Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
Well by this time we all know who Elf on The Shelf is. Or we have family or friends who participate in this holiday tradition.
But what about an exploding band kid on a shelf.
My daughter still lives in a state to our west. She  is still a music instructor. They have gone from attending school, to no school. To learning from home to back to school. They cover the band instruments with shields. They wear masks. They wash hands.
Music helps some of these kids have an hour of times where they feel welcome and part of a self supporting unit. Her students start in sixth grade and go through high school. The younger ones just want to learn, and the older of the middle school ones want to be in high school. She loves them all. But really loves the middle school kids.
Even with wearing masks at school, she managed to get an upper respiratory infection. She needed a couple of days off to recover.
Substitute teachers are vital to school. They are cut from a different cloth. Her sub may have been overwhelmed by the number of students in the class or possibly distracted on purpose. Anyway a plot was hatched and student – let’s call him zero – was chosen for a mission.
Several other students removed band instruments from a large wooden shelving unit directly at the back of the classroom. “Zero” climbed onto the shelf, put in his earphones and promptly fell asleep.
Safely hidden behind cases and other items, he slept through the end of class.
He awoke 40 minutes into the next class, basically exploded from the shelf, scattering cases etc., all over the floor. “Zero” scared the students, and dumbfounded the sub.
He exited  the back door and went on to his next class.
His mission was a success. Or was it?
I personally would have given him and his cohorts gold stars for the day. That wouldn’t have been the proper response I am told.
The teacher sent “Zero” to the office for coming in late.  His parents were called and proper penalties were handed out.
He got in-school suspension; his helper friends got detentions and no concert performances this week.
I am not sure about the substitute.
Will she ever return for another stint in the music room?
Did she buy liquor on the way home?
Did she chalk it all up to middle school adolescents?
I may never know.
I commend  the students’ planning and execution of the operation. However “Zero” would be way more than I could handle. Still gold star worthy.
Reminds me of a Volkswagen in the gym lobby when I was in high school.
Spring is on the way. Let the shenanigans begin!