The Office Supply Sculpture

or,

The Secret of My Soul

Sarah is one of the students that likes to spend time in my room when she doesn't have class. Today she didn't have homework or studying to do, so she decided to play with the things on my desk. I'll be the first to admit that my desk is not the cleanest. I used to be able to say it was better than Sr. Vinnie's desk, at least, but she cleaned her desk and classroom so I can't say that anymore. I know where stuff is, though. It's the pile system of organization.

I watched as Sarah goofed off. She seemed determined to build a tower out of the stapler, tape, pens, whatever office supply-type materials I had on my desk. She got it up to about five inches, which wasn't bad. She also spent most of her time trying to find a pen that was long enough to balance diagonally. I think she tried about ten before she gave up.

At least the stapler was on the bottom so they couldn't staple each other.

The other students started to come in for class. Sarah pointed out her creation to everyone. "Look! Isn't it pretty?"

Cathy was underimpressed. "Wow, you could call it "The Secret of My Soul" and sell it to an art museum."

"Yes, the secret of Sarah's soul is office supplies. Bet they'd have fun trying to figure that out." I got everyone to sit down so we could have class. Jenna was eyeing the tower. Sarah yelled for Jenna to leave it alone. But you could practically see Jenna's fingers twitching.

During class nothing happened, and luckily the tower wasn't so tall people couldn't read the board. Heaven forbid my students can't read the board and they have to actually listen to me to figure out what notes to take. We had some free time at the end of the class, so of course it dissolved into chaos. Sarah came over to Jenna's seat (I had separated them, much to their dismay). Jenna was still eyeing the sculpture.

Sarah was trying to physically restrain Jenna so she couldn't knock over the sculpture. Jenna wasn't trying very hard to escape. I saw what was happening. "Sarah, what are you doing?"

"She's trying to destroy my beautiful sculpture!"

"Here, let me solve that problem for you." I put my hand over the top of the sculpture and pulled. The whole thing came crashing down on my desk. I started to laugh.

Sarah looked stricken. "Miss Lester! That was mean!" Jenna was laughing, and she had the biggest grin on her face. "Chortle!"

"But Sarah, now you don't have to worry that Jenna will knock over your sculpture." I was still laughing. The look on her face was priceless.

It occurred to me later that if we had called the office supply sculpture "The Secret of Sarah's Soul" and I had destroyed it, did that mean I destroyed Sarah's soul? But then I remembered it was really funny. So I stopped worrying about it. And unlike some other people, Sarah left my stuff alone after that.