Yeah, yeah, I know. Long time no see and all that…

Our first period classes are 10 minutes longer than the other periods. That extra 10 minutes is quaintly called “Home Base.”

(I know I’ve probably mentioned that here before, but with almost 450 posts up to now, I don’t have the energy to check when the last time was. You can probably cope with a “previously on…”)

Home Base is just too dorky, so we call it “Homies.” It’s when they read the bulletin (mostly basketball players reading sports cliches about how awesome every…single…player…is) and suchlike, and whatever time is left is supposed to be like circle time I guess.

A few of my homies each year usually come in early and hang out in the room beforehand. Mostly because I have the warmest room in the school in cold weather. Always 68 degrees. Always.

Last year there were several homies who would come in early and hang out. Very early on, I noticed that Andrea didn’t exactly hang out like the rest of us. She did laps. She would walk around and around the perimeter of the room while she talked to us. Her cowgirl boots would click and clack as she continuously walked around and around and around. And it’s not like she was one of those ACTUAL ADHD squirmers or wigglers; once class started she was (mostly) quiet and diligent.

After a week or two of this, I finally asked her.

“What’s up with the laps?”

“What are you talking about?”

She didn’t even realize until then. She seemed genuinely shocked. Then:

“I think I’ve been doing this for a long time.”

“No way? Really?”

In the course of her travels last year, she told me that she and her mom had auditioned for Shark Tank.

“Have you heard of that show?”

Ummm. Duh. I have only watched it from the beginning. Another Mark Burnett (Survivor) production.

Really?! OMG.

A few months pass. Several hundred laps.

“We shot an episode.” Lap. “They can’t tell us if we made this season or next.” Lap. “I can’t tell you anything else.”

So now it’s this year and she’s in 8th grade. Her current Homie teacher doesn’t open the classroom before school and so she occasionally gives me a visit and does a few laps to relax.

“I miss this,” she says

Her episode aired right before Christmas break this year.

You really need to watch the clip because she totally nails it, and Mark Cuban actually uses her pitch to work the contestants that came after.

“Did you try going door to door?”

Also, you’ll get to see her product, the Q-Flex. But the bottom line is that Cuban bought in. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The first school day after it aired, I found Andrea in the quad before school. (I get to use her real name because she’s  a celebrity now.) I congratulated her and suchlike and even temporarily suspended my no-hugging rule. I made sure to spread it around and our principal worked it during the announcements. She sold a ton of product to faculty for last-minute gifts and was talking about warehouses and packaging and shipping like a mogul.

The next day she comes by and starts a circuit. I am behind my desk, returning a phone call, as she does the first lap. She smiles at me on the drive-by. By lap three, I want to talk to her, but the person on the other end of my call won’t stop. So as she passes for lap four, I shrug and point at the phone and make a face like, “I’ll talk to you later.”

She just smiles and whispers,

“Victory lap.”