Monday, January 12, 2009

Double Digits Prove I'm Not Bright

The Time/Place:  Ms. Sheep's classroom, early on the morning of January 5th

The Players:  Ms. Sheep and One Of Her Moderately Cheerful Teaching Assistants

The Topic:  Time, Space and The Utter Dissolution Of Ms. Sheep's Higher Thinking Skills

Moderately Cheerful Teaching Assistant:  Welcome back to school, Ms. Sheep.  I trust your vacation was a good one?

Ms. Sheep:  Why yes, MCTA!  It was delightful!  I thank you for asking.

MCTA:  Hey, don't you have to teach that Safety Procedures class a couple of times this month?  I seem to recall your having mumbled something about that back in December when we were all looking forward to the holiday break and not really paying much attention to anything anyone said.  We should probably come up with a plan for those days that you won't be here.

MS:  Yup.  I have to teach it twice.  But not until the 13th.  We've got ages before we have to deal with that little blip in the schedule.  

MCTA:  That's next week.

MS:  No, no, MCTA.  It is very far away.  Now let's talk about vacation some more.  I like talking about vacations...

MCTA:  No.  The 13th is next week.  We need to discuss the plan for when you are out of the classroom.  Plans are good.  Plans give us a feeling of security and the hope that the day will not end in fiery disaster.

MS: (Looking at the MCTA with an expression of infinite patience and benevolence.  She is, after all, much older and, therefor, wiser.  It is incumbent upon her to explain to the MCTA the magical workings of time)  Dear MCTA...let me see if I can help you with this.  Today is the 5th.  That is a single digit number.  Single digit numbers are very small.  The 13th, on the other hand, is a double digit number.  Double digit numbers are very big!  It takes a long time for a wee, little single digit number to grow up and become a big, strong double digit number!  These things don't just happen in a week, sweetie.  

MCTA:  (sits there, mouth agape and clearly speechless...)

MS:  I see that you still require further explanation.  Don't be embarrassed.  It's quite all right.  I'm like your mentor, after all.  I don't mind spending the time helping you with these very complex concepts.  Now, let's take that little single digit number and do some simple addition...carry a number...multiply by 10 because any time spent in school and with uncooperative children feels ten times longer than real time....and there we go!  You can now plainly see that the 13th is, indeed...um.  Wait.  That can't be right.  Let me do that again...

MCTA:  (assuming the deadpan expression that one must employ when dealing with the clinically insane)  It's.  Next.  Week.

MS:  Well...yeah.  I guess it is.  That is an interesting bit of mathematical magic, now isn't it?  But you should also know that a week is a very long time.  A week is like a year in teacher-time!  We still have ages and ages before we need to worry about my being out for a day!  Now let's talk about those vacations some more!!!!


A week is, in point of fact, not a very long time.  It is a rather short time.  However, it is also the exact amount of time a person should spend preparing to teach an upcoming Safety Procedures course if that person hasn't bothered to even look at the manual since her refresher training last fall.  That is just common sense.  

I suppose that it will surprise no one to learn that I did not use this past week to go over all that information.  In fact, when it dawned on me today that I would need to prepare for this class, I couldn't even remember where I put the binder.  I sought out one of my fellow instructors, feebly hoping that I was wrong about the training dates and that my concepts of time and space might still have some validity. 

Negative on all counts.  I am still incapable of processing the forward movement of time.  Or remembering that I left my Safety Binder in the back seat of my car until I happen to see it on the ride home.  I have to teach this class tomorrow.  I cannot just bring along a keen-lookin' skein of handspun yarn and say, "Lookit how I spent this past week!  Ain't I sumpthin'?"  This will not suffice.

Hence, I shall be setting aside the spinning tonight.  I will have to read that stupid manual and see if I can't remember just what the heck it is I'm supposed to be imparting in the way of wisdom tomorrow.  On the plus side, this is the "full course" for those who have never had the training so we won't have to teach everything in one day.  We get to do it excruciatingly slowly and over the course of two days this month.  But the next session isn't until one of those days that starts with a number 2.  Those numbers are the really, really big double digit ones!  They take a long time to arrive what with being so gi-normous and all!

I've got plenty of time before I have to be ready for that...

SA

10 comments:

Kath said...

Aren't you glad that the MCTA's instinct for self-preservation causes her to be so darn persistant? I would be too if I were her. Being left with a passel of kids and no Plan sounds absolutely terrifying.

trek said...

Number Guy is beginning to wonder about your stability up there what with all of the creative mathematics and the icy, wintry conditions, not to mention the intermittent loss of power and high-speed interwebs.

I, on the other hand, applaud your optimism!

Beth said...

Good luck!

Knitting Linguist said...

Ummm... May I suggest that those 2- numbers are rapidly approaching? No? Forget I mentioned it ;)

catsmum said...

good luck indeed !

Mia said...

I'd comment on that but I'm too freakin' cold. think my fingers are frozen. single digits here for the rest of the week, PLUS wind chill. I'm skeered to go outside. brrrrrrrrr I think you've got a little of the same so whatever ya do Sheepie - stay warm!

Donna Lee said...

Those single digits are very powerful when the are the digits on the thermometer!

I have to take my "this is how to teach the training" class in February. But, February is so very far away so I don't have to think about it for a while, do I?

Julie said...

You are probably right in the middle of teaching the class as I write this; I hope it's going well!

Cursing Mama said...

For reference in the future - single digits go to double digits really quickly when cookies are involved; first I ate 1 then before I knew what happened I had eaten 12. This must also apply to teaching safety.

Karen said...

hope you survived...