Mocking Cancer

Last weekend was my meltdown. Last weekend I was done with it all, ready to quit, ready to throw up the white flag and surrender. So, while I was crying my eyes out, Mom said, “Let’s focus on something else. What do you have to look forward to next week?”

Well, that next week was Mocks week for our Seniors. This is the most hellish week for them. Although it is the only way we can simulate the IB exams without taking up too much class time, the Seniors have to sit in the auditorium, taking up to three mock exams in one day. That is almost six hours of testing. Their brains are fried, their hands are ready to fall off. They go from these energetic and fun people to unrecognizable zombies. Watching them sit at lunch, they are quiet and mindless, barely talking to each other. I feel so bad for them during this week. “I want to do something for Mocks,” I told Mom. I want to make this week a little easier for the kids. If nothing else, I want them to know that we know this is hard.

We started brainstorming. It started with “mock and roll.” Teachers can dress up like rock stars and students can wear their favorite rock band t-shirt. Then it morphed into themes for each day.

Monday: Shammock – Wear green – Seniors received shamrocks with candy wishing them luck.

Tuesday: Mock and Roll – Rock star day – Seniors received music notes with gum

Wednesday – Sock it to Mocks – silly socks day – Seniors received little paper socks with candy

Thursday – Mockers Day – teachers decorate Senior lockers

Friday – Mocktails – we set up a juice bar and Seniors get drink tickets and a celebration for finishing mocks

I was going to miss out on Thursday and Friday, so I made sure lockers were done Wednesday afternoon and got all of the supplies for the mocktail bar. Mom even went to the Jewish area to get cheap drink decorations like umbrellas and cocktail swords. Then I put our IB coordinator in charge as bartender. On top of this, I wore wigs Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. They were epic. I am sad to say that I have no pictures. I was too focused on the Seniors to even think about documenting my own involvement. But everyday I was excited to get up and put out the little treats for the kids. Everyday I felt good and energized. And seeing the kids’ with their lockers while I was in chemo made it all the more special.

These were the sweeties that gave me my book of jokes when I told them I had cancer. And made me the sweetest video to help get me through my first treatment. The least I could do was help make their week a little more bearable. And I love how much my colleagues will play along when I ask them too. Almost everyone participated in some way. Some of our teachers put hours into decorating lockers, really wanting to make it special for the kids. And I hear that the mocktails were a great success! I can’t wait to get all of the stories on Monday from the students.  Mom was right, focusing on my kids got me out of my funk. And put some smiles on some tired faces. And if there is anyone who knows how much a smile can help when you are tired and just don’t want to keep going, it’s me.

One thought on “Mocking Cancer

  1. What a clever and wonderful idea! You are a fantastic, creative teacher and your care and love for your students is obvious. They know you love them too by all the wonderful things you do. You are teaching them valuable life lessons about how to be a compassionate and kind human being. That is the best lesson of all! XO

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