The Bodhisattva Bathroom Buddy


We are a very small school here at CHS, and we operate in an environment that most people don’t call to mind when they think of “school.”

We’re working out of an old textile mill. The gigantic, cavernous space has been modified so that there are walls for classrooms around the perimeter of a vast, open common area. Elaina, the Goddess of the Front Desk, has a wall of windows at the front of her office, so she can command a pretty good view of that open space. Also? The bathrooms are just on the other side of her door, so students needing to use the facilities must walk past her to get there.

The teachers decided, long before I came to work here, that paper passes to get from a class to another destination were just not going to work; something more creative needed to be employed (we are, after all, an arts school). One teacher has a three-foot tall, wire stature of a frog playing the saxophone. One teacher has half a giant, paper-mache egg on a long, Mardi Gras bead necklace. My predecessor had the most singularly annoying pass in the place; a leather Christmas tree with jingle bells on it. I couldn’t keep that; I needed something that would indicate to The Goddess that the student holding the pass was one of mine, but it needed to be something that wouldn’t annoy everyone in the building every time one of my kids needed to pee.

With The Goddess in mind, I went on a hunt, and this is what I came up with:

She’s Quan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion. She’s 7 pounds of concrete, and when I first brought her in, Elaina knew right away who she was. She was delighted by the thing, and was looking forward to seeing her walk by with my babies.

When I signed on to IM the other day, I saw that Elaina had added a comment about the Bodhisattva bathroom buddy on her instant message status. Observe:

One of the highlights here has to be the hall passes, which are as eclectic as our school. Personal favorite: Mrs. Chili’s. It’s a 7-pound cement statue of Kwan Yin, who represents warmth and compassion. Pass with a purpose.

I love that she loves her, and I love that she gets a little grin every time one of my kids goes by.



Filed under colleagues, compassion and cooperation, fun, I love my job, success!

4 responses to “The Bodhisattva Bathroom Buddy

  1. Darci

    ah, I so miss my hall pass. My current school requires clipboards and nothing with personality. At my former school, I had a choice of 2 – 1 was a size 14 soccer cleat and the other was a piggy bank from Ikea that without fail students would return from their adventures with a wee bit of change in it from teachers they passed in the halls. Peace.

  2. What a wonderful idea! I love it. I’m thinking I might use one of my malas (Hindu worry bead necklace) as a hall pass; you know the kind with the blue floss tassle?

    Thanks for the spark!

  3. mccgood

    I read this post last night right before I went to bed, so naturally I dreamed of your school! We were on a school bus traveling home from your school lol , we stopped at your favorite marble place (?) and stationary store! Such a strange dream lol

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