Our school’s activity director, an out-of-character middle management V.P. type if ever there was one, is in charge of senior activities during our state testing. Seniors are exempt from testing around here, as long as they’ve passed the CAHSEE.

He could have had a revolt on his hands, but he handled the senior class with admirable aplomb.

There’s been a schedule change, guys. We need you to show up at 7:45 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.

Cries of shock and defiance. Teachers around me had a hunch that this was just a ploy to make the late students show up on time, and it turned out to be correct. Our graduating seniors didn’t, as a whole, realize this, so our activity director went on with his fake-out.

Now, now, now. Do you want to make it 7:30 a.m.?

Some jokers respond in the affirmative.

Really, now? Why not make it 7:15 a.m.? Or 7 a.m.? Or 6:15 a.m.?

While the jokers kept at it, the protests from everyone else got louder and louder at each suggestion. Our director then almost took on the manner of a charismatic preacher.

But I’m not going to make you get here by 6:15 a.m., and I’ll tell you why. There’s a reason. I was falling asleep last night, and I was wondering out loud what time I should make you guys come on Thursday.

“We have so much to get done, and so much to do,” I said to myself. “Maybe I should tell them to show up at 6:15 a.m.”

Then I heard this voice down from Heaven. He said: “No.”

And that’s why we’re sticking with 7:45 a.m.

Students laughed, and were ready to move on. Because of his authority, and because he joked at the very end, students accepted that arrival time. I said aloud something about establishment of religion, and I think he heard. Into the microphone, he told the students:

By the way, the voice I heard was Mr. Goldsmith’s.

Mr. Goldsmith is our principal.

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