Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Women And Children First...we think.

After yesterday's evacuation drill, you'd think the poor teachers would get a little break in the action, if only for a day. Not so. This afternoon we needed to attend an extended faculty meeting in order that we might discuss the upcoming achievement testing process. The state is using a new assessment this year and, while it's not all that different from the old one, it still requires the obligatory Power Point Presentation. What's a test without bitter staff people, after all?

Actually, it's good that we are getting the information. It always feels like I'm unprepared when new tests are required and I really should appreciate the effort our administration is making to keep me in the loop. I'm just cranky is all. Staff meetings are long and Power Point Presentations give me the hives. This one came with a soundtrack which didn't make it any more entertaining.

To make matters worse, I didn't even have my knitting. I usually try to have a little something woolly in my bag to keep the agenda from sapping away the last of my spirit. But I didn't have anything suitable or portable so I went into the meeting in what can only be described as a state of Knitting Knakedness. There was nothing to do but watch the Power Point and curse my lack of planning.

To add to my misery, some of my colleagues love the chance to add their thoughts to the proceedings. The agenda is kept a bit flexible and there is always someone who is overcome with the need to emote. It's like Open Mic Night with a limited talent pool. Every once in a while, though, a gem can be seen sparkling amongst the piles of scheduling complaints and announcements that could have been ignored in our email instead of in person:

Teacher With No Concept Of Time And Place And The Effects Of Power Point: Mr. Principal? I have a question.

Mr. Principal: Yes Mr. TWNCOTAPATEOPP?

TWNCOTAPATEOPP: It's not about the Power Point...

MP: That's just find and dandy! We would hate to restrict questions to anything relevant. That might get us out of here before 5:00 and it's not like we start our workdays at 7:00 or anything.

TWNCOTAPATEOPP: I was thinking about yesterday's evacuation drill and got to wondering. What about those of us who are working outside with the kids right now? However will we know to flee? Or where to flee? Or why we are fleeing? We should really have a plan for that.

MP: We do have a plan for that. It's in your Binder Of Very Important Stuff That No One Reads. You are to report to the office when you leave the building and pick up a walkie talkie. Should there be a need to evacuate or if a lockdown is required we shall call you on the walkie talkie and say the following:

RUN!!! RUN AWAY!!! RUN INTO THE WOODS AND HIDE!!!!!!!

Is this clear, Mr. TWNCOTAPATEOPP? Does anyone else have any questions?


We did not. At least none that was voiced. I'm sure that there were a few. I know I was wondering about whether or not I am supposed to take the kids with me when I run pell-mell into the woods or if we are expected to follow the Every Sheep For Herself Rule. That wasn't made very clear, in my humble opinion.

I didn't ask about it, though. I'm not one of the teachers who wants a meeting to run any longer than it has to and I could see the debate on whether or not it is a good idea to hide in the woods with children lasting for hours. I'm just going to trust that, when the time comes, I will somehow intuit the best choice.

I hope I remember my knitting on that day, though. Being stuck in the woods for God knows how long waiting for someone to give the all-clear could be worse than a Power Point Presentation...

SA


11 comments:

Knitting Linguist said...

I think it's every sheep for herself. At least, that's what I'd go with. Also? Even though it's highly unlikely we'll ever sit through an administrative presentation together, I wholly approve of your decision not to ask questions and prolong the agony. If only everyone were so wise...

Agatha's Gran (retired middle school teacher) said...

In CA if we have a disaster, such as an earthquake, whilst we are on our way TO school, we are required to report to work to watch the kiddies. hahahahahahahahaha...

My sincere sympathies for the "question askers/comment makers." It's a universal issue.

kmkat said...

Oh, I fear I would be one of the commenters/questioners, the one that everyone hates because she prolongs the meeting. Please don't hate me. I try to keep it under control...

Lynne said...

We call it "Death by PowerPoint"!

The wonderful thing about being part-time/casual in two teaching jobs is I rarely have to attend staff meetings!

catsmum said...

and this is why I have no great angst over the fact that I and the education department of the State of Victoria are no longer on speaking terms ... not even nodding acquaintances.

Julie said...

There's always at least one person who doesn't get that everyone else is just counting the minutes until they can escape!

Karen said...

Did everyone sigh loudly as he asked this question? I bet the kids would have.

trek said...

You should probably keep a bag of some sort on your person filled with granola bars and wool whenever you are on playground duty. And maybe a pair of cheap earplugs.

Just in case, you know.

:: Note to prof trek: time to check the dropboxes for late student PowerPoint assignments. ::

Julia G said...

I avoid the heartbreak of Knitting Knakedness by always having a no-brainer stockinette stitch colorful sock in a sandwich-size ziploc in my purse (on circulars for maximum squishability, although one of those cardboard tubes that go around dpns works for my cute little bamboo dpns that would otherwise snap like toothpicks). When that's too taxing, a dischloth works fine. Guaranteed to save your sanity even in the face of "Death by PowerPoint", as an earlier commenter put it!

Cursing Mama said...

I am of the belief that Mr.Gates and his merry band of software engineers will be spending eternity in the Hot Place because they are to be blamed for all sorts of PowerPoint and (shudder) LiveMeeting torture.

Yarnhog said...

When I was in law school (at night, with everyone else who had other, very important things to do during the day), we used to call questions like that "blue moon on a Tuesday." As in: "But Mr. Professor, what if it's a blue moon on a Tuesday? How does that affect the very interesting legal hypothetical we've just spent two hours discussing? Doesn't that totally change everything, and shouldn't we reconsider the possibilities from the beginning?"