Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hot Like Lava

When I left school this afternoon in order that I might head home, my car informed me that the exterior temperature was 95 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. That is kind of hot...

Now, bear in mind that my car is something of an alarmist. It is also known to exaggerate from time to time. It is never wise to put too much stock in what the car says.

On the other hand, the car had to spend the day sitting in the parking lot and on hot asphalt so there was probably some validity to its assertion. It was hot today. Very hot. It was August Hot. That is not the sort of thing one wants to see in April. Nor is it the sort of thing one wants to see on a Tuesday when one has to teach middle school students all day. The average middle school student becomes 17.26% grumpier for each degree above 75. You can only imagine how much fun they were today. It was a glimpse of things to come what with the truly hot months still waiting in the wings. We all felt the oppressive heat and reacted accordingly.

It was the perfect day to drag them all outside and force everyone to build volcanoes under the blazing sun.



That was sarcasm, in case you didn't catch it...


Dragging grumpy middle school students out into the blazing sun and forcing them to construct volcanoes is nothing short of self-abuse. It is hot under the blazing sun. And the flour/water mixture ensures that the flies will soon begin to congregate. The teacher will forget forty things that she was supposed to make the children drag out there and she will have to send her staff in to get those things. She will send them back enough times that the secretaries get sort of irate because the doors are locked after the first bell and they have to keep buzzing the staff in. Fiery hot winds will snag the strips of paper and send them fluttering across the football field. Kids will stop caring about them and the teacher will be forced to chase them because she promised the custodians that she wouldn't leave a mess out there. There will be flour/water mixture smeared all over the chain link fence because everyone figured out that this is a good way to scrape the stuff off their hands before it dries. The teacher will say a short prayer for rain because if the custodian sees that she will have to move to a different country and she does not want to have to learn a whole new language.

Finally, things will degenerate into the predictable flinging of volcano goo at one another. This signals the end of volcano building because there is really no way to salvage the situation at that point. Sure, you have some pretty fine volcanoes to show for two class periods' worth of work. And you can't help but hope that they will look even better when they get painted. Lastly, there is no way on God's green earth that filling them with the appropriate ingredients and making them explode all over the football field isn't the going to be the best thing to ever happen in the history of your tenure at The Bad Job At The Middle School That No One Else Would Take.

But you really have to accept certain facts.

1. Excessive And Unseasonable Heat Does Not Mix Well With Middle School Students.

2. Sometimes You Should Listen To Your Car Because I Suspect It Could Have Told Me That It Was Going To Be An Uncomfortable Experience Out There.


3. Building Volcanoes Is Not For The Faint Of Heart.




More with the knitting tomorrow. Today was just too hot for that kind of thing. Plus my fingers are sort of crusted up at the moment...

SA

8 comments:

Donna Lee said...

I had my class make paper mache rabbits one spring. Using balloons for molds. Needless to say, it was a messy experience but I remember it fondly. Maybe it's early onset Alzheimer's...

trek said...

You are a brave, brave woman, but I am surprised that HM went for this sort of activity...

Kath said...

Although yes, Excessive And Unseasonable Heat Does Not Mix Well With Middle School Students, those same students will very much enjoy the exploding volcanoes. And generally any teacher willing to make things go 'splodey gets nominated for Coolest Teacher Ever!

Julie said...

I spent most of my work day outside too, but I did not have a bunch of grumpy kids with me. You are either very brave or just plain NUTS! :-)

p.s. I think 90 degrees in April is a wonderful thing.

Karen said...

Volcanoes sound like a really cool project. Too bad the weather was so warm. But it was better than snow right?

Cursing Mama said...

Here's hoping the volcano goo stayed far from your dishcloth!

Knitting Linguist said...

I'm glad you had enough fingers free to operate the camera and keyboard, because I would have hated to have missed hearing this one :)

Lynne said...

Is that a zombie's hand I see?