Tuesday, October 20, 2009

True Purpose

I arrived at school today still sniffling, but feeling much better. I anticipated being greeted by hordes of happy co-workers bearing words of welcome. I'm usually missed when I'm out for a day. I like to think that it's because of my sparkling personality but I suspect that it is more due to how the kids misbehave in my absence. Still, being missed is being missed.

However, instead of finding a crowd of well-wishers, I was greeted by Mrs. School Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk. She did not look happy. She looked, dare I say, disgruntled.

Mrs. School Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk: Well, I hope you're happy!

Ms. Sheep: Pretty much, I guess. I mean there's still world hunger and I'm bummed about how they took BBC America off my cable subscription. But, yeah. I'm generally fairly happy if I don't think about that stuff too much.

MSSWSATBD: Isn't that nice for you? Meanwhile Mrs. School Secretary Who Sits At The Front Desk saw Zombieland this weekend and you were out yesterday!

MS: So?

MSSWSATBD: Well, who do you think had to listen to her talk about it all day while you were lounging around at home?

MS: I was sick...

MSSWSATBD: Excuses, excuses!

MS: (hangs head) I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

Later that same day, I was trying to teach math. Math is never a good time in my classroom, but I bribe the kids with promises of computer games if they can give me thirty minutes of solid math time. This usually works. Today, though, The Stalker (who has followed me from 4th to 8th grade and through three different schools) was having some difficulty getting his assignment done.

Ms. Sheep: C'mon, Dude! You can do this! It's only been fifteen minutes and I need thirty. You're not going to make it at this rate.

The Stalker: This is not my fault.

MS: Failure to own one's behavior is not demonstrative of good character, my friend. Take some responsibility.

TS: But I saw Zombieland this weekend and you were out yesterday! We needed to talk about it before I started math. That took fifteen minutes!

MS: Fifteen minutes? Really? I could have sworn it was like three...

Clearly I serve a purpose in this school. It probably wasn't the purpose for which I was originally hired. In fact, I'd guess it is far from that purpose. But it's nice to have a niche so I don't complain. I did, however, happen to think about my conversation with the secretary that morning and decided to voice a concern:

Ms. Sheep: You know what? Last week, I got in trouble for talking about zombies in the office while you were working.

Mrs. School Secretary Who Works At The Back Desk: Correct.

MS: Then you got mad because I was talking about zombies in the office while you were out running errands.

MSSWWATBD: No. I got mad because you came into the office and stood over my empty desk saying, "zombie-zombie-zombie-zombie." Then you ran away in fear when I came back early from running errands.

MS: That was creepy. It was like you somehow knew I was there...

MSSWWATBD: I know all.

MS: And today you got mad at me because I wasn't here to talk about zombies at all yesterday! I don't see how I can possibly win this game!

MSSWWATBD: You can't. Because now I am mad at you for talking about zombies in the office again.

Knowing your purpose doesn't necessarily simplify your life. It's really more of an outline. You have to fill in the details as you go along. Figuring out how I can not talk about zombies in the office, get a full math class taught and still be available to talk about zombies when needed is going to be something of a detail nightmare. I'll keep working on it.

I've got the time. I'm starting up the holiday knitting that isn't ever going to be finished and I need to take my mind off all those looming deadlines.



trek said...

I don't even know where to start.

Perhaps, seeing as how I, too, must interface with a secretarial type at work (although she is much nicer than MSSWSATBD sounds), I should just shut up now.

Anonymous said...

I sure do miss a lot when I fall behind on blog reading! I'm sorry you were sick, but happy that you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

I think of you every time I see the promo for that movie - I was wondering how long it would take you to go see it :)


Julia G said...

You're just ahead of the trend! I was cruising by the display tables at Big Box Bookstore and had to laugh at the zombie-inspired titles: World War Z, Zomnibus, a "for Dummies"-style Zombies for Zombies, the Zen of Zombie (Better Living through the Undead), ZEO--a Zombie's Guide to Getting A(Head) in Business, and my personal favorite, Zombie Haiku-- now that would be a fun activity for the kiddies on a rainy day!

Cursing Mama said...

I have a feeling that MSSWWATBD is working for the Zombie Uprising as a spy.

Donna Lee said...

I saw a book the other day that was In Defense of Zombies. Yes, someone is actually standing up for zombie rights. The poor misguided soul.

Knitting Linguist said...

I can see that you have some very important roles to play at your school. Zombies are the least of it...

Julia G said...

I meant to say:

The Zombie Haiku
Fun activity for kids
On a rainy day.

Kath said...

Okay, well I I won't be able to see Zombieland until it comes out on DVD, so I can promise you it will be quite a while before I need to talk to you about it! Perhaps that will help?

Hope you're feeling better!