For a teacher to be put in such a spot where words can't really describe a situation, shocked might be an emotion.
That is exactly how Jim Thistle felt at the beginning of school Friday.
As students were gearing up for the day at North Clay Middle School, band students were gathering into the cafeteria for a surprise party for the retiring director.
Thistle recently announced his retirement after 35 years in the Clay Community School Corporation.
"This is a total surprise," Thistle said. "I couldn't believe it."
Announcements were given across the school's intercom as band students secretly gathered into the cafeteria for the surprise.
Then, teachers went to the band room to invite Thistle out.
When he came out, he waved to the students.
After a brief introduction, cake and punch was served to the students.
A handful of students from the Northview High School band program were also on hand for the celebration.
Thistle -- originally from West Virginia -- practically grew up in Clay County, graduating from Brazil High School.
He received his Music Education degree from Indiana State University and came home to teach at Staunton High School.
From there, Thistle taught at Clay City before coming to North Clay.
He said he plans to "relax," and work around his home when retirement comes next week.
He also plans to "take it easy."
As for Friday's festivities, Thistle was in disbelief.
"It's wonderful," he said. "I've always said we have a lot of great kids in Clay County."