Monday, August 27, 2007

Harder Than I Thought...

When I agreed to spend the last week of my summer vacation in a training rather than lolling about like a sultan and demanding that the cats feed me grapes, I joked with the Special Education secretary about the whole matter.

Why, this'll be a great way to train myself to get up for work in the morning again!"

I was sort of only half-kidding on that one. I'm not a late-sleeper by any stretch of the imagination. A day that I snooze past 8:00 is a rare one. But the wakey-wakey time is super-duper early during the school year and I always have a tough time getting back on track during that first week of classes.

Thus, a great deal of thought went into the plan for this morning's departure. I normally have to be at school by 7:30 in the morning. So, despite today's training not starting until 8:30, I thought it might be a good idea to get up on a school-day schedule and allow myself a little extra time. The whole thing was brilliant, really. I'd be ready to rock and roll next week and would have some extra time this morning to get ready at my leisure, gas up the truck and maybe even pick up some store-bought coffee on the way to school. I put myself to bed at a reasonable hour, and even went so far as to set two alarm clocks. To ensure that I might actually get out of the bed at the appointed time, I also put a sticky note on the alarm clock button. I figured that would get my attention even if the piercing shriek of the multiple alarms did not.

I tell you, less planning goes into the launching of the space shuttle...

The alarms went off this morning right on schedule. As I thought I might, I hit the snooze button once or twice, but I'd allowed for that in the timetable. I took a moment to sleepily pat myself on my ever-so-punctual back.

That's the last thing I remember for a bit.

The next thing I knew, I was staring at three glowing numbers. They read 7:22. This would be 8 minutes before scheduled departure time. I'd overslept.

With great flailing of limbs, creative language and a willingness to leave the house in something of a less "polished" state, I was able to make it to my first day of Safety Training with thirty seconds to spare. I'd hoped that my over-stupefied and under-caffeinated state might be the full extent of my punishment.

But, it wasn't really a stellar day. Due to a little glitch in overall communication, the training was scheduled for Fire Alarm Testing day at the high school. Thus, for the first three hours, we were subjected to randomly shrieking alarms. As this is a fairly new school, the alarms are not the soothing bells or buzzers of days gone by. Instead, they are composed of two tones, one high, one low. They oscillate at differing rates to ensure that they have the full attention of the listener. They are accompanied by a flashing strobe light. It's a seizure maker, no doubt about it. And not really conducive to higher levels of learning while at a rather important training.

As I was practicing a rather fun little maneuver that involves shuffling backwards and sideways at rapid rates of speed in order that I might avoid a frontal assault from an over-stimulated student, I managed to tweak my left knee a bit and am now on ice so that I can do it all over again tomorrow at higher rates of speed.

Being very late meant that I didn't get to choose my seat. This meant sitting next to The Person Who Is Actively Involved, Eager, And Has Lots Of Questions. I was not really in the mood for her today. I'm sure that she is a lovely person and that her friends and family find her to be nothing short of a delight. She probably donates her time and dollars to many charities and is beloved by all her cross her path. But. I. Was. Not. In. The. Mood. Today.

This all might have been bearable save for one little thing. One tiny thing that, had it been allowed, would have meant the difference between A Good Day With Seizures And A Sore Knee and A Bad Day With Seizures And A Sore Knee. Isn't it funny how it's the little things that make all the difference?

I wasn't allowed to knit.

I have two more knitless days to go, two tests to take and I still need to finish up demonstrating competency in releasing myself from a front choke-hold. I can't help but ask myself:

Why didn't I just stay in bed?



B. said...

No knitting??? Hang in there, baby!

Anonymous said...

Was your attentive friend's name Lucy? Oh no, that can't be her name; you said she asked questions. ;-)

I think the only way to survive the remaining 2 days is to come to Chicks with Sticks tomorrow night (you can always set 3 alarm clocks for Wednesday).

April said...

Oh Sweetie, what a horrible day. I agree with Julie, Chicks With Sticks tomorrow. Or a bottle of red wine. Your choice.

mehitabel said...

Sounds like all of the things I hate about "training" classes. The under-caffeinated, knittingless, cheery seatmate thing--thank you for reminding me why I do not want to go back to the classroom. Not as a student, not as a teacher.
And back in my day (says the elderly grouch) we taught people and trained dogs. When did that change??
Go to CWS and enjoy. Wine tonight, knitting tomorrow!
PS--I overslept today too. Bummer way to start the week!

Jeanne said...

Ugh. And to top it off, it had to be a Monday as well. Sorry about that!

kmkat said...

Good grief, woman, where do you teach? The Maine State Correctional Institution? "Demonstrate competency in releasing self from a front choke-hold"? My husband, who works in-patient adolescent psych in locked units, doesn't even need that particular competency.

Red wine AND knitting are both required, I think!

Mel said...

I wonder if anyone ever questions why someone decided that the answer to getting everyone out of the burning building is to give them incapacitating seizures. Perhaps I'm missing something, but it just seems a tad counterintuitive.

Beth said...

Wow! I get behind in my blog reading and come back to find out that you're getting up early, learning defense maneuvers and being subjected to sirens. I've been missing out! Hang in there, SA!

Anonymous said...

They should offer this fun class the week after school gets out. I hope day 2 goes much more smoothly and that you can get a seat in the back and a big cup of coffee.

Cursing Mama said...

I now officially feel sorry for my 15yo son who is not able to choose his own seat as they assign them at St. High School. Knowing him, as I do, I have no doubt that his teachers go to great lengths to ensure that he sits next to those lovely attentive students.

Maybe I should buy him a Twinkie to help ease the pain.

debsnm said...

No knitting AND no coffee???? I'm surprised you didn't strangle little miss sunshine. I certainly would have!!!!

Sheila said...

Sheesh, that sounds like a rough course!
Hand in there, oh sheepish one,

Donna Lee said...

Ok, to get out of a front choke hold, you.....that sounds like our course. It is ever so fun and you end up with bruises in some interesting places. In our class we (my friend and I) kept trying to make sure we didn't get paired up with the big, hairy guy in the tank top. Why do big hairy guys even get to wear tank tops? It should be outlawed. And he was sweaty, the memories still make me cringe. But, I can get out of a choke hold.