Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WNBP: I Am Blumfied At The Moment

Welcome to the stupidest Wednesday ever in the history of Midweeks.  Ever.  I still can't believe it myself and I was there, for crying out loud!  Here's your bullet points for this particular Wednesday:

*There are a number of changes coming to my middle school classroom.

*Changes that will require a certain amount of work on my part.

*These changes were discussed at length.  

*In multiple settings.

*By great masses of gathered educational professionals.

*Discussed in depth.

*Many times.

*Every possible eventuality was analyzed.

*Great thought went into these decisions.

*One problem...

*No one mentioned any of these changes to me.

*I have until Monday to figure out how to implement these well-executed changes.

*Some people didn't mention the changes because they are scared of me.

*Others didn't mention them because they have not yet learned to be scared of me.

*Many were just caught up in the excitement of all the change-making.

*And one, my boss, had the foresight to give me a Very Special Commendation when she spoke in front of the school board last week.

*Because I am so very flexible in the face of sweeping changes.  Particularly the ones I don't know about yet.

*A real team player, that Ms. Sheep!

*That was brilliant.  Genius, even.

*Because now...



*I am currently wrapped up in my Blumfy and will be there for the foreseeable future.

*Don't come over.  I won't answer the door.

*Tangled up in my Blumfy.

*In case you missed the last post, Blumfy=Snuggie.

*Or Slanket.

*Blanket with sleeves.

*Tacky item "as seen on TV."

*And very awesome, especially when you have been given a commendation which prevents your responding to things that most definitely require a strongly worded response.

*For those who asked, the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty does love the Blumfy.

*It goes like this:  

*Sheepie wraps up in Blumfy and lays sideways on the couch.

*Big, Fluffy Kitty snuggles into the nook created by mommy's tummy.

*Giant, orange beast gallops over, grabs the little bit of Blumfy hanging off the couch and yanks.

*Rolls himself right up in it.

*Sheepie and the BFK hang on for dear life and cling to what little Blumfy is left to them.

*Can't knit in a Blumfy.

*Don't care what the commercials say.

*Can't knit in a Blumfy when an AGK is dragging you to the ground with all his considerable might.

*It's physically and emotionally exhausting to even try knitting in a Blumfy.

*Now he has all the blankies in the house and there is nothing I can do about it, really.

*Still nice to be wrapped up in a Blumfy when it's raining and Wednesday has turned stupid beyond all reason.

*On the up side, I have job security now.

*Everyone who suddenly realized that they forgot to tell me about the changes is being very nice to me.

*As I said to my Organized Teaching Assistant today:

*"See that spot on the floor?  I could poop right there and still not be fired.  They'd even clean it up for me."

*I might have worded it a little differently, but it was something along those lines.

*I'm not pooping on the floor.  I was just illustrating my point, is all.

I think we've reached a good stopping point.  Once you've had to reassure people that you aren't planning on besmirching the tiles of a middle school classroom, you probably should shut things down for the night.  Maybe go see if the AGK is willing to share a corner of the Blumfy.  I am so very, very glad this day is over.  Thursday and Friday are right around the corner.

Of course that means that Monday (aka The Day Of Great And Sweeping Change) is looming ever closer and I still don't quite know what to do with it, but I don't want to think about that right now...


Monday, April 26, 2010

I Give You My Shame

There came a time last week whilst in the throes of my infirmity and as the chills wracked my form that I came to utter the words, "If I survive this, I swear that I am getting a Blumfy."  

No, I wasn't delirious.  I was sickly and cranky and unreasonable.  However, I was very much in my right mind.  I said I wanted a Blumfy.  You are familiar with them, I'm sure.  You probably just know them by another name, is all.  And, at that precise moment, you might even understand why I wanted one.  It was the sort of thing one might say under those circumstances.

What makes no sense, though, is that I would follow up on my feverish rantings.  To say you need a Blumfy when you are shaking so badly you can't even hold the thermometer is one thing.  To actually go find one once you are better is just embarrassing.  

