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Cora’s classroom has daily helpers,
chosen by table seating: red table “helps” on Mondays,
green table on Wednesdays, and so on. There’s about five
“helper” jobs for each day, and though the whole table
will get a job, they won’t all get the job they want.

High on Cora’s list is the job of “calendar
helper”. This job involves standing in front of the class and
assisting the teacher with the felt board calendar, naming the day
of the week and month, and so on. Cora had the job once this year
and has spent the past several months since then yearning to be
assigned the spot again. She dresses a bit nicer on Wednesdays
“just in case” and chats excitedly the whole way to
school: “Maybe today’s the day I’ll be calendar
helper again!”

Completely coincidentally, Cora loves being in front of an

Well, yesterday was Cora’s lucky
day, because it was her turn at the calendar. I found this out
IMMEDIATELY when school got out and I picked her up, because the
teacher beamed, “Cora was the calendar helper today, and she
really rocked it! She was on top of everything, bam, bam, bam. She
knew her stuff and was awesome.”

Fortunately, Cora was still coming to the door and didn’t
hear the teacher’s conversation, so Cora was able to give me
the big news herself as well. “Guess what, Mommy! I was
Calendar Helper today! And I was on FIRE!”

Then she stopped, concerned, and said, “That just means I was
really really good. That’s what my teacher said.”

She talked about it off and on the rest of the day, and every time
she said proudly, “Man, I was on FIRE!”

I predict this is a slang phrase that will be with us for a


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