Ms. Angel has a new job.Â She no longer works in our classroom.Â She has passed the required college courses and is now a substitute teacher.
David calls Ms. Angel’s replacement, “Aunty.”Â That is the generic honorific women here in HawaiiÂ are called by instead of “ma’am”. The thing is, Ms. Angel’s replacement is Mr. Jim.Â David can’t seem to manage Mr. Jim or “Uncle” (which is what the other kids call Jim) so Jim just answers, he says that is easier than confusing David.
At lunch on Friday Jim was standing over the table waving his arms.Â He had napkins flapping between his fingers as he tried to keep the flies off the food (the lunchroom doors were open). Â Suddenly several napkins fluttered away.Â As I picked them off of plates I asked, “So, is this your version of the dance of the seven veils?”
David said, “Aunty, open my milk please.”
Jim reached down, grabbed the milk carton and proceeded to open it.Â To me he said, “That’s a woman’s dance!Â Do you really think it would suit me?”
Jim is a handsome, nineteen year old Hawaiian boy who stands over six feet tall and has shoulders about three feet wide.Â There is nothing delicate, petite or Fatima-like about him.Â I looked at the milk carton in his hands, shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know, Aunty, it just might.”
Jim looked startled, glanced at the milk carton and knelt down so he was eye-to-eye with David, “Say, Uncle –“