June 11, 2013 in Features

The Slice: School Bear would surely bring smiles

By The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist.
(Full-size photo)

I have finally figured out what I want to do for a second career.

I want to be the School Bear.

Allow me to explain.

Looking to confirm the date of the last day of classes, I called up the online calendar for Spokane Public Schools. And in the blocks for several days I saw, printed exactly like this, “School Boar …”

Of course, that refers to school board meetings. But thanks to my weak computer glasses, I initially read that as “School Bear.”

By the time I realized my mistake, I had already decided to apply for the position. Aren’t the schools flush with dough? Surely they can afford to hire me as a School Bear.

I wasn’t really certain what the job involved. But I assumed it would entail wearing a bruin costume and dispensing snacks.

“Look who’s here, kids. It’s the School Bear! He has brought with him a tray of nutritious treats!”

And though not formally trained as a therapist, I could take a load off some of the hardworking counselors in our schools.

“Kaitlyn, did you hit Ethan?”

“Yes, School Bear.”

“Well, knock it off.”

“OK, School Bear.”

I could imagine being called in to help principals and teachers deal with delusional parents.

“Now, Mrs. Smith, even though young Bocephus hasn’t been officially designated ‘gifted,’ I’m sure he is going to find his third-grade coursework an exciting challenge.”

“But he IS gifted, School Bear!”

“Have you considered home schooling?”

I could roam the halls and patrol playgrounds, looking for children or school staffers who could use a bear hug or gentle horribilis munch.

“Those mean girls won’t let me play with them, School Bear.”

“What? Those skanks! Why I oughta … Here, throw me the ball, Hazel. I’ll play with you.”

I can even see the headline on the feature story when the S-R writes about you know who: “School Bear Mauls Problems/Kid-Friendly Growls Signal Success”

Message to the reader who told about being a military nurse in Japan in 1968: Kathy, I managed to lose your email before responding or making a printout. Thank you for sharing your story. Please resend.

Today’s Slice question: What will be your first clue that you are losing your mind?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Some drivers never get used to uncontrolled intersections.

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