On our last day of summer school, we threw a pizza party to reward our students for achieving certain goals in connection with their academic performance and behavior. We also had some chips available. Chips have been a very popular reward in our summer school reading class, especially Flaming Hot Cheetos. The Flaming Hot Cheetos are always the first to disappear when rewards are distributed. Red-stained fingers and red powder inevitably make an appearance all over our classroom. Woe be unto us if we run out of Flaming Hot Cheetos.
On the last day of class, during the pizza party, one of the four teachers who teach my students decided to give the Flaming Hot Cheetos a try. The students immediately protested.
“No, Ms. S, you don’t want to eat those!”
“Ms. S, those Cheetos will GET YOU!”
Ms. S thoughtfully popped one of the Flaming Hot Cheetos into her mouth and raised her eyebrows as if to say, “Interesting….“
My curiosity was piqued, for I also had never enjoyed a Flaming Hot Cheeto…
Pause. At this point in the story, I have to share something I previously have not discussed in this blog. I am pregnant. Six months pregnant. Very visibly and obviously pregnant. Stick with me—it’s relevant… Unpause.
As I reached my hand out toward the bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos for my epic first taste, two students immediately leapt in front of me. “NOOOOOOOOOOO!”, they yelled. At this point, they were physically standing between me and the bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos with their arms outstretched and eyes wide. “Why not?” I asked. “They are HOT, Mrs. T!” I smiled. “I know. I can take it. I eat spicy things all the time.” They looked at me, frustrated, “Mrs. T—the baby! You’ll burn the baby.”
Cute. I stifled a laugh, while assuring them that the baby could also take it. While I was touched by the students’ extreme concern, I proceeded to enjoy my first Flaming Hot Cheeto. And they were right, it was hot. But the baby and I could take it.
We teachers, however, did start wondering what made the Flaming Hot Cheetos so spicy. The four of us gathered around the bag and started reading the ingredient list, trying to figure out what ingredient made them spicy. One of our astute reading students shook his head and muttered, “Man, you guys read EVERYTHING.”
Yes, we do. And we hope that one day, you will, too.
I’ll miss these students. Thanks for the laughs this summer. So proud of all of your many accomplishments.