The first time I met Grunt Labor, I thought he was a total ass.
It was my first day of student teaching in a 7th grade middle school class. My mentor teacher had stepped out for a moment and I was teaching.
Grunt Labor threw open the door in the middle of class, walked in, stopped abruptly, looked at me as if I were the spawn of Satan, and asked “Where’s Thurman?”
Being completely caught off guard and wondering just who this guy thinks he is, I quickly spit something out and went back to teaching.
Over the next four weeks or so of my student teaching, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this guy who was teaching two doors down from me, besides that he was a bit cocky.
The placement ended in December and I graduated college with my degree in secondary education.
In January, three days before school started back after winter break, I got a call to come and interview for a teaching job.
A teaching job at that same middle school, teaching that same 7th grade class, in that same classroom two doors down from Grunt Labor.
I got the job.
From January through May, Grunt Labor became more of a funny colleague and not the cocky guy down the hall. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was (and still is) cocky, but he was fun.
At that point, he was in a relationship and I was still in the relationship past its expiration date, attempting to stick it out.
And the same was true when we started back to work in August.
But by August, I had gained a bit more strength. A bit more courage. And a bit more of the “screw it” philosophy.
The relationship past its expiration date was in a downward spiral and finally came to an end in October of that year.
Grunt Labor found out I really loved chocolate milk. I guess coming in every morning with one kind of gave it away.
Apparently, Cocky Grunt Labor also had a smooth, sweet talking side that allowed him to get chocolate milks from the cafeteria for free.
He started offering me a chocolate milk every morning.
Now really, who am I to pass up free chocolate milk?
Every morning, I would send a student to Grunt Labor’s room to get me a chocolate milk.
One morning, the student took much longer than expected to come back.
I asked her where she was and she told me she had to go to the cafeteria to buy a chocolate milk.
Now, I am a very independent person. I do not like to owe people for a cent and I do not like people to buy things for me, unless I tell them they can first. hehe.
I gathered $0.50 marched down to Grunt Labor’s room, gave him the money and told him he was not to send me chocolate milk unless he had gotten it for free and had extras to spare.
Upon returning to my room, I learned this was not the first occurrence where he had bought me chocolate milk.
Miffed, I was. But, it was kind of sweet too.
Then one morning, I had a full size chocolate milk fresh from a gas station in my work mailbox – not the small carton from the cafeteria.
My heart was won.
The deal was sealed.
With chocolate milk.
And a bit of cockiness.
You know you don’t wanna miss any of this crazy.
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