Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reading The Weather

I've been a teacher for twenty years.  And, in that time, I have observed that every proper school in which I've taught has had a library.  

I say "proper" schools because there was that year I ran an Alternative Education program for at-risk high school students who'd sort of dropped out of school and that was the year that I was stuck in a drafty, out of the way shack.  There was no library there, but the town's public library let us use their facilities so that all worked out.

But the regular teaching gigs all came with a big book room.  For those of you who enjoy this sort of thing, you will be very, very jealous of me.  Teachers can take out as many books as they want.  They can keep them for as long as they want.  No one will bother to send you an overdue notice until June and even then you can wiggle your way out of too much in the way of repayment.  The sky is the limit.  And, if you really make nice with the librarian, you can walk home with the books that they are retiring from the shelves in June.

In spite of this perk, I've rarely taken advantage of it.  It somehow felt wrong to wander around with library books that I have no intention of returning until I feel like it.  It feels even worse to have stacks of them waiting to be read because that just goes against the rules.  I remember taking out a lot of books on tape one year when I was teaching further north and had an even longer commute than I do now.  I needed something to listen to in the car...  But I never took more than one at a time and it still felt kind of weird.

In my new school, however, our librarian strongly encourages staff to peruse the stacks.  She cheers when you select one to read and looks a little sad when someone leaves without taking something home.  Who am I to make her sad?  If it makes her happy for me to take home two books and not leave them for the children, then that is what I will do.  I'm a bringer of joy, dag-nabbit!!!

We shall not dwell upon the fact that they are both from different series of books that I have been wanting to continue for some time or that I giggled in a kind of evil manner when I made them my own for a short time.  I don't even want to discuss the fact that I was there to try and snare a rather popular book in a new series before one of the kids could get down there and take it first.  That is shameful behavior for a teacher and karma's stepping in to punish me is probably why I didn't find that one...

My thinking here was actually more sound than it seems.  I wasn't so much trying to steal reading material from children as I was looking to stock up some supplies for a "just in case" scenario.  It seems that the first storm of the school year is upon us and it may be a doozy.  We were all released from school at 1:30 today due to the impending ice event and urged to keep an eye on the news tomorrow morning.  My own review of the weather facts leads me to believe that there is no way we will avoid a delayed start to the school day tomorrow.  I'm not seeing a full-on cancellation in the works, but who knows?  Better safe than sorry.  I planned ahead, just in case.

A new knitting project is on the needles, I picked up a chicken and roasted it when I got home in the event of any inconvenient power outages and there is enough reading material to keep me occupied no matter what the weather.  I'm all set.  I even put aside that leftover waffle that I so badly wanted to eat with gobs and gobs of syrup.  That will make a nice breakfast tomorrow in the event that I actually get to eat at home instead of snarfing down foodstuffs in the car as I rocket south towards gainful employment.

Yes, I am all set.  With the assistance of my friendly librarian, I will be happy and occupied should the roads prove too treacherous for the buses.  I should probably feel sad when I think of that kid who didn't get his or her copy of Ptolemy's Gate in order that they, too, might wile away the hours...

But I sort of don't.

SA

11 comments:

Knitting Linguist said...

Now *that's* that proper attitude! I'm all for scoring a good book when a storm's on its way (or heck, just a quiet evening, really).

Karen said...

I see nothing wrong with grabbing a book or two before the kiddies. You should read them so you can recommend them to your students.
I hope that storm things works out for you.

Anne said...

We have just discovered Robert Muchamore's Cherub series, which begins with The Recruit ... check it out! I suspect this series is right up your alley, in fact.

Kath said...

Whoaa...I never knew teachers had that perk! But still, considering how you spend your days..shouldn't there also be weekly massages & fresh bagels in the teacher's lounge every day?

Donna Lee said...

Good planning on your part. And I agree, you have to read the books first so you can recommend them to the students, no so you can ENCOURAGE them to read the book. Doesn't that sound good.

Alwen said...

Also, if you've already read the book, they can't snow you and claim they read it if they didn't.

However, my verification word is a judgmental-sounding gredula!

Cursing Mama said...

As someone who gets hot & bothered by the library I don't know how you could have possibly held out in the past. I may have even read ThePrincess' copy of Are You There God It's Me Margaret when she wasn't looking.
I hope that storm thing works out for you & the cats...lets face it that chicken isn't just for you is it?

Jeanne said...

I'm glad you're well-prepared for the storm. Thank God for multiple cat caves in the event of a long-term entrapment.

One of the reasons I think I want to become a professor is for the faculty perks. Like educational discounts on oh, just about everything.

trek said...

Did you score a snow day???

catsmum said...

when it comes to books it's every woman for herself
and make sure that you have lots of candles so that the reading can continue after dark if the electricity goes out

kmkat said...

When I heard on the news that there was a monstrous ice storm heading for New England my first thought was of you. But I should have known you would be all prepared with the extra food and the candles and the knitting and kitties. Stay safe! Stay warm!