Friday, December 22, 2006

Give me an A. This Quarter. Please!

You know right away when a couple of your usual suspects come up to your desk before the bell rings to confess that they’re really sorry, but their prescriptions ran out, and they haven’t taken their meds in a couple of days, that you’re going to have a heck of a Friday. When the Friday is also the last day before a two-week break, you know you better summon some hard-core PMA. I could tell everyone was as ready for the break as I was because:

  • When I stepped into the hallway this morning, en route to purchase coffee, I got hit by football. Apparently I got in the middle of “going long.”
  • I couldn't start my movie about mining companies in Kentucky because the hockey players in fourth hour (there are eight) would not stop yelling, “He farted on me! He farted on me!”
  • One of my fourth-hour cherubs tried to go to an English class next door instead of mine, and my pal Rachel had to walk him back over.
  • When she walked in with him in tow, the class was busy yelling about the farting.
  • When the mining protest songs started in the movie, the kids warbled along. They also yelled at the screen about how the women who were singing actually looked like men.
  • My Christmas card from Maddie read, “Have a pimpin’ HOLIDAYZ, Ms. W. You are my fav-o-rite teacher evurrr.”
  • The thesis statement in essay test I graded during the mining songs began, “Ok. First of all, this question is retarded.”

No sooner had I finally breathed a sigh of relief and packed up my load of papers at the end of the day, when a girl came in and said, “Um? Ms. W? There’s a huge fight going on outside.” I called the office, and then hurried outside just in time to see one of the fighters remove her belt and begin to whip her opponent.

If you think I was going to get in the middle of that one, you have another thing coming.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Gifts

When thoughtful soph Allison gave me this tricked-out gingerbread house for Christmas, I was totally psyched.

I devoted a bit of each class to admiring it. The other sophs wondered whether Allison would be receiving an A for her stellar efforts at buttering-up the teacher.

I told them that if Allison weren’t already earning herself a resounding A, you better believe I would consider it. Some looked aghast at this news, but I told them, Don’t wor-ry! It’s only Tuesday! I’m accepting holiday gifts all the way through the end of this week!

I do hope they consider it.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I just wrote a long post about how, when I took Shef to a public bathroom after school today, he managed to peek under the stall at other people AND announce loudly to the group the details of the contents of our toilet.

Then, I realized that people don’t like to read about other people’s kids’ bathroom habits, so I decided to cut it short.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It Was Really a Mixed Bag

First, I had book club with a bunch of kids who show up early to school to discuss a book they’ve all read for fun in their free time.

Then, a cute girl for whom I wrote a college recommendation gave me a present and a card that said I was a good role model for her.

I mean, really. It was too good to be true.

So, during first hour, I told one of my stubborns that he absolutely HAD to have his ethical-issue research paper topic chosen by 9:15. At 9:15 on the nose, I said, “Luke, do you have a topic?”

“Yes,” he proclaimed, “I want to write about obesity.”

“Oh-kay!” I exclaimed, supportive. “Why are you interested in that?”

“Because I hate fat people,” he explained matter-of-factly.

Yeah. The sad thing is I'm completely willing to capitalize on that if it means he'll complete the project.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Goodnight, Balls

Dan is leaving tomorrow for a two-week stint in Des Moines, so I’ll be the only one around to hear Shef say goodnight to the Christmas tree and to the ornaments for awhile.

Lucky for me, Santa came early to deliver a new bike and a trainer that lets me ride it in the living room in front of my tv. Yet another way to avoid grading papers, which seems to really be the thing I’m best at.

I had to ask a couple of kids in my fourth hour class how to use my trainer, but they hooked me up, and now I'm spoked. I mean stoked.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Say You Can But You Don't Know

We’re having a toy drive at school, and the deal is that until we reach our goal of collecting 1700 toys, the student council will blast Mmm Bop during passing times.

Mmm Bop!

By Hanson, you know? It's a 90's pop classic. Or something.

So, for the past four school days, I’ve been listening to Mmm Bop for a total of 35 minutes per day. 35 minutes! That’s longer than a Wiggles episode.

I Mmm Bop in the bathroom. I Mmm Bop in the lunch line. I shout over Mmm Bop when some kid deigns to ask me a question after class. Yes, I come home singing Mmm Bop, if you want to know the truth. And, indeed, Mmm Bop runs itself through my head while I’m trying to fall asleep.

Mmm Bop came out in the summer of 1997 when I was an idealistic, unshowered, 19-year-old camp counselor. The song makes me remember those days of tromping around in my swimsuit and shorts from dawn till dusk. In fact, the teenaged memories flood back so completely that sometimes when the bell rings, I half-expect the whole wet-suit clad staff of Camp Foley to burst lip sync’ing through my classroom door.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Who Needs Ethan When It Turns Out I'm a Violent Person?

Yesterday, as we were driving in the car, Dan was doing his darndest to get my ire up by making questionable comments about the women of the Food Network.

Finally, I couldn’t take anymore Rachael-bashing, and I gave his right arm a good whack, which was when all my good parenting and discipline techniques came back to bite me in the ass.

“DON’T HIT!” Shef admonished from the back seat.

Oh, shoot.

“That hurts Daddy. It makes Daddy feel sad.”

“That’s right, Shef,” Dan said, deeply satisfied. “It DOES hurt. Hitting is not nice.”

I stifled my laughter for long enough to say a deeply sincere, “I’m sorry,” and then the giggles took over.

“It’s not funny, KC,” Dan scolded, and then to Shef: “I think Mommy needs a time out.”