Why I don’t need to get involved in Valentine’s Day at the high school…

So, a student comes into my class last Thursday with a few roses in his hand.  He proceeds to ask me if I’ll give one of them to Hannah in my second period. “Hannah?” I ask, quickly trying to picture her and where she sits.  “Yeah, Hannah – but don’t tell her who it’s from,” he replies and gives me the rose.  “Thanks!” and off he goes.

No problem, I think. I put the rose on my desk and get ready for my first period.

Second period comes around and the bell rings to start class. I pick up the rose and announce out loud that Hannah’s getting a rose, followed very quickly by clarification that it’s not from me and that the person did not want to be named.  Hannah comes over to take the rose looking very surprised.  She goes back to her seat and I overhear her say she has no idea who it’s from, “maybe my dad?” she says to a classmate.

Warning bells begin to go off in my head.

It’s at that point that I look over to another area of my class as I’m taking attendance  and see Anna sitting there.  Yeah, Anna.  Sounds incredibly like “Hannah.”

“Oh, shit,” immediately runs through my head. Several times.

My students are busy getting their rough drafts out and I’m suddenly wondering what hole I can crawl into and hide in. Now, mind you, I don’t KNOW that I gave the rose to the wrong girl yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion I did. I have to figure this out quickly.  So I walk over to the other side of the room and tell two guys to follow me out into the hallway – they might know something.

Out in the hallway, I tell them my dilemma. They laugh. For a while. One of them then catches his breath and admits it’s an easy mistake to make, then proceeds to laugh again. I ask if they know if the rose-giver is dating Hannah or Anna, and neither know.  So I ask if they know if either Hannah or Anna are dating anyone – again, no dice. So the other guy pulls out his cell phone to check with a friend of his who he knows had talked with him about Anna.  There’s no immediate response (dammit, what’s wrong with students?) so we head back in the classroom to continue class and await any information.

I get busy checking their rough drafts, keeping an eye on the guy with the phone with the friend.  They, of course, relate the problem to others sitting around them through texts, so there’s a definite buzz going around as some know and others aren’t sure what everyone is talking about.  Finally, he looks at me deliberately.  He sticks out his arm, thumb up, and then immediately points it down [he got a text saying he had been interested in Anna but “someone was giving her flowers”].


I’m stuck. I have to figure out how to tell Hannah the rose isn’t hers, and then give it to Anna. Or I could just let it go and let them work it out on their own.  Then another guy tells me he has a solution.  We go out in the hall.

Student: “Mr. Williams, I can go get a rose…I can find one, get one from someone who has some, and bring it back and then you can give it to Anna so both get a rose.”

Me: “You think you can get a rose?”

S: “Yeah, and all I ask is that you let me drive your Camaro.”

Me: “Get back inside.”

Back in the classroom, I decide I have to go ahead and tell Hannah I made a mistake.  So I ask her to go out to the hallway with me where I explain what I did. She says, and I quote, “Oh, that’s okay. Anna and I are friends.”


Back inside Hannah gives the rose to Anna, and the whole class is let in on my mistake.  They proceed to laugh at me for what I feel is an unreasonable length of time.

Somehow I don’t think Cyrano de Bergerac and Emma will be losing any sleep anytime soon…

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