I could have knit a Blumfy.  I actually thought about it several times.  They don't look all that complicated.  I probably could have whipped one up fairly quickly in stockinette.  Heck, in crochet I could have done twelve.  Yet, for some reason, only the regular Blumfy in a box would suffice as far as I was concerned.

For that matter, why I need to call it a Blumfy isn't exactly rational either.  I know it's not a Blumfy.  But after I heard it called that on a very, very funny episode of Cougar Town, I  couldn't help myself.  Just try it.  Say it once.  Blumfy.  You'll never call it anything else.  

Of course, you would only do this if you are brave enough to mention it at all in mixed company.  I still can't believe I have a Blumfy.  Nor do I really understand why I feel the need to share this information with you all.  It's not the sort of thing a sophisticated, classical lady such as myself should own.  It's not even the "brand name" Blumfy.  It's a knock-off.  A pale shadow of the original Blumfy and that isn't anything to brag about. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I didn't get the leopard print one...

Yes, I own a Blumfy.  And I use it.  I can barely hold up my head for the shame of it all.  But I feel I must be honest with the readers, lest anyone get the idea that I should become a role model for future sophisticates.  I'm nothing but  Blumfy-lovin' rabble.  

 I may be alone in my shameful "as seen on TV" world, but I gotta tell's so very warm and cozy!  Bless you, Blumfy.  I wish you'd been here last week, but I know you'll be around for the next cold and flu season.

Unless you dissolve in the wash what with being a knock-off Blumfy and all...


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Break 2010: Wrap-Up And Review

I don't ask much of my vacation time.  I'm not the sort who heads out on exotic trips or even not-so-exotic trips.  I mostly like puttering about the manse doing all the stuff that I can't quite seem to do during the work times.  I may do a little visiting or shopping.  I might take a day trip or two.  It's all pretty mundane, I guess.  But that's what I like.

My plans for this year's spring break were right along those lines.  I had a somewhat "optimistic" list of things I wanted to tackle.  I generally over-plan, knowing full well I won't get to it all.  I don't mind.  Even if I get to half of it, it's more than I get done most of the time.  My list for this week was long, but here are some of the items contained therein:

*Clean out kitchen cupboards
*Finish spinning that stuff on the wheel
*Finish that second sock that's been lying around since Christmas
*Go to Chicks With Sticks and knit amongst the beautiful people
*Start putting together the Infamous Index Cards Of Summer Organization
*Clean the carpets
*Get up early and watch others go to work but not laugh because that would be wrong

There was more, but you get the idea.  I was looking forward to it.  I figured I could do most of it and still have time for a nap.  Things didn't work out as planned.  I did little during the first weekend since I had a whole week of glorious domestic bliss ahead of me.  On Monday morning, I cleaned half a cupboard then found myself suddenly exhausted beyond all reason.  From Monday night through Friday, I accomplished the following:

*Lay on the couch
*Made low moaning sounds
*Made low keening sounds
*Finally figured out where all the weird moaning and keening noises were coming from
*Shivered uncontrollably
*Discovered the joys of a liquid diet

It was Thursday before I even felt well enough to get in the car to drive to the doctor.  I stumbled in with a pathetic demeanor and a fever of 102 degrees.  There, I was declared "officially sick" and gifted with a prescription for antibiotics.  I was too sick to go get them, though.  That had to wait until Friday morning when there was a short break in the Fever Festivities.  Once I managed to get a pill or two into my system, things began to look up.

Now it is Saturday.  The fever officially broke on Friday afternoon and has yet to come back for an encore.  While I'm grateful for that, I surely do wish it thought to take the sore throat with it.  Maybe it's just that I'm only now getting around to notice it since I'm not wrestling with the chills and body aches, but it's a doozy.  My throat feels almost swollen.  At first, I worried that I was reacting to the antibiotics.  Then I recalled the doc saying things in there were a little inflamed.  SIL Sheep reminded me that she had something similar a while back and I'm guessing I've managed to pick up a version of it.

