Every Spring (Joy Preble)

I've been the subbing for a former English teacher colleague the past few days. Her husband won a beach vacation and so they are drinking fruity cocktails with umbrellas while I take her classes. In May. During the end of state standardized testing and the middle of AP testing and right before Prom and the rest of the end of the  year stuff.

Spring is crazy time in the public school system. In any school system, I suppose.
Especially later spring headed toward summer when all anyone can think of is when when when when will it be over?

This morning I walked into the building and in the Commons area, two boys were wearing rubber horse heads, wrestling, and, unless I was mistaken neighing. As boys do in the spring. I texted my friend/fellow YA author/fellow English teacher Jennifer Mathieu to tell her what I'd just seen because, yeah. "I'll give you ten years," she wrote back. "If you don't put it in a book by then, I'm totally stealing it." Done.

Read the poster about the prom dress code, which included such gems as "You must wear underwear."
Because by the time we get to spring of senior year, these things must be said, I suppose. Although honestly, I don't think it's possible to buy a two piece dress and not have your midriff show when you raise your arms, which was rule number eight.

And on like that.

Engaged in a lively discussion with two girls in one of the classes about boy names they like. I'm changing the name of a character in a project I'm working on and I was interested to see what they came up with-- and what they thought about some names I'd thought of as well. "Will is nice," one of them said. "But he'll change in the middle of the story, you know? Will makes you think he's one way and then you discover he's something else."  Keith, they told me, was a solid sort. Like an older brother. Robbie is a nice guy. Jack has the potential to be a bad boy, although you don't know it at first. and Oliver -- well, Oliver, they both agreed, had slightly too long dark hair and light eyes. He was artsy and troubled but fascinating.

This is the stuff I MISS SO MUCH about spring and school.

It was, despite a morning thunderstorm, a lovely spring day.


  1. Joy,
    Sounds like not only a lot of fun (even a bit of the wayback machine, perhaps), but what a neat idea to poll the girls on name hotness/quality.

    1. It WAS fun. They had such immediate and specific responses!

  2. This sounds like so much fun! Brought back that HS spring fever feeling.

    1. It really did, you know? Not that I wore a rubber horse head, but the rest of it!

  3. I don't even want to know how they plan to verify compliance with the underwear rule.

  4. I write YA and I also sub at our local school, mostly in the high school. I cannot walk by a student's desk upon which a work of fiction lies without picking it up, studying the cover, perusing the back cover AND asking the student if it's a good book. I love how it keeps me in their world just a bit.


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