Process Note: I use paint chips as bookmarks. I love the bright colors and the unusual names. Yesterday I opened my current read, Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Textbook (soooo good), placed my bookmark on the table, and happened to notice the paint name in small letters: Refreshment Stand. And I remembered how much I loved being assigned concession stand duty at school events. I might try this exercise with my students—collect paint chips from the hardware store and have them write off of the names or colors.
There was a barrel of pickles and tongs to remove them from the brine and small paper bags to hold them.
There was no way to avoid the juice on your hands. I don’t eat pickles. I don’t touch pickles. I don’t sell pickles.
“You got pickle phobia?”
“If it means you’ll handle the pickles, then yes.”
I liked to take the money and count change.
I liked to restock the candy and line up the edges of packages.
I liked to straighten the dollar bills and face them all the same way.
By the end of the night my hair and clothes smelled of popcorn.
Sometimes a kid asked for a Gatorade and when I asked “What flavor?” he’d say “You choose.”
And then I had to decide, was he blue or green or red or white?
The students wanted me to work while they sat on the counter dangling their legs, but I wanted to be the one sitting on the counter.
Everyone, except perhaps the students who wished I’d do their work, was happy to see me there, and everyone was happy eating candy and drinking soda.
I liked the slow, when the kids began to riff and joke and pick at each other and dip into the chips and popcorn.
I liked the busy, when the line got long and I made change and handed out waters and ladled cheese sauce.
I worked fast to make the line go away again.
I liked to say YES to “Miss E! Buy me a sode” and “Miss E! Spot me a Reese’s.”
I didn’t see the game when I worked the refreshment stand, but I saw everything else.