Saturday, October 04, 2008

Bah. Humbug.

I have been giving some thought to setting my classroom on fire.  Actually, I don't so much have one classroom as I have a suite of rooms designed to contain me along with my Less-Than-Cheerful-Teaching-Assistants and the students who were gifted unto me this year in the hopes that I might somehow make the educational magic happen.  

Disclaimer:  I would never set a classroom on fire.  I write this for the overall dramatic effect and entertainment value of the post.  Fire bad.  Make a note of this.  

Now before all the other teachers get up in arms and start sending me hate mail about how I should be grateful for this palace I've been giving whilst they labor in a single room, please remember that we are talking about The Bad Job At The Middle School Into Which I Was Transferred And Am Where I Am Now Being Held Hostage For The Foreseeable Future.  Sure, it's nice having an office where I can hide from the children and pretend that they can't see me through the wall to wall windows.  But it ain't paradise, folks.  Let's keep this in perspective.

The quality of the job is not why I'm thinking of a career in pyromania, though.  It's more about surviving the coming winter months.  For the last few days, I have been keeping a record of the temperature in my office and the room next door.  We are ringing in at a rousing 60 degrees Fahrenheit every morning.  The heat does not seem to be coming on and I fear for the retention of all ten fingers and toes if something of a heat source does not present itself soon.

Thus, I was rather pleased to run across the principal yesterday as I was escorting a few of my 7th graders back from their first round of state mandated testing.  I told the boys to sit tight for a moment and mentioned to Mr. Principal that the conditions in my classroom were downright frigid.  In fact, I theorized, I might need to requisition a space heater.  And if we are now banned from having coffee pots in the classrooms, you can only imagine how the insurance company is going to view that...

Mr. Principal, a true orator if there ever was one, then proceeded to launch into a story of his own.

"Why Ms. Sheep, your tale brings to mind that old movie from nineteen-blah-de-blah.  Perhaps you've seen it?  It is the words of Mr. Charles Dickens brought to life on the silver screen and titled "A Christmas Carol."  Of course, most people don't realize that the one with which we are all so familiar is actually the second.  An earlier film was released in nineteen-blather-dee-something and is, in my opinion, a much finer cinematic experience."

I nodded knowingly at this point.  It seemed best to pretend an awareness of the history of holiday-related cinematography given that at least two of the four students awaiting the end of this conversation now had that "hey, I have an idea..." look in their eyes.  That rarely bodes well.  Mr. Principal continued, oblivious of the doomsday potential lurking just to the right of us:

"However, in both versions, you are able to see those poor souls under the supervision of Mr. Scrooge toiling away under what must have been unbearably frigid conditions.  It is not only the acting, but the wardrobe that gives this away."

I continued to nod furiously, knowing not only what he meant but beginning to suspect where all this was leading.  I fear my attention was not really on the conversation at this point, though.  All four of my would-be mischief makers were now huddled together in conversation and periodically glancing back at me in a manner that could only be described as "furtive."  Things were going to get ugly fast and I had little left in the way of reserve energy on a Friday and after having spent much of that trying to keep my core temperature up.  I prayed for a quick resolution to this little chat without my having to make Mr. Principal's point for him.  That would, after all, have been rude...

"And if you observe these characters closely, my dear Ms. Sheep, you will note that all wear a certain piece of winter-wear that I feel might benefit you in these chilly days.  Upon their busy working hands you will note that marvelous invention known as...the fingerless glove!  I don't suppose you might be able to acquire such a thing?"

I quickly assured Mr. Principal that I had one or two pairs of those very accessories lying around the house and the ability to produce others should they prove too well hidden.  I then bid him a somewhat hasty adieu as the 7th graders were giving me every indication that they had used their time to plan a very successful mutiny.  One which might even negate my need to light that fire in my office now that I think about it...

Sheesh.  Lectured on the usefulness of the fingerless mitts by a non-knitter.  That is just wrong!  More than that, he had little to offer in the way of help with getting the heat turned on.  It seems that there is one guy at a computer who monitors and controls all that stuff and he hasn't really seen the need to push the button yet.  I'm guessing that his office is pretty toasty what with all the computers and stuff.  

