Out of the classroom - Part 4 Call me Ishmael

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: By Jane Tahti For The News Messenger
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During one brief Moby Dick moment of teaching, I caught a glimpse of two white whales. 

In the course of that sighting, I lost all credibility.

No, I wasn't on the whaling ship, “Pequod.” 

I didn't have a peg leg and I wasn't facing a whaling crew. 

I was just substituting in a kindergarten class. A group of 5 year olds were sitting on the rug in front of me as we introduced ourselves. 

The introductions started easy and normal, but then, like a harpoon out of the blue, one of the little boys said, "My name is Ishmael."


Almost like the first line of “Moby Dick.” 

"Oh, I've read your name." I gushed.  "It's so special. So interesting! But this is the first time in my life I've actually met an Ishmael!"

He seemed a little confused by my enthusiasm, and as I moved on with the introductions, I finally understood why. 

When I asked another 5-year-old boy what his name was, he seemed worried.  His voice wobbled and he looked close to tears as he answered, "My name is Ishmael."


Double wow!

Two Ishmaels in the same kindergarten circle?  Just about as probable as two Moby Dicks breaching side by side in the little classroom. 


Truly, it was just as I said:  A special name indeed! 

But Ishmael and Ishmael? 

Just like old Ahab tangled up with Moby Dick, I sank under the sea of lost credibility.

For the rest of the day, those smart little kindergarteners didn't believe a thing I said.


At the Twelve Bridges Library

Free story time: 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday for kids.

Free Mother Goose on the Loose: 10:30 or 11:30 a.m. Thursdays for kids.

Events are sponsored by Friends of the Lincoln Library. The Twelve Bridges Library is at 485 Twelve Bridges Drive in Lincoln.

This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. To reach the nonprofit Friends, write to Box 1177, Lincoln CA 95648, contact 434-2404 or Jane Tahti is the Friends of the Lincoln Library secretary.