Alright, so after reading this post, some of you may have wondered: who or what is a Haroosh?
Well, this is Haroosh.
Haroosh belongs to Kyle, a former student of mine. He was a sort-of sidekick for Kyle, you see. Sat on his desk, listened to me read-aloud, went on aventures. He’s an example of what’s great about being a fifth grader: you’re starting to get a little older, but you still have enough of an imagination to create an entire life for a fake baby chick.
Haroosh was also around when Kyle ran the light board for a pair of shows I directed at his junior high. At the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, after everyone knew I was heading to Ireland for a year, Kyle presented Haroosh to me and said, “I think Haroosh should go with you and see the world.”
Now, some of you may read this and think, “Aww, how cute!” and leave it at that. Well, for me, it was a very solemn, serious moment. This was someone giving up their sidekick, their animal familiar, their trusted friend. Haroosh was an expression of Kyle, from a class that was particularly good at expressing themselves in unique ways. (See: Apple Buddies, above.)
And so Haroosh has come with me to Ireland, to see what I see.
He’s mostly been cooped up in the places I’ve lived, but he should feel very privileged to have been a brief resident of 316 S. Circular Road. Our first home, and “a remarkable place altogether.”
Before school started, we spent most of our free time watching the BBC coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. Haroosh was quite the fan of Jessica Ennis.
Here Haroosh joins a couple of other items that came with: Max’s Viking mug that I got for Christmas last year, and Squid Pig, another pet from another student. Hope Madison reads this and knows that ole Squid Pig made the journey as well.
And of course Haroosh came with when I headed up north to Carlingford last month.
I’m starting to plan another trip that I’ll be taking once classes end in a few weeks. The Masters students are all headed to London in mid-December to catch a bunch of plays, but I’m planning something extra as well (as long as the budget holds), and Haroosh shall hopefully be reunited with one of Kyle’s good friends from that class.
And when I finally head home, after this journey is done, I hope Haroosh finds his way back to Kyle. And I hope that Haroosh stays with him, sitting on his dresser or his desk, watching him do homework, or tucked away in his bag as Kyle grows up and heads off onto his own adventures. It’s important to have reminders of who we were when we were young, when the only thing that mattered in life was a few good friends and a big imagination. (Maybe that’s all that still matters?)
When we grow up, we put away childish things, and we get serious. But that can be so, so boring sometimes. Maybe that’s why I was so good at teaching 5th grade. I never forgot what it was like to be eleven.
And I hung on to the things that matter.