Saturday, October 23, 2010

Exit Strategy

I awoke Friday morning feeling like the week had gone on far too long for its own good.  I was more than ready for it to be over.  By my internal calendar, it was already the following Wednesday.  That's how long the week ran.  This, I submit to you, is the reason for my commuter error.

I travel the same route five days a week, pretty much every week for ten months of the year.  I have done so for seven years.  I know where I am going.  I know how to get from point A to point B.  There is absolutely no reason for me to not reach point B in a timely fashion.  Unless, of course, it is a long week and I'm sick of it.  Then I am very likely to miss my exit off the Maine Turnpike.

I suppose I should admit that I've done it before.  Twice before, actually.  But that was a long time ago, back in the first few years I worked for this school district.  To have done it yesterday is simply ridiculous!  To further complicate matters, my exit is a key one.  Anyone who is familiar with this route knows that if you miss the Wells are in it for the long haul.  Fortunately for me, the traffic was light and having to take the scenic route only added about twenty minutes to the drive.  Still, twenty minutes is the difference between being able to visit the ladies room before the first teaching period starts and holding it for the foreseeable future.

I feel that this is a significant difference.  Maybe that's just me...

There really was no hope for the rest of the day.  I did my best to sneak through the cafeteria and avoid attracting attention to my lateness.  Sadly, a table filled with my students enjoying their breakfast was between me and anonymity.  The Boy With The Bass Booming Earbuds bellowed out for all the world to hear:


I returned his jaunty wave weakly and skulked my way to my classroom.  I managed to get set up for the day and took attendance.  Things took another disastrous turn when the bus failed to show up for the scheduled bowling field trip for the second week in a row.  Since this was a "make up" trip for the one we missed, I called the transportation office and pleaded that they send another bus.  I pointed out that I was going to have to change my name and live in Witness Protection if I had to tell my class that yet another trip was cancelled.  I said that I would probably end up on a farm or something and that I had no earthy idea how to milk a cow.  The nice man at the dispatch office thought that he might have to join me in the program and also feared that his milking skills might not be up to par.  I helpfully suggested that he Google it and get back to me.

We got the bus, but it was late.  The driver was apologetic, though so it was water under the bridge at that point.  I sent an email to the woman who schedules the field trips for us, letting her know that we had a little problem, but that I was able to solve it.  I thought the "cow" stuff was kind of funny and included that for a chuckle.  The missed trip last week was kind of a sore spot, and I wanted to make sure she knew there were no hard feelings.  It all worked out after all...

By day's end, The Field Trip Masters were irate on my behalf.  The fact that I did not need their ire didn't seem to matter.  They were determined to find the individual responsible for this disaster and identified a genuinely innocent individual as the culprit. (rather than identifying themselves...) The email that was cc'd to me as proof of their efforts on my behalf caused me to gasp and pale visibly.  Three students ran into my office asking after my welfare upon hearing my sudden, whooping intake of horrified air.  I needed to get my breath back quickly in order that I might make the trip down to the first floor to apologize to the poor woman who received that alarming email with all those sentences written entirely in capital letters.

Seriously...that cow part was funny.  It was!  The guy at the transportation office just about busted a gut over it.  Everyone else I used it on laughed, too.  Including the woman who got blamed for the thing she didn't do.  Maybe it just didn't work as well in email form...

There were about a million other things that didn't go as planned, but it was really par for the course by then.  Thankfully, the kids were all tuckered out after their horrific behavior earlier in the week and not really up to torturing me any further.  That or they could tell I was a woman on the edge.  Two of the boys who take later buses home rallied enough to make the dismissal process a nightmare, but I didn't much care.  I was too tired.  Besides, they were leaving and it was Friday and I was 99% sure I wouldn't miss my exit on the way home.

I fled the building before the exhaust of the departing buses cleared.

Today, I did not exit the manse.  I did not see the need.  I preferred to exit from the human race for a day instead.  I probably should have taken out that bag of trash by the door, but I wondered if it might be best to wait a day.  I could still be tainted by the Friday curse.  I patted the cats, I watched TV, I napped and I fiddled around with more of the Classified Yarn-Type Projects.  I also ate a few donuts because I think they have healing properties.  I don't want to hear differently if you think you know better.

I certainly understand if you are starting to doubt me on the whole yarn business. How often can you hear "Oh my yes!  I am most certain wielding the needles and hooks, I just can't prove it is all!" without questioning the assertion?  Here's a little sumpthin'-sumpthin' that might reassure you:

Proof Of Stitchery

It could be argued that this does not really represent anything that might ever be properly called "finished."  Given that I woefully underestimated the amount of yarn I was going to need to pull this off, that argument is a strong one.  But it is still yarn knotted artfully into something vaguely resembling a pattern so I think I'm coming from a position of strength here.  We'll see how it all comes together.

I like to think that missing my exit on Friday means that I will be more vigilant in the future and that I will have time to attend to my middle aged bladder before the teaching day begins.  I also like to think that I have learned a little something about The Field Trip Masters and their collective sense of humor (or lack thereof).  I probably won't bother mentioning missing buses again.  I'll just sit quietly and think about cows.  Mistakes are really just opportunities to learn, after all.

But I'm not ruling out the possibility of another Exit From Humanity Day in the future.  I still have to go back to school on Monday.  I also have to email to check on another scheduled field trip.

My strategy this time is to leave the cows out of it...



Mel said...

I'd be more than happy to give cow-milking lessons, so long as I get some of the cream.

Kath said...

I'm a huge fan of taking a day off from the world ti recharge. And if you can do the entire day in your pajamas - even better!

(I think you know where I stand on the donut issue.)

Anonymous said...

You had such a tough year last year, I was hoping for a bit of a respite for you this year. Apparently the gods have decided instead that you are their b!tch and you'd better get used to it. Poor baby. Glad you could take a day in your jammies today, but... is that crochet I see? Have you gone to The Dark Side?

Donna Lee said...

I am currently awaiting the delivery of some donuts (my daugher is bringing them) so I am in no position to lecture anyone on their properties. Besides, I agree with you about the healing thing.

I took yesterday off, too. I didn't interact with anyone outside of the residents of my home. It was a wonderful cocoon of a day.

Julia G said...

Love the crocheted shell pattern -- always pretty!

Several years ago when I volunteered at my kids' grade school, one of my jobs was booking buses for all the field trips, and it was always fraught with impending disaster. I never believed the buses were actually going to show up until they did, and sometimes they didn't.

Still, I found your technique of nicing people to death with humor worked a lot better at getting results (and buses) than having a hissyfit. Not to mention getting people to find the inevitable assortment of missing eyeglasses, hats, etc. down at the bus depot.

Elaine said...

If I live to be a thousand, I will Never, Ever, Understand How or even Why, you Do What You Do.
You. Are. A. Goddess. !
Whatever it takes to keep you happy and sane over the weekend is absolutely fine with me!! Have At It!

Karen said...

Donuts are a gift from the Gods. I hope this week is much less eventful.

trek said...

Wow. I thought only Mondays were ever like that.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh. Hmm... That sounds like a day that would make me hide under the covers, too. Donuts and crochet are definitely the way to go after a day like that. As are good novels. Have you read the Mockingjay trilogy yet? I found it very absorbing. :)

Leah said...

Friday was the full moon. Dealing with myself on a full moon is effort enough without having to deal with any kind of 'Public'. I am glad you could cocoon for the day. A good doughnut is heaven.