We are sitting in my classroom, lined up side-by-side working on American History and the US part in WWI. We have finished with the vocabulary -- today's students do not know what a trench actually is -- and are now working on naming the Central vs. the Allied powers.
"Um . . . Miss?" tentative query from one of my less mentally challenged students. However, in her past are multiple behavior problems and long stints in our separate "school for the ineducable in normal settings." Miss, by the way, is the term used these days for any woman teacher.
"Yes?" I mumbled while frantically searching the history book for the next answer.
"Well, um, do you know how many people . . . .um . . . died in this school?"
Now I look up. Stare at the kid. Hum. Interesting turn in this conversation. However, knowing her history, let's run with this a bit and see where it's leading.
"I have no idea if any students ever died here. I've never heard of any. I do know that when the school was being built way back in 1935 three workmen were killed during the construction. To honor them many of the beautiful figures decorating the top of our auditorium show three figures -- and each one is a memorial to those three men who died."
"Oh . . ."
"Kid -- why are you asking about dead people at our school?" Now the whole group is tuned in.
"Well . . . "
Cue the eerie music time.
We all look expectant.
"I see things . . . "
We stare at her, a little stunned.
" . . . like when you sent me to the office yesterday with those papers and I was out there all alone, I saw some sort of people . . . but they weren't people, exactly. I, um, I see 'em all the time."
"Oh." I have no idea what to reply to this.
"Are you afraid of them?"
"Oh, no. They never say anything. They just wander around."
"Next time we're in the auditorium would you point out the drawings of the three men?"
"Sure. They're really easy to spot."
End eerie music and we go back to our study of World War I.
From our web site (no picture) here is a description of our auditorium: The school's 1,796 seat auditorium features the Indian motif. A frieze, done in various shades of tan and brown brick, captures images of nature such as geese, squirrels, deer, hawks, cats and Indians. The Southwestern influence is also reflected in Indian pottery that adorns the walls on both sides of the stage.
By the way, this is post 101. I've passed the century mark.