Monday, September 21, 2009

Running In Place

I swore a blood oath that I would not be teaching the Safety Procedures class this year. I swore it loudly and sometimes with actual swear words. I took great pride in my oath and trotted it out at every available opportunity.

Then I realized that if I didn't teach the course, I was going to have to take it. That, upon reflection, seemed worse because there was no guarantee that the person teaching it would have my general attitude towards the stupid role playing activities. They might actually make me do them. I stuffed my oath in the drawer and stepped up to teach the class again. This meant I'd need to take that trainer recertification course. Again. For the third time. Today.

Workshop and training days are kind of a mixed blessing. On one hand, it is a break from the routine and a day spent with adults instead of children. On the other, departures from the norm never seem to go smoothly for me.

I have never had a particularly good relationship with Time. We are uncomfortable with one another. I feel like Time never really lives up to its potential and that its promises are often more dazzling than the reality. Time thinks I don't appreciate it and that I take it for granted. We go through long periods of not speaking to one another.

This morning, I was happy to have extra time. My training didn't start until 8:30 so I had oodles of extra minutes in which to dawdle about. I thought of all sorts of ways to make this morning extra-special. I probably overreached, though. Before I knew it, the time had come to leave and I wasn't quite ready. The usual morning scramble began anew, just like a regular day instead of a special one.

Note: I still ended up arriving at the high school training site stupidly early. That meant driving around for a while so I wouldn't look like an over-eager teacher's pet. But I drove around too long and was almost late...

Then there was the knitting dilemma. Long workshops require something of a knitted nature in the bag. It can't be just anything, though. It has to be something that can be set aside quickly during those times when you have to get up and demonstrate your ability to successfully extricate yourself from a rear choke hold. (a normal workshop occurrence, right?) You need something very, very mindless and straightforward.

I have two projects on the needles right now. Of the two, The Invisibility Shawl is my favorite, but that one requires counting. I didn't think the trainer would appreciate hearing me whispering, "1-2-3-4, slip, knit....wait, that's not right!" over and over again. That wasn't going to be the right choice.

The other project is a sock. Socks are usually great for workshops except that this one is perilously close to the heel flap stage and that isn't anywhere near straightforward knitting. There is counting involved, albeit the simple variety. I can knit a heel flap pretty easily, but I hate to assume...

In the end, though, that's what I went with. I figured I could probably knit up the heel flap and call it a day. I don't believe in picking up stitches in polite company. Stitches and noses...they both remain pick-free when I'm out and about. I knew I wouldn't get much further than the flap. It wasn't the optimal solution, but it was better than nothing.

However, once I got myself settled in at the training, I remembered that this course is rather firm in its policy regarding hobbies. They don't care for them. They insist on rapt attention. I don't teach it that way when I'm set free to run my own program, but I didn't think that the dude overseeing the class was going to be of the same opinion.

All that decision making was for naught. The poor, flapless sock remained in the bag.

It was a long day. Time disappointed me again and ticked by slowly instead of behaving normally. The group of people willing to teach this course is now down to 6, less than half what it was originally. Those of us left were, for the most part, either sick or injured. The sound of sniffling could be heard from various corners of the room all day. The endless crackling of various joints led one participant to question the wisdom of having a group of six middle aged women teaching this class instead of our younger colleagues. They hardly ever crackle when they get up off the floor.

In spite of all this, I made it through another year of certification training. I passed my test, I did my stupid role play activity and I only nodded off once during the lecture phase. That's pretty good, I think.

I drove home tired and sore but feeling victorious. The next things on the list of stuff to do included hitting the exercise bike, catching a little missed TV on the interwebs and knitting a bit.

This time, I went with The Invisibility Shawl because no one cares if you are counting and doubting yourself in the privacy of your own home.

For the record, time spent working out is also deceptive. It is waaaay longer than regular time. Even longer than workshop time. But not as long as workshop time when your knees are crackling and you can't knit...



trek said...

Some people are so inconsiderate with respect to the knitting in public!

Glad you were able to get up off the floor without straining anything

Anonymous said...

Rear choke holds? Yikes!

Donna Lee said...

I have to take the recert class each year. I've done it for 4 years now and it never changes.... I swore I didn't want to do the trainings this year. We do about 9 each year with about 20 people in each class. I "invited" some younger colleagues to take the trainer training so I could start to bow out but one of them never showed up. There are 4 of us who do the trainings so if it works out like it's supposed to, I only have to do 4 or 5 a year. So far, it's not working out.

Kath said...

I believe it has been scientifically proven that the passage of time decreases by 50% without the presence of knitwear in progress.

Karen said...

Your invisibility shawl looks great!

Anne said...

Yeesh. Really - that type of class is like the black hole of Time. I used to dread things like that... you know... when I used to leave the house and all.

Lorraine said...

Truly, time is a fickle creature. I am a firm believer that it is as mischievous as a brownie or sprite. Slows down when you least want it to and runs at high speed when you'd love to stop and savor the moment.

Love the shawl! Can't wait to see it all blocked out, too. Bet time will go REEEALLL SLOOOOW now that I have something to look forward to.

Yarnhog said...

I always find it disturbing that the ability to extricate yourself from a rear choke hold is a job requirement for being a school teacher.

It also reinforces my resolve to stay away from the middle school.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused here--If you teach the class, you have to take the training the trainer class (and you can't knit) and then you have to teach the class (when you can't knit). So there is twice as much class time and twice as much role playing, even if it is on your terms. Is it that bad if the trainer has the wrong attitude?