Monday, October 26, 2009

Luck, Pride And The Double Tap

I'm not normally one given to insomnia. I happen to like sleeping in all its many forms. Long naps. Catnaps. Car snoozing (assuming, of course, that I'm not the driver). Zoning out to the point where I'm sort of asleep except for the part where I'm actually awake. And bedtime, the regular kind of sleeping that I do for 7 hours per night.

Sleep is my friend and I treat it kindly. We meet regularly.

Last night, however, I found myself not sleeping. There was no real reason for this. I just couldn't stop thinking of stuff. The little project I've been knitting up and which has taken me fifty bazillion tries to get right was on the top of my brain for a while. Then there was the nagging feeling that I'd forgotten to do something and which I still can't identify as having been left undone. I thought about the cats, what shoes I'd be wearing the next day and all sorts of stuff that had no relevance, but still kept me from sleeping.

This was not good. I knew that the Cheerful Teaching Assistant was going to be out today and we are never at our best when we are short-staffed in the classroom. The alarm went off this morning at its usual time and I knew that I was not really Student Ready.

I arrived at school and logged onto the Infinite Campus program that now runs my working life and read more bad news. Not only was the CTA out, but the Organized Teaching Assistant was also listed as "absent-no sub." There is only one thing worse than being very tired and having one of your teaching assistants out:

Being very tired and having to single-handedly manage a classroom full of teenagers who are "spirited to the point of requiring special programming."

I got lucky, though. Two students were out today and they happen to be the two who have the most difficulty keeping on task. The kids who showed up were the ones who like me enough to cut me a break on a day when I'm manning the fort alone. I also got all kinds of phone calls from people who realized I was going solo and wanted to make sure I was "OK." When I reassured them that I was fine, I came across like quite the little heroine.

The truth of the matter was that I had a pretty good day. The kids were easily bribed with promises of extra free time for computer games and regular doses of candy. They worked hard and enjoyed their well-deserved treats. I even had a free minute to wander over to the book fair in the library and make a few purchases to benefit that fine establishment.

They had a nice selection, including a few titles for the adults. I finally broke down and purchased a copy of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies for the cause. I'd resisted for a long time because (and please don't hate me for this) I don't much care for Jane Austin. But I'll tolerate overwriting and simple plot lines gone horribly awry if there is the promise of a zombie or two.

Feel free to knock one or two points off my High Class Rating. I'll understand. I should be more of a literary person.

What could have been a bad day turned out just fine. It was actually pretty darned good. It had definite high points. Here's one that occurred with The Stalker Who Has Followed Me Since Fourth Grade:

Ms. Sheep: Hey, Stalker! Will you be OK for a minute while I run down and pick up something from the printer?

The Stalker: (barely looking up from his computer game) Mmm-hmmm....

MS: You are in charge for the next minute and half. You got it covered?

TS: Mmmm-hmmm...

MS: And if the zombies come? You know what to do if the zombies attack?

TS: (without looking up from the screen or missing a beat) Go for the head. Destroy the brain. Do the double tap.

MS: (wiping away the tears of joy) I'm so proud...


SA

10 comments:

kmkat said...

You trained him well. You should be very, very proud.

trek said...

Is he well-trained or brain-washed?

Just a question seeing as how we are discussing zombies and all...

PS - I got a publisher's copy of the same book. I'm not much into Austen, either.

Mel said...

So have you read that article I sent you yet? Pretty much validates the classic scenario.

Donna Lee said...

I am an Austen fan but I wasn't thrilled with P&P and Zombies. And now I saw there is War of the Worlds and Zombies (that one makes a weird sort of sense).

knitseashore said...

If he's stalked you for several years, it's good that all of that time went to solid zombie training.

Kath said...

I am an Austen fan but haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of the book since it's so much in demand. The follow-up is Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which I think is required reading for someone like me who lives on an island!

Karen said...

We knew you were a good teacher but at this point I think you have been promoted to great teacher.

Cursing Mama said...

I don't really care for Austen either - overwritten, simple plots gone horribly awry need to have more excitement like guns, zombies, good looking brooding detectives, vampires or NavySeals...

Annie said...

I've just read P&P&Z, despite not really being a fan of either Austen or Zombies, and enjoyed it far more than I expected to; hope you do too

Knitting Linguist said...

You have trained them well. Clearly they are ready to go forth into the world and fare well in the face of zombie attacks.