She also cheerfully informed me that I could probably expect rampant laryngitis for several weeks but that I could use my new voice to earn extra income as a Naughty 1-900 Number Girl.  That might help pay for the extra Popsicles and ice cream, I guess...

This is one of those school vacation weeks best left in the past.  I don't even think I want it as a memory, but I'm not positive of that yet.  I may need the Pity Points on Monday when I go back to school.  I know that the rotten children (who made me sick in the first place) won't be too sympathetic.  However, I think I can score a few "poor you's" and sad cooing from the secretaries.  They like me.  I could use a good coo right about now.

And some ice cream.  With chocolate sauce.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WNBP: It's Alive!!!!

I sort of lost you there for a second.  Things here at Spring Break Central have not exactly gone as planned and I didn't make it to the blog for a few days.  However, I think I can manage a Wednesday Night Bullet Post if I pace myself.  Let's see what's been going on with Sheepie this week:

*You can always tell how poorly a school year is going by how sickly you get during vacations.

*It's like you save it up or something...

*My current situation would indicate that this has been a very "trying" academic year.

*Yesterday can be summed up by the following mental exchange.

*I went through this several times throughout the day.

*It started with:  Gosh.  This fever is giving me boo-boo belly.  I should take something for that.  But...

*I have boo-boo belly and can't keep the fever reducers down.  Why don't I just take some tummy medicine?  That's a great idea.  But...

*I still have the fever which gives me boo-boo belly so I can't keep the tummy medicine down either.




*Today has been a little bit better.  Random fevers as opposed to constant ones.

*I am currently radiating just under 100 degrees.

*Not getting much done around here.

*Can't even knit.

*I had trouble operating an ice cube tray at one point.

*A while back, I loaded up the e-reader in anticipation of my glorious spring break.

*Determined to finish the Nightside Series.

*Started with Something from the Nightside (Nightside, Book 1) a while back.

*Decided I wanted more.

*Now I'm up to Hell to Pay (Nightside, Book 7)

*Thinking I'm finally going to get around to Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) next.

*I can read this week.  That is working out OK.

*Dr. Mel sent me a nice get well e-card yesterday.

*Thank you Dr. Mel!

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty is not amused by this current situation.

*He thought it was kind of fascinating at first, but got bored quickly.

*He thinks I have a furball.  And that I'm being overly dramatic about it.

*I have to be better tomorrow.  

*I'm down to the expired ibuprofen.  I need to go get fresh supplies if I am going to be the Spring Break Flu Queen.

*This isn't going to be anything the college kids get into, methinks...

I'm going to sign off now and have a bit of a lie down.  The world is starting to get a little bit fuzzy and not in the good way.  As bad as I am now, though, it is nothing compared to yesterday so I think I am on the road to recovery.  And if I'm not, then I don't want to know about it.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Think I Can

The last couple of weeks have been grueling. The stretch between February Break and April Break is a long one, you see. It's not really that long in "normal time." But it is very long in "Kid Time." There's a great deal to get done and little in the way of diversions. By the time Spring Break arrives, it's a tough to determine who is more ready for it, the kids or the teachers.

I've gotten in the habit of waking up around 4:30 in the morning so I can get in a little extra worry-time before heading off for my commute. I'd rather hoped that this annoying quirk would end once school was over for a week, but I was being optimistic. In spite of not having a single middle school student waiting to ruin my life, I was still up before the sun this morning. It took me several minutes to realize I had nothing to worry about and that all the little dears were at home worrying other people today.

However, there was no going back to sleep once the brain was in gear so I got up. It wasn't such a big deal, really. I did have a few things to do today and the extra hours wouldn't hurt. I puttered about the manse, had that extra cup of coffee, and was right on time for my morning appointment with The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach. I thought about knitting. I also thought about spinning.

Then I decided to make barbecue sauce.

