Monday, November 09, 2009

In The Plague Years...

Sheepie is, once again, sitting in her classroom and waiting for parent conferences that may or may not happen. In fact, I do have one scheduled this time. But it's not until 5:30 and I've got a ways to go before anyone deigns to converse with me. On the plus side, this round of conferences only goes until 7:00. On the negative, that is still a long time to sit and wait for someone to tell me I can go home.

Frankly, home is where I'd rather be. I was awakened at 2:00 this morning by my tummy who wanted to let me know that it didn't appreciate all that 1/2 priced Halloween candy I ate over the weekend. It was most insistent that I read that memo. When I ignored it and tried to go back to sleep, the tummy ratcheted up the warning and forced me to listen.

I do not care for throwing up. I like it even less at 2:00 in the morning. In general, I am not a fan of the whole, sorry process.

Trouper that I am, though, I still got out of bed at 5:00 and readied myself for another school day. Given that it is parent/teacher conference night, I couldn't really take a sick day. Besides, my tummy was now satisfied that I'd heard its concerns and had settled down markedly.

When the first bell rang, I had no students. None. A few straggled in later, but it took a while and I never saw everyone I was supposed to see. When the attendance report was emailed, I figured out why.

It was nine pages long. Over a hundred kids out sick. Almost forty more were dismissed throughout the course of the day. Even if you don't factor in those who took advantage of the mass dismissals or who may have been the victim of a little panic-sickness, that's still a whole lot of kids who needed to be sent home. If the reports are correct, that was close to 30% of the school's student body.

Did I mention that I still don't have a flu shot? Great...

It was a pretty quiet day here at Education Central. When you run out of kids to teach, you have to be kind of creative with your time. When you develop a case of the sniffles before noon, it is even more important that you find something to do or else you will start thinking the worst. That helps no one.

So here I sit in my classroom or, as I like to call it, Ground Zero. The plague swirls all around me just waiting for an opportunity to pounce and there isn't a darned thing I can do about it. I've used the bleach wipes on every available surface and sanitized my hands so much that they are raw. It's in the hands of fate now.

If you are scheduled to meet with me tonight to conference about your child's progress, I should be fairly easy to locate. I'll be the one in the room reeking of bleach, knitting a hat and wearing a hazmat suit..

SA

12 comments:

kmkat said...

I am downing an extra vitamin C cap in your honor. Hope it helps you ;^)

Caffeine Girl said...

I enjoyed your post! I am actually home with the dreaded H1N1, but I'm determined to go back tomorrow. I, too, have parent-teacher conferences this week.

Mel said...

Flu shot is on my agenda for this week. It must be done.

Julia G said...

We have about 20% of our school kids out sick too. Just keep gargling salt water and knitting away on that laceweight surgical mask-- fashion meets function!

Mia said...

i had a sick day today too hehehe. but i had the shot so can't use that as my excuse, but i have plenty of others *grin*

mia

trek said...

Have you heard? Leveraging 70s technology, yarn companies have now figured out how to spin up a wonder-yarn: it repels influenza of all strains.

Of course, you have to deal with the day-glo side-effects...

Knitting Linguist said...

Oy. That sounds familiar (in my case, though, the mass evacuation of my classes, accompanied by emails saying that the students had the flu and were told by their doctors not to come to the clinic for a doctor's note, coincided suspiciously with my second midterm). Keep that hazmat suit on, and check the filters every night. And don't forget the duct tape for those pesky hazmat suit tears!

Donna Lee said...

I am surrounded by people who are sick with 'flu like illness'. There are so many that it has its own acronym, fli. The ER is overrun with people. Two of my children have succumbed but I am holding fast to my precarious health. The only thing I can hope for is that it's a strain of flu I've already had and I won't get knocked flat. Fun times all around. How many kids have to be out before they close the school?

Karen said...

The middle school in my town has about 1/3 of the kids out with the flu. It hasn't gotten too bad at our elementary school yet but they say it's coming. I don't envy you being a teacher.

Cursing Mama said...

I haven't managed my flu shot yet either and the worry that it is causing is great (they won't give me one because I have a cold that won't go away) I don't know how you will possibly keep the hysterical voice quiet without one....

Kath said...

I'm going with "deep denial" as a strategy. No flu, not happenin' in my part of the world, nope, nada, no way. But I do seem to be washing my hands an awful lot.

Julie said...

No flu shot here either. I'm just keeping the fingers on my overwashed hands crossed.