In the years from 1996 to 1999 I went to college full time in the evenings and during the day, I worked full time at a middle school as a parasub. Parasub = paraprofessional + substitute teacher. There were two of us and our job description was not that of typical teacher's aides. I was salaried, on staff full-time, my main duty was that of substitute teacher. During planning periods, on days where I wasn't needed in a classroom, or when the front office secretary was I out, I worked in the front office filling the secretarial role. On the days when more than two teachers were out, typical part-time substitutes were called in from the sub list.
I chose not to attend college in a traditional manner specifically so that I could get experience in the classroom well before I was awarded my degree. This job was my bridge into teaching and I loved it. Because I was a parasub, I basically taught the entire school. Everyone knew who Mrs. B was (that's what they called me) and I was definitely on nearly everyone's list of favorites.
As a kid, Marvin the Martian was always my favorite of the Looney Tunes crew. He wasn't seen very often, but the science nerd in me loved that he always wanted to destroy the Earth with various futuristic weapons. His natter-of-fact, snooty, magnanimous voice made me laugh just as much as his over-sized sneakers, with which he ran in a flurry of feet.
In 1996 there was a sudden explosion of a renewed Looney Tunes fad, thanks in large part to the year's release of Space Jam. If
you remember, the film featured Michael Jordan teaming up with the
Loonies in a galactic basketball game against big alien meanies. Marvin
was the referee of the game, and his part in the movie seemed to propel
him to a popularity he had not seen before. Marvin items seemed to
appear everywhere, and thus began my collection.
I think it started with the keychains. I had several and it wasn't long before the students started to notice. Soon, kids were drawing Marvin the Martin pictures for me, which I taped to the wall behind the desk in the front office that I shared with the other parasub. I started picking up little Marvin knickknacks here and there and so did family and friends, but through the years, my students were the ones who added the most to my collection.
Once I earned my degree in 1999, I rolled right into my own classroom. As a matter of fact, I was in my own classroom three weeks before I even completed student teaching. Technically that isn't even allowed, but the 7th grade was larger than expected, and the principal was allowed to hire an additional teacher. The team I student taught on went from a four-man team to a five-man team, with me being the new addition. I'd always said that once I was in my own room, I'd display all of the Marvin stuff I'd collected over the years, and I did just that. For the next three years, kids continued to help build my collection.
At the start of each year, students were always so engrossed in looking at my collection, which I had displayed in a long window sill and a bookshelf. So, with each class I introduced myself, then introduced Marvin: "This is my Marvin the Martian collection. I know most of you are so interested in all the stuff over here that you'll only listen to half of what I say. So, I'll go through my collection first and tell you a bit about it, then you'll be able to give me your undivided attention. The Rule of Marvin is this – if I EVER catch anyone so much as put a FINGER on anything in my collection without my expressed permission, I will rip your grubby little paws right from your wrists and shove them so far down your throat that you'll be able to touch your belly button from the inside. Got it? Good. Let's begin…."
Yes, I really said that. Other teachers would click their tongues and warn that some of my things would grow legs and walk. I never had that problem. Ever. Not one single solitary item was ever stolen.
Eventually my teacher stuff and student work samples needed room to grow, so Marvin was banished to a huge Rubbermaid storage box in the garage. I pulled everything out for today's Show and Tell. There are some individual pictures of a few of my favorite items here for the drive-by bloggers, but there's also a photo album linked below with more pictures.
The whole shebang – click the picture to view the photo album.
An alarm clock. When the alarm sounds, the tip blinks, a loud "blast off" sound roars, and Marvin, in his uber-nerdy voice says, "Wake up, Earthling, or I'll vaporize you with my disintegrating modulater pistol." Or something like that.
Deluxe Pez dispenser. I'm pretty sure that Frank bought this for me for a birthday or Christmas present. You press the little button, Marvin turns towards the ship, a Pez is ejected from the slot and slides onto Marvin's shovel thingy.
Who else is Showin' it and Tellin' it this week?
****If you actually watched to the end of the YouTube video, Marvin's last statement about sums up how I'm feeling right now.