Dear Shiny Red Apple,
When I graduated from college, I got a pen and pencil set with a shiny red apple inset into the barrel of each. I was giddy because, hey, I’m a teacher! I made it! And with that, all the apple-themed variations on teacher gifts started to pour in. I loved every apple-emblazoned mug, every apple-appliqued frame.
But that was 12 years ago.
What could I have against the sweet-tart symbol of pedagogy? How about an entire closet at home filled with apple-related merchandise that I can’t even regift because Murphy’s Law prevails: The only people I can regift to are teachers. And guess what they have closets full of at home? APPLE STUFF.
How bad can it be, right? It’s this bad: apple stationery, apple paper weights, apple earrings, apple T-shirts, ironic bad apple T-shirts, apple travel mugs, apple stickers, apple sachets, apple note cards, apple-scented candles, apple-scented apples, apple scarves, apple pencil holders, apple fritters (actually, I like those), apple erasers, apple figurines, apple-themed “World’s Best Teacher” plaques …
I can’t blame my students. I know they mean well—they are just victims of advertising. Just like Snow White, my pupils can’t pass up an apple gift, even if it is a chintzy pair of apple oven mitts that can’t handle hot toast, never mind things that have been in a 350-degree oven.
It’s time to part ways, fruity friend. Take your retirement package. You’ve been a steady champion of all things educational, humble globe. But if you must know, this year I’d prefer the kind of apple that has a lowercase i in front of it.