Actually, this wasn't such an odd impulse. I was planning to get to it at some point this weekend. I've been experimenting with my recipe and pretty much have it right where I want it. I thought it would be nice to have some sauce on hand for the vacation week should the urge to grill come over me. I even thought it might be a good idea to make a "little" extra...

I overshot the mark on that one. No one should have this much barbecue sauce. No one. Unless a cow walks in the door right now demanding to be basted and slow roasted, I cannot envision needing this much sauce.

So I decided to can some of it. I'm pretty sure I've canned before. I must have. I have canning supplies and a working knowledge of the process. I know I haven't done it since I have lived here in the manse, but I have canned. I'm certain of this.

What I may have canned, I don't recall. But that is not important. I have canned. I distinctly remember thinking, "I really shouldn't use my good canning pot as a dye pot because I won't be able to can anymore." There. I told you I'd canned. I just needed to find another pot and I'd be all set.

Other than a rather alarming fountain coming from the over-filled water bath, I was able to do a small batch process without too much difficulty. I even found that weird little magnetic thing to pull the jar lids out of the boiling water, although I don't know how I located it. I don't even remember buying it. Frankly, I'm shocked that it went as well as it did. Usually, I manage to forget what I know about stuff just in time to realize that I shouldn't have started in the first place. At that point, it is usually too late.

But there is sauce so apparently, I can can.

That seemed like a good place to stop for the day. Once you've successfully managed to do something you don't remember doing but know you did and which could go horribly wrong if you remember the doing incorrectly, it is generally in your best interest to not tempt fate any further. I spent the rest of the day lazing in front of the TV and periodically going into the kitchen to push on the tops of the jars to make sure they were really sealed. (they are, but you never know...) I didn't so much move otherwise. When you've had a good day by noon, you need to be satisfied with that.

Now I just need to overcome this bizarre urge to make pickles because I honestly don't think I remember ever doing that...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WNBP: Anticipation Is Worse Than Actuality

Greetings, Fellow Bloggy-Types!  It is I, your faithful Sheepie.  I remain upright and taking nourishment in spite of the fact that it is the week before spring break and all the attempts by the Middle School Machine to break me.  Take that, Forces Of Evil!

Let's see how this week's bullet points are hitting the target:

*Omigod, Omigod, Omigod!!!  Did anyone see Deadliest Catch last night?  Anyone?

*The only kid in my class who watches it managed to get himself suspended yesterday.  How could he do this to me???

*I think I am more upset about being abandoned during this crucial King Crab Season than I am by the horrific name he called me.

*It was the bad name.  The really, really, REALLY bad one.

*The name that, when mentioned to Mr. Assistant Principal, will make him go as red in the face as a steamed crab and cause him to come down with the wrath of God.

*And now I have no one with whom to squeal over the Burn Barrel Brawl.

*Still really crushed every time I see Captain Phil.  It's like I hope it didn't really happen...  

*Like he's still here...

*But they call it Reality TV for a reason, I guess.

*Was up at 4:00 this morning all worried about something I thought was going to happen today.

*Several somethings, actually...

*None of them happened.

*It was a delightful day except for the part where no one could talk about Tuesday Night TV with me.

*I'll sleep well tonight, I'm certain.


*Haven't knit a stitch in days.

*Haven't even thought about knitting in days.

*Not riding the little exercise bike much now.

*Bored with little exercise bike.

*But riding it was good for knitting time.

*That didn't make up for the boredom part and how I wasn't really putting enough into the workout to get any results.

*Wii Fit and I are getting along a little better now.

*I am making an effort and it is taking a kinder approach when expressing The Horrific Truth.

*Wii Fit called me old.

*And uncoordinated.

*Very mean piece of plastic, that Wii Fit...

*I am constantly surprised at how high the Big, Fluffy Kitty can jump.

*She is, like, three thousand years old.

*But, when being pursued by her baby brother, she can practically hit the ceiling.

*Spry for her age.

*Wii Fit would probably not be so mean to her...

*Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll bet that the thing I thought was going to happen today (and didn't) will happen tomorrow.

