OK, so last night I attended the "2007 OC Teachers of the Year" event, held at the swankular Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel in beautiful downtown Anahelium. At least, that's what I remember doing. I remember large chandeliers high above me. Raghu shook my hand. Mickey danced. Minnie flirted. Was it a dream?
No. There were rich people who showed up to witness their own beneficence. They seemed sincere. But wasn't it 2006, not 2007? It's all so unreal!
I seem to recall talking with an attractive woman. She handed me her card. "OK," I said.
The Masters of Ceremony were real professionals: actor William Allen Young (evidently, he's been on CIS: Miasma and Nip/Tuck) and Maria Hall-Brown (Gawd, she's on the Real Orange!). They stunned me with their ability to savor the sagacity of cliches for three solid hours! "How true!" they'd sigh, heads shaking.
Believe in yourself! Dream big! Play your guitar! Question! Wonder! Dance!
I remember a busty blond who evidently teaches little kids about something. I forget what. The attractive woman to my left said something snide. I smiled. "I'm kinda deaf," I said. "Blah blah blah," she answered. We laughed.
"More champagne?" More laughter.
Saddleback College's Norm Weston was a finalist. They showed a little movie about him. He's casual, yet strict. He knows his stuff. Prez M made an appearance. He looks much better in person, I thought.
The real Rich patted my shoulder. What does that mean? Am I marked for death?
I saw friends from the past: Cely Mora, Kathie Hodge, Wilford Brimley. I was transported to another time--to Villa Park High School, 1972, looking up at the stage, watching "Up With People," wondering how it was possible to be so young and yet so Osmond.
I recall speaking with one of the Heinz 57 honorees, our former Logic instructor, who recently snagged a full-time job up the road. "So, does your dept. chair get any reassigned time?" I asked.
YES OF COURSE. ARE YOU KIDDING?
And Mickey. And Minnie. Dancing! With Peter Morrison! (That could only be a dream. I am certain of it.)
"You'll see," said Gwen. "You'll watch the show and tears will form. It's moving!"
I waited for tears, but all I got was kicks under the table. "Be good!", they said.
And I was. In fact, I am always good.
But, in all sincerity, I'm glad that, in this county, owing to a rich couple, good teachers are celebrated and given an opportunity to experience fabulous cash prizes and 15 seconds of fame.
And to dance with flirtatious Minnie and spout cliches to the rhythm of rubber chickens, fake Jazz, and hurried ersatz fabulousness.
But, really, it was fun. And I mean that.
WHAT'S "UP WITH PEOPLE"? (YOU ASK)
The 60s produced the "counterculture." That in turn produced various reactions, e.g., Up with people
"The happiest most hard-hitting way of saying what America's all about that I have ever seen or heard."
--Walt Disney, on the cover of "Up With People" (the album; 1966)
Up! Up! with people!--Everything UP WITH PEOPLE
You meet 'em wherever you go!
Up! Up! with people!
They're the best kind of folks we know.
If more people were for people,
All people ev'rywhere,
There'd be a lot less people to worry about,
And a lot more people who care!