possible snacks. “Carrots, apples, peppermints … um, did
I say carrots?”
Laughing to myself, I walked up the steps and pushed
open the double doors. Students hurried past me, bags over
their shoulders and books tucked under their arms. “Hey,
are you supposed to be Uncle Sam?” asked one of the mid-
dle school students. “Or maybe you’re Colonel Sanders.
Can I get a bucket of chicken?”
“No, that’s Benjamin Franklin without the glass-
es,” another replied, laughing.
Rude, I thought. But I guess I
couldn’t really blame them. It’s
not every day that a guy
dressed in a blue colonial
coat, britches, and shiny boots
appears at your school. I looked
like a model straight out of a
“Ahoy, good morning!” I exclaimed, smiling widely. I continued to
walk down the hallway as
the students giggled and
jogged away, backpacks slipping
from their shoulders. I did not have time to explain
that I wore the colonial gear to better teach history to my
On the wall was a map of the world that had been
tagged with different-colored markers. Flags representing
each of the countries were pinned nearby. This was new
since my last visit to Manchester Middle. I was so distracted
admiring the wall map that I almost collided with Principal
Sherman. He seemed to take up the whole hallway.
“Good morning, Mr. Revere, how are you?” Principal
Sherman asked, placing two hands on his hips and looking
intently at me. “It’s good to see you, but I don’t think we
need a substitute history teacher today.”
Principal Sherman wore a long-sleeved
button-down shirt, rolled up, with dress pants
and shiny black shoes. His hair was neatly
cropped and parted formally to one side.
His face was fixed in a tough, almost an-
“Good morning, Principal. I am
well, thank you. Actually, I am here to see
my former student Cam. His mother sent
me a text message last night and asked if I could
meet him before class.”
“Indeed, Mr. Revere, you are always welcome
here at Manchester Middle,” Principal Sherman
said, relaxing his facial expression. He dropped
one hand to his side and shuffled a student to
class. “I know you are very helpful to Cam
when his father is deployed overseas with
“Thank you, sir,” I said. He nodded
and left, hurrying down the hall and call-
ing after a running student.
My eyes followed Principal Sherman, and I saw framed pictures of
teachers and trophies hanging behind
glass. A flyer announcing tryouts for the school musical,
football game, and upcoming school pep rally were also
posted. The chatter and laughter of students could be
heard all around.
As I approached the main hallway, I saw
one of my former students, Tommy. He had
his back to me, but I instantly recognized
his blond hair and football jersey. Freedom,
another former history student, stood beside him dressed in light blue jeans and a
purple sweatshirt. She tapped Tommy on the
shoulder and quickly moved to the other side.
When Tommy turned to see who had tapped
him, she broke out laughing. Tommy smiled.
Finally, I saw Cam walking down the hallway
toward the group of students that included Tommy
and Freedom. He high-fived everyone in the group.
His smile felt contagious. He looked like Tommy’s twin, but
with a darker complexion and curlier brown hair. He was
wearing a T-shirt with a Marine Corps logo and jeans.
It was fun to see the time-traveling crew — Tommy, Freedom, and Cam — together again. When I