So teachers have to show up at school the day before students. We have meetings on three levels: District, school-wide, and department. All of them are boring. But there are always adventures if one looks hard enough.

I saw Mike Tellez pull into the parking lot a minute after I did so I decided to lie in wait and scare the crap out of him. Just my special way of wishing the big guy a great new school year. Yeah, maybe I should hide the camera next time.

At the District-wide meeting they hired some barney to inspire the teachers to make it through another year. Before you think I'm a cynical jerk for mocking the guy, remember three things: 1. He was paid an ungodly amount of money to talk to us for over an hour, time I could have used to prepare my lessons for the new year; 2. If there are any teachers in this room that needed this speech to make them do a great job, they need to be flogged and kicked out of the classroom; and 3. Really, "Wind Beneath My Wings"? What semi-intelligent, self-repecting person wouldn't mock?

Screw it, then. If we're going to do it, let's do it right. Where my Beaches at?

The saving grace of the morning? A-Rai, son! Alexander Rai, Class of 2000 president four years running, was in the house. The American Gladiator transferred to Rosemead from El Monte. Home is where the heart is.

That's right, he said teaching is a "sweet occupation." On national television. Son.

Later that day, while I was busy getting my classroom ready for the returning Panthers, I heard some commotion outside my classroom door.

Apparently someone was stuck in the elevator.

A few minutes later the maintenace guys got the door open and, oh snap, out fell Val Washington. I did what every self-aware citizen of the 21st century would do: I pulled out my camera and documented the moment for the global community. Ok, if I talked you out of thinking I was a cynical jerk for earlier filming the keynote speaker, I have no defense this time.

Welcome to Rosemead High School.

It's going to be just another year in paradise.