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The Humor of Melvin Durai

February 2011

Both my daughters are in school—Lekha in third grade and Divya in first grade—so I know firsthand the challenges of being a parent of school-going kids. That’s why I’ve decided to create a form letter that I and other parents can send to teachers:

Dear (teacher’s name),

Thank you for doing such a wonderful job teaching (child’s name). He/She really loves being in your classroom—please don’t be misled by the squeals of joy whenever the bell rings. He/she is just eager to get home and do his/her homework. In fact, you will be pleased to know that he/she jumps out of bed on Monday mornings, screaming, “Hurray, the weekend is over! I can’t wait to see (teacher’s name)!”

(Name of school) is lucky to have you as a teacher, and the next time I see (principal’s name), I will tell him/her to give you a raise/promotion/better parking spot. No need to thank me—it’s the least I can do, considering everything you have done for (child’s name) and all the great adjectives you will write in his/her report card.

However, I do have a few concerns that I’d like to bring up, though (child’s name) tried to keep me from doing so, saying, “You shouldn’t disturb (teacher’s name). He/She is probably very busy, preparing his/her acceptance speech for the Teacher of the Year Award/Educator of the Century Award/Nobel Peace Prize.”

Here are my concerns, in no particular order:

1. Having a school fundraiser is a great idea, but how the (bad word) do you expect me to sell so many chocolates/raffle tickets/pizza kits? If I was good at selling stuff to my friends and family, I would have joined Amway. Even my parents don’t want to buy stuff for me, saying, “Isn’t it enough that we paid for your education/wedding/tattoo removal?”

Instead of getting parents to sell stuff, perhaps you should look at other ways of raising money, such as auctioning off a date with that smokin’ hot gym teacher/librarian/janitor.
Here’s another idea: Whenever a kid uses the F-word, ask the principal to discipline him/her with another F-word: FINE. Imagine how much money you would collect from the kindergarteners alone!

2. I’m glad you’re taking (child’s name) on so many field trips (to the zoo, museum, theatre, etc.), but do you think you could take a field trip, one of these fine days, to an actual field (soccer field, baseball field, etc.)? I don’t know if you noticed, but (child’s name) could really use some exercise.

While we’re on the topic of field trips, do I have to sign a permission slip/injury waiver every single time? Can’t I just sign one form at the beginning of the year that says: “I (parent’s name) am aware that (child’s name) could get hurt during a school activity. If such an injury occurs, I will not hold (name of school) responsible, as (child’s name) has a natural, God-given talent for doing stupid things. I promise not to sue (name of school), as I am aware that this may result in (name of school) having to organize more fundraisers.”

3. I’m very pleased that you’re giving (child’s name) lots of homework, but I’m concerned that it’s getting in the way of his/her other homework: doing the dishes. On some nights, he/she has pleaded with me to help out with the homework, and as a caring parent I have gladly done so, though I didn’t really appreciate the ‘D’ you gave me for the “Best Tasting Beers” essay.

By the way, I noticed that you do not have a Facebook page, so I’ve taken the liberty to create one called “World’s Finest Teacher.” No need to thank me—just post a copy of (child’s name)’s report card there. I’m sure I will ‘like’ it—and get all my friends to ‘like’ it too.

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