My Halloween “costume”

Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

Okay, despite the fact that I really love Halloween, I really hate to put on a costume. I enjoy watching others wear costumes and I love going to Halloween parties. But I don’t like to pretend to be someone I’m not.

I went to my cousin’s Halloween party even though I didn’t want to dress up. She always insists that everyone wear a costume, so I didn’t want to disappoint her.  I also decided not to buy a costume even though I couldn’t think of one to make. My girlfriend offered many helpful suggestions, but I didn’t like any. Finally, an idea struck me, like a pumpkin striking my head. I took a white plastic garbage bag that I would wear over my body and I taped some children’s artwork on it, I put a grocery list on it too, and put some of the magnets from my refrigerator on it. I must admit that all that thinking and taping for a whole five minutes totally exhausted me! When I got to the Halloween party, everyone kept asking me what I was supposed to be. Would you believe that not one person guessed that I was supposed to be a refrigerator? However, I believe that I was asked the more questions than anyone else about my costume was supposed to be.

Needless to say, I didn’t win the costume contest!


Great America, Gurnee, Illinois

I have had a few memorable Spanish students since I began teaching, but some are more unforgetable than others. Some I vaguely remember. For example, one female student, I don’t even remember her name. Or anything else about her. I only remember that she was petite, had black hair, caramel-colored skin, and she always sat in the front row, right in front of me. Well, I actually remember two things about her that were quite memorable. Once after class, she told me the Spanish word for muslim, “musulmán,” was the same as in her language. However, I don’t even remember what language she told me she spoke. But I remember our conversation quite vividly.

The other incident that I remember occurred on Halloween. I usually bring chocolate for my students on Valentine’s Day and candy on Halloween. I started passing out candy when I noticed that UIC students sometimes wore costumes for Halloween. I enjoy giving them candy. I’m not sure why, but I do. Anyway, on Halloween, I passed out candy at the beginning of class and put the rest on my desk in case the students wanted more. Everyone was on time, except for the student I’ve been describing. She came about ten minutes late and was about to sit down at her desk right in front of me. Suddenly, she noticed the candy on my desk and stopped to take some–without even asking! She didn’t even greet me and she was taking my candy! “Buenos días,” I told her. But she still didn’t greet me. Her back was to the class so I noticed that she was wearing the red and yellow uniform shirt with a big “R” for Robin, Batman’s crime-fighting partner. Finally, I said, “It’s okay for you to take some candy since you came in costume.” She gave a puzzled look.  “It’s Halloween and you’re wearing a costume,” I said. “This isn’t a costume. I just like wearing this shirt,” she said. Well, the class and I laughed at this. She just stared at me blankly and sat down. And sure enough, she wore her Robin shirt several more times during the rest of the semester.