Practical uses for flaming cowboy hats

I worked until 7 p.m. tonight. It was a good thing. I FINALLY uploaded the edited proof pages that were completed the day before faculty reported back to school this year. Yes, the pages are for LAST YEAR’S book.

A delay, which I mentioned in an earlier post, caused the editor to work throughout the summer to finish the book, with some, but very little help. The delay was caused by incomplete work. There are a couple different ways to look at the situation: 1. Some staff members let the staff and adviser down by not doing their work, even after continually being warned and even helped. Or, 2. The adviser failed to hold the students’ feet to the fire and demand that the work be completed. You can lead a horse to water…

Anyway, the final content pages are final. That feels pretty good. Wish I felt as good about the index. There’s always the weekend. And I managed to get this done after hours, without the need for the flaming cowboy hat mentioned in the post title.

Flaming cowboy hat, you ask?

Let me explain. When I took this position four years ago, the room came equipped with six molded, felt cowboy hats printed with, yes, flames. Don’t know what they were originally purchased for, but I’ve found a good uses for them.

In fact, the top 4 uses for flaming cowboy hats are:

4. They are fun for group pictures.

3. Entertainment editors who are also show choir members use them in solo performances for Mr. Irresistible pageants.

2. They’re great to draw parts from when you make your freshman English class perform “Romeo & Juliet.”

And the No. 1 use for flaming cowboy hats in a newsroom is … They act as an invisibility hat so that the wearer can edit or write with no one allowed to distract them short of a fire in the room or cessation of breathing.

My newspaper kids have known this for a couple years, but somehow, that knowledge had escaped the yearbook staff. Could be that most of them graduated last year, leaving only four returners.

Anyway, as the yearbookers came into class this afternoon, they found me furiously typing away at my keyboard, which, of course, didn’t stop them from trying to hand me ad sales contracts, ask for change for a dollar, share a moment or ask other questions. Needing to concentrate on the email reply I was typing, I hollered across the way to bring me a flaming cowboy hat. The newbies were stunned to, if not silence, then at least a lower volume as I placed the hat on my head, made the ‘shush’ sign and continued typing.

When I finished, I called class to order, slapped an agenda on the board, beginning with 1. Flaming cowboy hats, and explained the No. 1 use for them.

Now we’re all on the same page.


About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

One Response to Practical uses for flaming cowboy hats

  1. Pingback: Scoop These Articles! | My Teacher Made Me Do It!

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