Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Knitting Hope Springs Eternal

I decided to drop the sock-in-progress into the school bag this morning.  This was probably an overly optimistic thing to do, but I figured it would be nice to have it with me.  Sometimes, you just need a little something from home, even if it's a project you won't ever take up.

Springtime is not fun in the schools.  Everyone gets really twitchy and starts talking about "surviving."  It's like we are in the deepest, darkest jungle and preparing to fight our way back to civilization no matter what the cost.  I am not exaggerating.  One kid, after seeing that the door to the classroom has been broken again and fearing that we might all get locked in together like last year said:

OK.  Just between you and me.  If we do get locked in again, who are we going to eat first?


Yesterday was beyond insane in my class.  I was informed upon arrival that the Cheerful Teaching Assistant was going to be out for the day.  The aforementioned broken door would not open no matter how hard I tried and I had to get a custodian to let me in so I could come up with a plan for mys short-staffed day.  The Organized Teaching Assistant had to leave for a doctor's appointment at 10:00 and was late returning.  Thankfully, she was back at her desk when a student leaned against that window I'm always warning everyone about and broke it.  Shattered glass rained down past the Guidance Offices on the first floor and littered the walkway with jagged shards.  The student managed to keep himself from falling out, but cut his hand.  His refusal to wear a bandage led to spatters of icky boy corpuscles all over the place.  We got that cleaned up OK, but now the only window in the front classroom is boarded shut and when the hot weather comes I am going to be smelling the stink of 8th graders until I pass out.  Achievement testing drags on with no end in sight and a bloodbath isn't going to get anybody out of anything.

There was lots more and some of it was worse, but how do you top a broken window?  Or the sight of Mr. Principal and Mr. Assistant Principal standing amidst the carnage below whilst gaping up at you in abject horror because all you can think to say to them at that moment is, "Hi there.  How's it going?"

Dragging a sock to school, especially one that I probably won't have time to knit, may seem like a little thing, but it is all about emotional survival now.  It is May and we have a long road ahead of us in Kid Time.  Things are only going to get worse,  The 8th graders have already figured out that they are short-timers now and that there is really very little we can to do them.  We can't make them all repeat the year.  We won't have room for the new kids coming up.  They know that they just have to keep moving and they'll be just fine.  We don't have the energy to chase them.  We can only catch the slow ones now and it's survival of the fittest.  The ones who can't keep up deserve to be trapped.

The CTA returned today, sick as a dog but putting on a good face since the OTA was scheduled to be out.  I don't know what the rest of the week will bring but I have no illusions about anything.  I'll lug that sock back and forth for the duration.  It comforts me and gives me hope for the coming summer vacation.

There were a few times today where I crept into my office, stealthily removed it from my bag and hugged it just a little bit...

SA

9 comments:

kmkat said...

Oh, dear. I don't suppose "Wine for everyone!" would help the situation much. And the school board would probably complain about it. This year seems worse than usual...

trek said...

Me? I'd've been carrying the sock around in my pocket, like a touchstone.

Or touchsock as it were.

scienceprincess said...

oh dear lord . . . I am carrying my sock around too, and all I have is cranky high school sophomores. And the thought of your principal looking up at you through the broken window . . . . I don't know what to say except thank you for putting my bad day in perspective. And good luck with the teenager stink!

Sarah/scienceprincess

Beth said...

If hugging a sock is what it takes to get through the day, I say do it! The sock won't mind.

Knitting Linguist said...

It's like one of the Bachman books. If Stephen King hasn't written about the last month of the spring semester of middle school, he should.

Lynne said...

She feels a surge of deep satisfaction
A secret sock fills her desperate need
As she goes through daily strife; we say of her life:
"Interesting is the life you lead!"

apologies to Richard Sherman, composer/lyricist of The Life I Lead from "Mary Poppins")

Karen said...

Everyone should have a sock to keep them sane. But it is May and I really wish I wasn't still wearing my wool socks to keep my feet warm.

Kath said...

I'm fairly certain a sock in progress was all that kept me from going insane during almost a 2 hour wait for a five minute x-ray. I'll admit to some raving and ranting, but everyone in scrubs walked away without injury so I think I held it together well.

twinsetellen said...

Just joining in to say I am also carrying my sock totem. I never have time to knit it, yet feel lost if it isn't with me.