Thursday, June 18, 2009

Well...At Least The Effort Was Heroic.

There is really no way to tell the tale of this day. I can only share it as it happened to me: in a series of blurred, disconnected events. Events that simply define the end of a school year. Events that, while not tragic and sometimes even a little funny after the fact, just seem to suck the life out of you.

4:20 a.m.: Woke Up. Realized that I was awake. Did not find myself particularly amused by this fact.

4:30 a.m.: Accepted the fact that I was awake. Some things are just inevitable. I got up.

5:45 a.m.: Stood staring in horror at the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty while he sneezed all over the bedroom window. My suggestion that he go get a paper towel and clean up this impromptu snot art was not met with enthusiasm. I packed up my breakfast, grabbed my coffee and left for work early. This is one of those other things that falls under the heading of "inevitable."

6:30 a.m.: Arrived in my classroom thinking that I might as well get something done and make getting in so stupidly early worth it. However, the custodian was cleaning the room so it really wasn't feasible.

Custodian: Goodness! You are early today!

Ms. Sheep: Yeah. I must really love my job.

Custodian: Um...OK. It's probably something like that.

7:20 a.m.: High fived the guy who does morning bus duty with me. We've been counting down the weeks until our last scheduled day of this torture and are giddy with joy at hearing the bell signaling the start of the school day.

8:00 a.m.: Informed my class of the day's schedule:

In short, we will be sitting quietly until it is time to go do something. If we cannot find a quiet activity until then or if we bother Ms. Sheep in any way, shape or form then we will not get to go do that thing when it is time to go do it.

Note: The "things" varied by grade so it was best to be kind of general in my description of the itinerary.

9:00 a.m.: 7th graders left for their field trip to the water park, accompanied by my teaching assistants. 8th graders left for the gym for what I believed would be a brief and well-run Promotion Ceremony Rehearsal.

10:45 a.m.: Was still making kids stand in the hallway, walk in a line, sit in chairs, get up, go back to the hallway and do it all over again for the fifty millionth time. Was also struck by the realization that only one other teacher besides myself was getting up and doing this with them. The other teachers were all staying in the gym and critiquing the walking while the two of us tried to keep the peace in the hallway.

I announced: When I write the story of my life, this will be the part where I go to prison.

11:00 a.m.: Back in the hallway and surrounded by kids whose behaviors included sitting in a slumped heap and refusing to get up, punching each other playfully into unconsciousness and doing things which may or may not result in the birth of the next generation right there in the stupid hallway.

I announced: That gym had better be on fire because I can think of no other reason why they are leaving me out here in this hallway for what is left of my miserable life.

11:15 a.m.: We break for lunch. I was supposed to be outside eating with the kids, but I mutinied and hid in my classroom.

12:00 p.m.: Sent the 8th graders back down to the gym for more standing and sitting. I stared wistfully at the knitting in my bag, but knew that taking pointy sticks with me would be a bad idea.

12:45 p.m.: My teaching assistants entered the gym and sat next to me. I announced that I am the most put-upon person in the whole wide world because I have been doing this all-stupid-day.

12:50 p.m.: Exited the gym and headed to the office because my teaching assistants had informed me that the two students who I begged to be allowed on today's field trip and for whom I personally vouched had not done well. Not well at all. One was bleeding in the nurse's office. The other was pouting in the Principal's office.

1:00 p.m.: Returned to the gym and announced to my teaching assistants that I am the second most put-upon person in the whole wide world, allowing first place to be split evenly between them.

1:15 p.m.: Conceived of a brilliant and intricate plan for avoiding the 7th grade teachers who took my students on the field trip based on my personal recommendation. I will have to live under an assumed name in an undisclosed location for the next ten years, but I figure it's a small price to pay...

2:00 p.m.: Began dealing with the forty-seven million phone calls from the office that come from having poor judgement regarding vouching for students on field trips. Accepted that I vouch too much. I'm an over-voucher. People were understanding. They probably want me to vouch for them...

2:20 p.m.: Called the office to ask if they'd called the second bus run. They had. And it was long gone.

2:45 p.m.: Finally arranged transportation home for The Boy Who Builds Bridges But Who Can't Remember To Listen To Bus Announcements.

3:00 p.m.: With all students field tripped, disciplined, practiced and finally out of the building, I stood slumped in the office hallway. I was incapable of moving and thus trapped in conversation with whomever happened to be there. The Assistant Principal called out for the secretaries who had left for the day:

Assistant Principal: Hellooooo! Anyone out there?

Ms. Sheep: Define "anyone." Do I count?

AP: Of course you count, Ms. Sheep!

MS: What can I do for you?

AP: Careful what you ask, Ms. Sheep! (hearty chuckle)

MS: OK. How about this? What do you need from me that I will probably not do even if I say I will?

AP: There you go.

3:05 p.m.: We are joined by the Principal who says, for no apparent reason whatsoever, "We can be heroes...for just one day."

Ms. Sheep (who has been teaching for twenty one years and who no longer requires a conversation to make sense for her to chime in enthusiastically): Nah...Hero Pay after taxes isn't worth it for one day.

Mr. Principal: Now, Ms. Sheep. It's not about the money.

MS: No, it is about the tights.

MP: (snorts happily and goes about his business)

4:00 p.m.: Arrived home to find a big pile of cat puke on the carpet and to discover that I had not closed the freezer door when I extracted my veggie bacon for breakfast back when this day started.

4:01 p.m.: Began eating waffles. Also made muffins.

That is all I remember. I know there were things in between, but none of them seem relevant. All I know is that my class is now down to very few students after today's field trip, that 8th graders do not care for standing in hallways and that I can expect a big electric bill next month. I also know that I have to stay at school until 7:00 tomorrow so I can see if anyone remembers to do all the stuff they practiced today when they do it for real at the promotion ceremony.

One and a half more days of school to go. And I'm out of waffles. I think I need to channel my inner hero...



trek said...

And here I was thinking that a bout of insomnia last night and looking all exhausted all day long was a bad thing.

Chin up, Sheepie - it really is almost over.

Anonymous said...

oh dear God, you have my sympathy. Tomorrow is Friday, and then you have the weekend to build strength for the last half day.

Hang in there.

Donna Lee said...

I remember "graduation practice". The kids were miserable and the teachers were miserabler. You deserve extra waffooz for all that work!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say. Hopefully, today will be better!

Karen said...

The end is near. You will survive. But you better get more waffles.

gayle said...

Could have been worse - at least there was no zombie attack...

Cursing Mama said...

I don't suppose you have one sick or mental health day left to use.....

Carrie K said...

If you survived 11am, you can survive anything.

Georgi said...

Poor Sheepie, you have my sympathy.

Jeanne said...

It makes absolutely no sense to me that you have to go in for a half day on Monday. On the upside, it's Saturday now, and you only have a half day to go before you are sprung from prison for the summer.

Kath said...

Well I'm reading your post late on Friday night my time and since there are no further updates yet, I will assume that either you duct-taped the kids to their chairs and fled the state, survived and went directly home and passed out so deeply that even a sneezing, puking kitty will not awaken you!

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, wow. I don't think it can get a lot worse than that.... Although now I should probably go knock on wood.