Kissing donkeys and being good sports

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2007

The sunshine was bright and warm, but as soon as I stepped out of my car at Highland Home School last Thursday, that North wind sent a chill right through me.

Since I didn't want to have to bother with carrying my heavy sweater, I decided, unwittingly, to leave it in the car. Spring may have sprung, but these last few days have put me back in long sleeves and running the heater in the car, and I know I'm not the only one doing it.

After deciding to leave the sweater behind, I picked up my bag and headed for the football field. The Highland Home School Relay for Life team was having their &#8220Administrators' Folly” day, a fundraising event that proved to be a whole lot of fun for everyone involved, including me.

As soon as HHS Principal Joseph Eiland saw me, he came over grinning from ear to ear and said, &#8220I can see the headline nowŠŠ.”

We both started laughing about what he was going to do.

I must say that Joseph Eiland is a good sport; he sets a good example for his students, and he wants what is best for them. Plus, he's not afraid to kiss a donkey on the lips in front of them. Now that takes gutsŠ..and humility.

As kindergartener Trayton McGough and first grader Tyler Giddens got the honor of leading the donkey up to Mr. Eiland, they laughed and giggled like little boys do. I doubt they'll forget that experience anytime soon.

Mr. Eiland finally kissed the donkey, and I mean kept on kissing it. I was laughing so hard, I almost couldn't hold the camera still. Then, he took off into the stadium to give his wife a big smooch afterwards. Talk about needing a Tic-Tac - no offense, Mr. Eiland.

Next, ten lucky students were chosen to make an &#8220ice cream sundae” out of Assistant Principal Wanda Corley. Actually, they made her into a strawberry and hot fudge sundae topped off with whipped cream and cherries.

Boy, I can think of some teachers I would have liked to do that to when I was in schoolŠ..

Finally, several kids got the chance to throw water balloons at Assistant Principal Sherry Sport, whose own husband paid to take a couple of good shots at her.

Needless to say, by the time I left Highland Home School, my tension headache was gone, I was relaxed from laughing, and my whole demeanor was much lighter.

School is not always about books and homework. I can guarantee you that those kids will remember that day far longer into the future than, say, how to conjugate a verb. I'm not saying that conjugating a verb is not important; I actually love conjugating verbs. But kids need to see the human side of adults, the fun side of authority figures, the side that lets them know that teachers and principals are fallible human beings just like anyone else.

So, hats off to the Highland Home School Relay for Life team and to the HHS administration for being such good sports and good examples for their students.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: