewish decent to obtain Catholic Sainthood.
The child, "Kevin" will be played by Zac Efron, who - although he is 23 years old - will always be 12 in "movie years".
Me: Hey Kevin, how is school going?
Kevin/Zac: Well, it was okay, but... I learned about Samuel today.
Me: Who is Samuel?
Kevin: He is the guy that is stuck in the wall of the school. [This kid is DEAD serious, and is not flinching at all. I can tell that he has totally bought in to this story]
Kevin: Yeah, when the built the school, Samuel was laying concrete for the foundation and walls and he fell in.
Kevin: Yeah. They would have had to dig the whole thing up and start over, but his family said, "No! He was doing what he loved. When they tear up the school in 50 years, we will give him a proper burial."
Me: Really? Wow!
Kevin: Yeah, it is for sure true. Everyone has known about Samuel for like years and years.
Me: So, I bet he haunts the school then?
Kevin: Yep. And sometimes when you are in the choir room, you can hear him tapping on the walls.
Me: Wow, this is just insane!
Kevin: I know!
Me: You will never believe this.
Me: I went to Junior High too. I went to Hillside Junior High. And I remember, I was always hearing these taps on the walls. Especially behind the clay oven in the wood shop.
Kevin: Really? What was it?
Me: I didn't know. But I started asking questions. I could tell my councilor knew more than she was letting on. So, there was this custodian that had been there for like 80 years. He was really old and he had a wooden elbow. Oh, and he would walk up and down the hall with his mop turned sideways, just knocking people over.
Kevin: [This has to be the most gullible kid alive] Huh.
Me: So anyway, one day I ask the custodian about the tapping. He turns to me and says [I use my real grumbly, gruff voice], "Samuel... Samuel... SAMUEL!"
Kevin: What? No way!
Me: I know. And I never told anyone about it. I thought everyone would say I was nuts.
Me: Yeah, and here is the really weird thing: I never knew what "Samuel" meant. At least until we had this conversation RIGHT NOW.
[I show him my arms] Look, I have chills.
Kevin: That is soooo strange. I'll have to tell my teacher about that.
Me: Yeah, you really should.
So easy, yet so satisfying!