I can’t say how, exactly, I became the one chosen to acquire the goods. Perhaps it’s because as the teaching candidate, I am young, energetic, and eager to get a good recommendation. Perhaps it’s also because I am the only woman in this prep — but this is not to say that this mission was inherently sexist. It just meant that me being female, in this instance, made it more likely that I could pilfer the necessary material.
At any rate, while the kids were preparing their skits, my co-teachers sent me on an exploratory mission. I didn’t want to fail because, ultimately, this was for the teens. In a month, I’ll be back at my job and missing these teens dearly.
“They really got a kick out of this activity last year,” one of my co-teachers had said when we talked about doing this activity. ”They got really creative with the costumes they made. I should have taken pictures.”
I walked to the hallway where what I needed was located — casually making one cycle around. I observed the teens lining the hallway, some giving each other orders in clipped, militaristic tones. I walked back to my room.
“There’s a problem,” I said to my co-teachers. “The JROTC kids are using that hall right now.”
One of them rifled through his belongings and handed me a reusable shopping bag he had on him. ”Here, use this.”
I returned the hallway with the bag slung over my shoulder and my keys in my right hand. I sidled past the JROTC students, who barely registered my presence, sifted through my keychain for the correct key, and opened the door.
When I returned, I tossed the bag down. “I got four big ones!” I said triumphantly.
“Perfect!” my co-teachers said, looking in the bag at the four large rolls of toilet paper I’d taken from the women’s employee bathroom. ”We never have this much in the men’s room.”
“Do you think it will be enough?”
“Oh, yeah. I think they’ll make some pretty interesting costumes from this.”
A few minutes later, one of them said, “I was going to mention this to you — I’m about to get started on writing your letter of recommendation.”
“Will you be mentioning the fact that I just stole several rolls of toilet paper?”
“Maybe not directly, but I’ll probably acknowledge that you are willing to go the distance.”