Being involved in the profession of education sometimes presents a person with rather unusual challenges. Last week I was asked to judge a contest. I've been involved in judging many contests throughout my teaching career, but this was one of my most challenging contests to judge. My task was to judge the footprints of the senior class; at least that's how I originally understood my task. However, after receiving the rather ominous stack of footprints, I realized that there were considerably more footprints involved than I had planned on deciphering.
The footprints that I had been asked to judge were created by the students stepping on black paint and then placing their feet on a piece of paper. The number of prints per student ranged from one to four. The teacher who asked me to judge the footprints explained that it took several attempts for some of the students to produce an acceptable footprint.
Immediately I realized that I was going to need assistance in judging the footprints. There were nine different categories, and a few of the categories caused me a considerable amount of consternation. The main category that presented a supreme challenge to me was the sexiest footprint. I wasn't sure that I was qualified to judge such a category because I've never considered a foot to be sexy. I suppose that my attitude toward feet originated from having to tape so many odiferous feet during my coaching career.
As I so often do when I'm confronted with an ominous situation, I called on Rufus to assist me in this endeavor. The next day, after enjoying a round of chasing the little white ball, Rufus came over to my garage to assist me in the foot judging. We spread the papers out all over the garage floor which was barely a large enough space. Upon our realizing the enormity of the task, we called in reinforcements. Rufus's son Josh, who is one of the most creative people I know, was home from college. Rufus gave him a call, and he eventually arrived to assist us with our task.
As we debated which footprint was the most suited for each category, we began to create our own categories. Josh found an unusually large toe and decided that it should be categorized as, "the person most likely to drive a big toe truck." The next category that he suggested was, "the person most likely to spread a fungus." As our judging continued, Rufus and I added a few of our own categories. Actually, I'm not sure who added which category, but we had categories such as, "most likely to be tracked by an Indian, most intriguing to a gypsy, toeless in Stinnett," and "most likely to be cast in a plaster mold in the Saskatchewan woods."
Some folks like to leave their mark on life with their fingerprints, this group of students decided to use the other end. Judging those black blots wasn't easy. It was like the Boston marathon of Rorschach tests. But, having finished the task, I can only wish the senior class well -- may they go on to accomplish many amazing feets…I mean feats.