If it wasn’t for my Grade 1 teacher, I would not be the patriot I am today.
Grade 1 Teacher: That’s right Suzy. Patriotism does mean loving your country. And of course Sally, it also means being devoted and loyal to your country. Yes, I do see your hand waving in the air, Shelley, but Suzy and Sally have thoroughly explained patriotism. Now class, one of the first steps of becoming patriotic, is to be able to sing our unofficial National Anthem, “Oh Canada.” If you do know the anthem, please go the front of the class.
Shelley: (Races to the front)
Teacher:…. Is there anyone else who knows our anthem?… Anyone?… Ahhh Suzy and Sally. Thank you for volunteering. Thank you so much. So very much. Why don’t you girls join Shelley?
Suzy and Sally: (Rise, as one, and glide to the front of the class. Perfect. From their blonde “not a hair out of place” to their black shiny patent leather shoes.)
Teacher: Now Shelley, are you sure you know all of the words? Because…
Teacher: And, you can sing the entire anthem? Otherwise…
Teacher: Otherwise, it’s OK if you would like to change your mind and sit down. Maybe…
Shelley: No, Miss,
Teacher: Maybe, the twins can sing the anthem with you. That way…
Teacher: …. Of course not. What was I thinking? Well then, why don’t you go ahead?
Shelley: (Pauses. Coughs delicately. Makes sure all eyes are on her. Begins with a whisper.) Oh Canada. (Louder) Oh Canada! (Louder still) Oh Oh Ca-na-da! (Yelling ) OH CANADA!!!
(SCREAMS) OH! OH! OH! CA-NA-DA!!!!!…
Teacher: Thank you Shelley. That was very nice.
Shelley: I’m not done yet.
Teacher: Oh, I “am” sorry. Please finish.
Shelley: (Looks down… looks up through her eye lashes, takes a deep breath and continues with the lowest note she can find) Oh! Canada! Oh! Canada! (Finds the highest note she is capable of) Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Canada!!!! (and remarkably finds an even higher note) OH! OH! CA-NA-DA!!!!! CA-NA-DAAAAAA!!!!!
Shelley: Thank you. (The patriot returns to her seat.)
Please play on low volume as you finish reading:
46 years on, I am still as patriotic as ever. So, on Sunday, my family and friends joined John and I, to celebrate Canada Day.
played frisbee golf,
white water kayaked,
Ha! Ha! Kidding. You’ve got to be crazy to do that!!!!
and bocce, for a total of
Now that’s patriotism!
Shelley and John