Thursday, October 18, 2007

More On Winning And Losing.

I posted earlier about a battle lost against the mighty window blinds with which I had been clashing for years. Or did I win? I broke them so they are dead and that is like a victory, I suppose. But, now I have no working blinds and that has the ring of loserdom to it. There was another battle lost on Monday. This one was a war of words and a blow to my fragile dignity.

Time: Monday Morning, 8:45 a.m.
Place: The Hallway Outside Ms. Sheep's Classroom.
The Players: Ms. Sheep, Her Cheerful Teaching Assistant (whose cheer has been waning of late) and A Lady With A Mop.

Ms. Sheep: My goodness! There certainly seems to be a lot of water here in the hallway!

Lady With A Mop: (glowers)

MS: It looks like there's been quite a spill here...I'm so very glad that someone thought to bring the mop!

LWAM: (glowers and mutters something rather inappropriate for the setting)

Cheerful Teaching Assistant: I called her...there was a lot of water out here, you see.

MS: Why, how very, very quick-thinking of you, Cheerful Teaching Assistant! You are a treasure to have under my supervision. Thank you for being YOU!!

CTA: (grinning broadly) Yeah. I wouldn't want you to break a hip or anything.

MS: (glowers...she knows when she's been bested)

That one was a loss. No doubt about it. You don't come back from that any time soon. On the plus side, my Cheerful Teaching Assistant has never been more cheerful. She's been downright giddy all week long. Maniacally so...

Until today. Sometimes I get to win.

Time: Thursday, 2:30 p.m.
Place: Ms. Sheep's classroom.
The Players: Ms. Sheep, Her Cheerful Teaching Assistant And A Noncompliant Fifth Grader Who Has Been Arguing About Doing His Sustained Silent Reading For Twenty Minutes.

Ms. Sheep, being older, wiser, and, granted, more fragile of hip, has given up on this argument and is sitting it out at her desk. She knows that she holds his end of the day free time in her hands and that he will eventually catch on to this fact. The Cheerful Teaching Assistant, however, does not have Ms. Sheep's vast years of experience with Noncompliant Fifth Graders. She's feeling the need to impress her will upon him. She makes the decision to play the Encouragement Card.

Noncompliant Fifth Grader: I can't do it! I can't...and you can't make me!!!

Cheerful Teaching Assistant: You can do anything if you really, really try!

Ms. Sheep: (seeing that this strategy is about to incite further and more intense argumentative behavior, attempts a bold distraction) Mary Poppins has a point! All we must do is try!!! (voice rising to a fevered pitch) It's all in the trying! Let's all try together! The sun will shine, the birds will sing, all fifth graders will read silently for ten minutes and the world will be at peace!! Let's be happy and unified in the trying!!! (rises from her chair and risks her fragile hips to dance around the room spreading imaginary Happy Reading Dust while chanting loudly and robustly)

You can ACHIEVE!!!!!

CTA: This is payback for the, "hip" comment, isn't it?

MS: Maybe just a little...

CTA: Well-played.

MS: My hip hurts...

Bonus Awesome Comment From Noncompliant Fifth Grader: Which part of Silent Reading is getting past you two?

I'm not sure that this constitutes a full victory, but we did manage to get our silent reading done and any potential arguments from the reader were lost in his horror at my little Happy "Trying" Dance. If not a victory, we can possibly call it a draw. That hip joke was pretty darned good considering it was early in the morning and all...

My Cheerful Teaching Assistant has an amazingly well-developed sense of humor in spite of her tendency to resort to being Little Miss Sunshine in times of stress. We work together well, as you can imagine. I do believe that there will be a rather hilarious come-back sometime over the next week. I look forward to it.

Victory or not, I think I may just reward myself with a little casting on tonight. I do believe I might be ready for the privilege of starting up a third project. I just got myself a fancy new scarf pattern and I'm feeling the urge to see what it will do. We shall ignore the fact that I have two unfinished projects on the needles that I have sworn to complete before anything else sees the light of day. This is different. This is a Victory Project. (or a Just Let Me Think I Won Project) That concept negates any and all previous contracts with the yarn. I looked it up.

And I'm pretty sure I can knit this one. Rumor has it, all I have to do is try...



Beth said...

"More fragile of hip" - I needed a good laugh! :) The whole post had me chuckling.

trek said...

Of course you may cast on - people with fragile hips deserve to have many wips - for those times when the hips feel particularly fragile, you may placate them with wips!

Jacqui said...

you need another project else how shall you balance the listing Invisibility Shawl?

i am pretty sure it is a matter of civic duty.

Mia said...

Oh Sheepie.. the vocabulary makes me grin :) especially when you use words like "loserdom" hehehhehe.

So are you trying to tell us it won't be long before you're wheeling about the halls of fifth graders in one of those little Rascal wheelie things I see on TV for those elderly folk with fragile hips? ::laughing::

Teri S. said...

Too, too funny! I do so love your turns of phrase. I've opted to try the monogamy thing with projects. The number of UFOs, while not staggering, is certainly a little embarrassing. But if you want to cast on, please do so.

kmkat said...

Hurrah for Lady With A Mop! Hurrah for Non-compliant Fifth Graders! Hurrah for Cheerful Teaching Assistant! They all provide such meaningful and choice blog fodder for Ms. Sheepie!

And hurrah for Ms. Sheepie! She provides such meaningful and choice -- not to mention hilarious -- reading every day!

lobstah said...

Between the kid that stepped on the hamster and the silent reading kid, you could host the funniest, darkest version of "Gosh Kids Say Funny Things" (or whatever those shows are called) ever!

Donna Lee said...

Oh, go ahead, start another project. Those of us older folks with the fragile hips,etc, must get in all the thrills we can before we disintigrate completely.

Anonymous said...

A new project! Very good.

Knitting Linguist said...

Don't forget the Happy Trying Dust to sprinkle merrily on your new project :)

knitseashore said...

Thank you for a good laugh today and everyday, even if it's at the teaching assistant's expense. There is something special in fragile-hip-wisdom and expereince, and a great confidence in knowing you have that situation in the palm of your hand. One day you will walk by your assistant in a classroom, and she'll be doing the Try dance, having learned at your knee.

Lorraine said...

I must be gaining wisdom. I most carefully set my glass of wine to one side before attempting to read your last two posts. Otherwise, nasal aspirated red wine stains on the computer screen would have greeted DH in the morning.


Yarnhog said...

If you got a draw in an argument with a fifth grader, you can count it as a major win. I haven't had one yet myself (but as I only have one fifth grader, the odds are not in my favor), but if I ever do, you can bet I'll be celebrating.

catsmum said...

and people wonder why it is that I don't teach children anymore !!

Anonymous said...

Lobstah is right; you could have your own show and become more famous than you already are!

I can just picture you singing the "trying" song; your students must think you are a little bit nutty (in a good way, of course) :-)

p.s. you've been tagged

Kate said...

You did win. Plus, the fifth grader will not ever forget you. Even when he tries really hard later in life.

debsnm said...

Non-compliant 5th grader should get extra candy at the end of the week - I realize I'm late to the show, but that was an AWESOME comment!!!! Love kids who can think on their feets!!