Trick or Trick

Y’know how no matter how many Friday afternoons you experience in a lifetime, no matter how long ago you shoulda become inured to the joy of a weekend, it still thrills you? Halloween is like that for me, only several hundred miles in the other direction.

  • DAN MEYER, 25, tall, arms built like telephone poles, greets the last in a stream of costumed pimps, witches, whores, and stabbing victims.
  • He stands in front of the class and smiles warmly.
  • Hey guys. Good to see you. Happy Halloween. I thought today we'd watch a Halloween video for the first half of class and then for the second I've hidden candy around the class for you to find.
  • The class REJOICES.
  • Sick!
  • Really?!
  • Ha ha ... uh ... no. I do have a test for you, though.
  • The class DESPAIRS.

Is Halloween international? Is there a country where I don’t hafta put up with this?

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I was feeling like a Halloween Scrooge today too. 5th grade — Halloween — ugh. But, I gotta say, you had it worse. I had no Chippendale Dancers, thank you very much!

  2. Since when did Halloween become national “Tramp it up day”?

    Happy Hallothankmas to all – and to all good night, see you next year.

  3. My housemate reports that when she was in Germany the teachers hated Halloween, complained it was too American. Maybe we just have it the worst?

    Or you could move to an area where the local religion doesn’t celebrate the holiday. When I was in high school, my family couldn’t put out a pumpkin because it would upset people too much.

  4. Didn’t realize there were so many Halloween fans in the crowd.

    Well, for whatever it’s worth, my appeal ain’t on moral grounds. I’m not particularly horrified by what they will or won’t wear, it just bugs me I can’t get anything done. That’s all.

    And even that annoyance isn’t so large as long I cram it into the brimming jar on my shelf labeled What I Should Expect From My Job.

  5. Ya know, my son’s district does a staff development day (no school for kids, no kids for teachers to teach) in October-ish. I really admired them the year they had it the day after Halloween.

    Through my mind flitted the thought, “Lucky stiffs, I wish I have thought of that!”

  6. BTW, I LOATHE all candy holidays. I won’t say the last two periods of my day were hellish, but the weren’t my most enjoyable, let’s put it that way. One teacher had the nerve to say, “Oh by the way, we passed out candy before this,” Yeah, thanks a million! I then had the stupidity to show fourth graders a video on economics. It’s a good thing I really like that guy.

  7. I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching in South Africa, and they don’t have Halloween here. Wages are even lower than in the United States, but if you can handle that, welcome home.

  8. Come to Sweden. Halloween exist nowdays (didnt 20 years ago) but not in a way that effects school.

    You might be supprised to lose Dec 13 to Lucia thought…


  9. Why not take lemons and make lemonades? Make graphs based on most popular candy or types of Halloween costumes. Or something like that. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and make ’em learn something.

  10. I taught at a Jewish school one year—no Halloween, but then Purim’s a bitch. At my TFA school in Houston, we got slammed 2 days in a row: Halloween AND Day of the Dead. So, take heart in the fact that it’s only one day a year.