I was also told that I was not allowed to go visit him.  That was actually made pretty clear.  I guess there was a little of the mutiny in my eyes as well...

I suppose that is why I was so resistant to the idea of spending my weekend knitting handwarmers.  Instead, I am mutinously knitting a scarf.  And it is going rather swimmingly, if I do say so myself.  We got off to a rough start, but a change in yarn has made everything ever so much better and great progress has been made.  

This is where the picture of the scarf would be if Blogger was feeling even remotely receptive to that sort of thing right now.  I suppose everyone gets to feeling a little mutinous every now and again...


But even a fussy uploader can't resist the kitty pix.  Those seemed to travel across the interwebs just fine.  Here are my furry roommates in all their weekend napping glory:





The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty took custody of the Equally Gi-normous Tunnel Connector Thingie That I Bought By Accident.  I was lucky to even see this much of him for most of the day.



Others of the Big and Fluffy persuasion (who are a little more kind to the yarn) were given couch access and chose to snooze there.  Until, that is, a certain photographer happened along.  Then they chose to glare menacingly there.  


Even better, it is warm here.  I feel no urge to strike flint whatsoever.  I have also been washing and laying out to dry every handknit sock I can find in the depths of the laundry basket.  These are desperate times and require that the woolens be ready for action.  Tonight, we start looking for those handwarmers.

Just how flammable is wool, anyway?  No reason...just asking.

SA

12 comments:

Jeanne said...

The BFK does glare rather menacingly, doesn't she? Such a polar opposite to the sweet widdle AGK who wuvs his tunnel...

Wool burns. And it stinks, too. Dead giveaway. Use schoolbooks instead. ;-)

Donna Lee said...

We still have the a/c on at work. It is so cold in there that my nose is red all the time and people keep asking me if I'm sick. I just say (as I pull my sweater up tighter around me) No, I'm COLD.

April said...

I had to wear my sneakers today it was so cold. For the first time since like March. Bye bye sandals.

I'm sure I have a spare pair of fingerless mitts around here somewhere.

Kath said...

I would suggest bringing in a nice afghan and wearing it wrapped around your shoulders in the classroom and especially in the halls, followed by a visit to the principal's office, where you will deliver your proposal outlining a plan to increase the school district's revenue by leasing classroom space to local restaurants for refrigerated meat storage. Unrealistic I know - but kind of a fun picture!

Alwen said...

Or how about browsing the thrift stores for one of those crocheted acrylic afghans in odds and ends of colors - no, wait! I could mail you one my MIL gave me!

Annie said...

In my office, the heating comes on on 1st October, regardless of the temperature, and goes off on 31st May, so it's always either boiling or freezing, never "just right".
I've awarded you an award!!

Anne said...

I guess I never realized just how striking BFK's goatee was. It goes nicely with the glowering eye thingy she has.

Wonder if the principal would be okay with you bringing in a couple of feline lap-warmers as a semi-silent protest until the heat gets turned on?

crzjane said...

Yup, it looks like a Wooly Winter this year. I'm wondering how many layers I can wear at once. It's been a wee bit chilly at the old homestead. There have been mutterings of turning on the furnace. Grandkids will be here for Rhinebeck weekend, we'll have heat then, or my name's not crazy jane! Can't freeze those little cuties!

Ronni said...

Not only does wool stink it also, they say, goes out when you remove the flame source. So I'd stick to paper. I bet you could get those boys to help you dismantle some desks so you could burn any wood parts they might have...

Good luck with feeling warmer. Oh, and wear a hat. Even a pointy tam would work (ducks and runs for cover). Lots of heat loss is through the head. It really does help. Might look a bit odd though so I don't know how that might play out in the whole controlling middle-schoolers way.

If they give you guff about the fingerless mitts just remind them that IronMan wore them while building his first suit in the movie and if it's good enough for him...

The Kelly Green Rogue said...

I think anyone who's response to a request to raise the temperature to a respectable levels is to wear more cloths is just asking for a fight. Perhaps BFK could have talk with him?

Julie said...

I don't think I like your principal; I do not like people who tell me to dress warmer rather than turning on the heat!

trek said...

Flame retardant socks!

Turn on the heat, you cheapskate principal type guy!