Thursday, November 15, 2007

The best Halloween costume

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Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays of all time. I can remember being a kid on Halloween and looking forward with anticipation to the night festivities…AKA: trick-or-treating. When I was little, my mom had me dress up as Andy, from Raggedy Ann and Andy because she’d made the costume. But, as a kid, I didn’t mind…after all, what is there that a kid won’t do for a great, big bag of candy?

When I turned 9 years old, I began to pick my own costumes and one of my favorites was dressing up as Zorro. There was something amazing about dressing up as a guy who defies a tyrannical government and who could single-handedly take on an entire army of villains and come out on top. Plus the fact that I’d get to wear a mask and carry a sword were always perks to being Zorro as well…not to mention that since my last name started with a Z, I could always leave that mark of his on my papers at school, claiming it as my own.

Costumes come and go, and as they do I would find myself choosing them much more carefully than I had when I was younger. Who would I want to be this year? Lately, a personal favorite costume of mine is Professor Severus Snape. Since I am elementary school teacher, dressing up as Snape makes school much more fun, considering the fact that I black out the windows, have thunder and rain sound effects playing, and very little lighting in the room…it’s amazing just how you can make a bright and cheery classroom feel so much like a dungeon. All of this plus the fact that I can be a ruthless character whom the kids absolutely love to have as a sub.

This year I decided to not only dress up as Snape, but in a few other costumes as well. It started off last year with the thought that it would be fun to be two different characters. So, I was Snape to start off the morning, and then after morning recess was a military commander whom I’d named, Sir Yessir. It was fun for the morning hours and as my class went to lunch I heard a few of them comment to each other with things like, “I can’t wait to see who’s going to be here after lunch!” Well, I hadn’t thought about being anybody else so the class had to content themselves with only two teachers that year.

Well, wanting to have a little more fun, I spent quite a few more hours preparing for Halloween this year. Not only did I have to get the classroom ready, but I had to get the costumes ready as well. It was at 12:30 on the eve before Halloween that I found myself driving home from the school and it was at about 1:30 that morning that I finally got to sleep.

When my alarm clock sounded a few hours later I thought that it was much too early…after all, it had just seemed that I had put my head to my pillow when it was time for me to go to school again. I rolled out of bed and quickly got ready…gathering up a large bunch of costume props which I needed for the day and headed out to school.

The beginning of the day was great. Playing Snape is always a lot of fun…especially considering the entrance I make when I have this ominous song for my entry and I turn off the lights so that only the dim lighting in the classroom I’d set up before is now noticeable. It’s strange too…for some reason, the kids absolutely love it when I would take points from their “houses” and mostly from any student dressed up as a character from the Harry Potter books (this year it was Lilly Evans).

After first recess my class was surprised when the next character arrived. A military commander who made them run obstacle courses on the playground, made them listen to patriotic music, and profess his love of America. I have to admit, last year I was much more brutal as this character (whom the kids still loved). This year, Sir Yessir had mellowed quite a bit from what he’d been in the past.

After lunch I was a character whom I decided to simply name, “Captain.” This was merely from the fact that I was supposed to be Jack Sparrow, however, my sister was unable to finish the costume so I was just a pirate captain instead. This was a fun character who gave the entire class pirate names like, Worm Gut and Ugly Pete.

A bit later I came in as “Earl.” Earl is an employee of Wal-Mart who is the host of multiple personalities whom would all surface at various times of his visit to our classroom. My favorite personality he housed was Blanche—a 50 year-old lounge singer whose voice had deteriorated into a gravely quality.

At the end of the day I had chosen to be a Jedi…a pretty cool costume which is a lot of fun to wear. In all, it was a fun Halloween.

A lot of work? Yes.
Fun? Yes.
Would I do it again? Not sure.

The reason I would not want to repeat my Halloween costume fest is mostly from the fact that it was an amazing amount of work which took far too much time in the end.

On a different note, however, I did get a little pleasant surprise before the day was through…do you remember what I said before about imitation being the most sincere form of flattery? Well, imagine my surprise when I found the 8 year-old boy across the hall dressed up in HIS Halloween costume.

Now, I can only wonder…did his mom make him dress up that way? After all, he’s only 8.


annette said...

(I had published this comment previously, but accidently on the wrong acct. So, here it is on the right acct.)

What a MEMORABLE Halloween in your class this year! I only wish I had thought of taking pictures while I was there. I guess I was just so caught up in the fun of it all! The extra effort you put into it makes all the difference. You really make Halloween and school something to look forward to!

Gerb said...

That little kid sure is handsome! By the way, his mom wanted him to be a knight at school, the costume was all ready...and he insisted on being you instead. Mom helped with the hair, but the rest was all him.

The Raggedy Andy costume brings back memories for me! My mom made my brother and I life-size Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls and we often put their clothes on ourselves and pretended to be them.

And, judging by the picture, you make a pretty convincing Snape.

~cari~ said...

Where's the picture of Blanche? That would be blackmail material!

I'm not sure I liked the way they did the costume parade this year. We missed seeing all the upper grades' costumes.

c jane said...

I just want to know why NOBODY told me that Mr. Freaking Z had a blog.

Teachinfourth said...


It was memorable for me too. Lost nights of sleep always seem to stay in one's memory...


Raggedy Andy was not my most favorite costume...but like I said, what is there that a kid won't do for a bag of sugary goodness? Glad to know that somebody liked being the Raggedy twins...

P.S. Being Snape was a LOT of fun.


Blanche was actually a personality of "Earl" so they all pretty much looked the same but just acted different. I will say that Earl and Snape were the two favored subs for that day...the class took a vote, Snape won by one vote.

As for the parade I agree with you. My class really wanted to see their 2nd grade buddies so we ended up swinging by their room for a quick costume parade ourselves.


Long time no see! Sorry I didn't tell you about my blog...I was trying to keep it a secret for as long as I could. I guess everybody else was trying to do the same thing.

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