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The Izzy Inch

The Izzy Inch — it’s a style of walking. Izzy’s style.

Izzy is an eleven year-old boy who could give a snail lessons in slow. Somehow — through my own busy-ness and distraction, Izzy became line leader for the month. It happened that I had a ton of paperwork due on the first of the month, and the kids were impatient to switch jobs. So, to accomplish both at once, I put Jasmine in charge of sign up. The only hard and fast rule is, you can’t have a job you’ve had before. Thus, Izzy became line leader.

Yesterday was cloudy and windy. A bitter wind was blowing across the valley and through our pathetic jackets that shiver in real cold. We shivered through the pledge and morning announcements. We shivered as each grade level exited the playground, youngest to eldest, 5th grade last, and my class the last of the last, followed only by the principal, who walked at the back of my line with me.

Still we shivered — while moving remarkably slow. I noticed no other classes in front of us. “Let’s pick up the pace,” I said to my class. Nothing happened. Our feet were barely moving. “Faster!”

The line sped up from imperceptible to slow. I moved to where I could see the front of the line and spotted Izzy shuffling his feet. I glanced over at the principal and said, “We’re not going to get there today.”

“And why not?” Her voice was stern.

“Izzy is line leader.”

She looked startled for a moment, then dissolved in a fit of giggles.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. The ‘Izzy-inch’ might be something you’d enjoy on a warm day and with nice scenery – but I can imagine it wasn’t much fun when you were cold!
    Nice, though, that you let them all have a turn to enjoy the ‘position’, regardless of speed. I never did like the fact that slower movers ‘sit on bench’ while the ‘stars’ play!

  2. “The Izzy Inch — it’s a style of walking. Izzy’s style”.

    Izzy just wants to stop and smell the Roses and he doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to get there. Izzy would be a perfect Bus Driver for “Calgary Transit” Izzy would get the bus there eventually.

    A blessed weekend is wished for you

  3. Hello beautiful.

    when i was in 9th gr in Miami i of course took the bus to school. our schedule had to be altered about 5 mins when a new pickup was added..she was much older looking like she was in college and all but in reality she was just as student..she walked yet it was soooooooo slow…it took forever for her to walk the front of the bus and get on…i often thought if it was not done on purpose for she thought she was some hot stuff and with every step would move those hips from one side to the other….everyone else claimed that no..she was just quite patient..(i never believed it)..

    i voted for you in the war of blogs…and for your friend Kat…glad to tell you, you are way a head of the competition..congratulations (as it should be btw ;p) but Kat is a bit behind..and yes, of course i tried to cheat and vote extra times but it wouldn’t let me..bummer..

    (your words, your heart, your friendship are one of my many blessings and one of my joys. i’m so grateful and i love you so very much. you are such a strong and yet you love so much..if you knew how much i admire you for you have overcome and conquer so much my love and you have come out so brilliantly wonderful..i know you might be embarrassed and i apologize but i do admire you and i do love you so very much).

  4. I want to know if you and your students do anything all do besides read, make wise cracks, and laugh at each other. 🙂

  5. I’m sure Quilly’s exhibiting selective memory, Brooke. I admire her. After ten years in the classroom, she still has hair. Which I would not, if it were me.

    Izzy was born forty-fifty years too late. If he could have gotten that step covered by Chubby Checker …

  6. Jackie — the Izzy inch isn’t a stroll! Even on a warm day with beautiful scenery, it would make me crazy.

    Bill — there are no roses betweeen the playground and my classroom — asphalt only. It doesn’t need smelling and it’s not really much to look at, either.

    Chana — I love you and your kind heart. You think I am brave? Ha! You would be the poster girl.

    Bazza — I believe the tortoise would get impatient waiting for Izzy. But yes, we did get there eventually — frozen stiff.

    Brooke — of course. Sometimes we do math and make wise cracks and laugh at each other.

    OC — I don’t relate the days when I stumble home glassy-eyed and wondering why I ever thought I wanted to be a teacher.

    And there was no step for Chubby Checker to “cover.” I swear, the kid’s feet never leave the ground.

  7. Nessa — that was priceless! Bravo!

    Dr. John — children who like ice cream and dawdle on their way to school certainlky are strange, but I think the book reading and coffee drinking are perfectly normal things.

  8. Quilly- Izzy sounds like someone on my bus- everywhere we take this person we wait, and wait for her. I swear if she moved any faster we might just percieve movement.

  9. Cindy — and here I was certain that Izzy was a designer original.

    Polona — except for soccer — and lunch. Those two things move him.

  10. Oh boy! Gym will be over by the time you arrive…. lunch will be missed… or at least gone cold… I suspect March is going to be a long looooooooong month in your class!

  11. Melli — I predict Izzy will quit. Being first is going to be too much pressure for him. I could be wrong though — in fact, I’m hoping I’m wrong. For the past month he’s had his homework in on time every day — and done correctly, too.

  12. Izzy 🙂

    mayeb you could use teh time whilst probably moving, to give a lesson on the weather and stuff, you could have teh final test as soon as you would get into the classroom!

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