*But I won't have spent the wee hours of the morning worried about it and will have to face it unprepared.

*I'll be completely taken by surprise.

*Maybe I should pencil in some time around 3:00 this morning to fret about things that I can neither predict nor change.

*Makes perfect sense, right?

Two more days in this week.  Two.  I honestly think I can survive two days, horrific surprises aside.  And, if not, it will be spring break soon and I can recover from home.  So I can be ready to go back and do it all over again...


Monday, April 12, 2010

Hidden Surprises

Some days it pays to look a little closer.  You never know.  You might find something that makes your day just a bit brighter.  Or more interesting.  Or keeps you from flinging yourself out the window like you keep saying you are going to do and which no one is actively stopping you from doing no matter how loudly you say it...

It was a day.  And a half.  With less than a week to go before Maine finally releases us all for spring break, things are breaking down fast.  Kids who are normally pretty easy-going are suddenly willing to fight to the death over their right to use the school issued laptops to search an internet database for registered sex offenders.  Expressions of opinion become...heated.

And don't even get me started on the whole trend towards assigning major projects the week before vacation.  Why some of my colleagues are thinking this is a good idea, I dont know.  Perhaps they believe that kids will work on them over vacation.  That is a delighfully optimistic mindset, but I don't think any of the the kids in my class are going to be happily researching and footnoting next week.  If the kids I support in 8th grade science class are going to somehow miraculously produce a digital presentation on Halley's Comet, I need to bust a move to get everything together while I have them trapped in the room with me.

This is how I ended up in the library this morning.  While the students steadfastly ignored the rubric stating that they needed a variety of sources and that relying on the internet was not acceptable, I was more alert to the problem with their research methods.  I'm still not sure they fully understand the need to cite their reference materials, though.  They think they can pass themselves off as Very Distinguished Comet Scientists or something, I guess.  They are above citing sources at this point in their careers.

But it won't be because I didn't try to get it done right.  I am not a Very Distinguished Comet Scientist.  I am not even a Completely Discredited Comet Scientist.  I am merely a tired, cranky and very disillusioned special education teacher who is going to drag two boys through the wonders of the universe (complete with properly cited sources) whether they like it or not.

I found a book.  It wasn't much, but it was the best I could do.  If nothing else, it was something to toss into the bibliography.  Heck, I'd be willing to stand there and hold the stupid thing while they did their presentation and periodically do The Boat Show Model's Sweeping Gesture Of Wonder if that's what it took.

As I stomped down the aisle towards the checkout desk with my book in hand, I happened to glance down.  Actually, I was already looking down because I am a broken woman at this point in the school year and those of us who are broken are bound by law to keep our heads down all dejected-like.  It's what we do.

And as I looked downward, I happened to see something.  Something that looked like it might be fun for someone who has a week off coming up.  Something that might even keep the idea of that shining week in focus until Friday.  It was old, out of print in the rest of the world, actually.  It's not the sort of thing I would ever buy.... but as a library loan?  Absolutely!

This is the newer version and I can't center the link but you get the idea...

I may or may not get around to this next week, but that's not really the point.  It was just nice to bring home something for the sole purpose of applying it to my vacation days.  Even if I never so much as open it next week, I'm good.  The pleasure of flipping through the pages during lunch and envisioning the days spent NOT arguing over upcoming project requirements and the appropriate use of school computers was worth it.

Four more days.  There are many more things that can go wrong in that amount of time.  We could lose our entire comet project due to a sudden discovery made by The Very Distinguished Comet Scientists which invalidates all our research.  It's not outside the realm of possibility, you know.

But I'm hanging in there.  And flipping through my library book for courage...


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Well Yes, But...

There are lots of ways to tell when it is time for Spring Break. I've been teaching since kids rode to school on the backs of dinosaurs so I've gotten pretty good at spotting the signs. Mostly it comes down to seeing how close you come to the fine line between Responsible Behavior and Not So Much With That.

Sometimes there is bad language and quiet weeping, but I haven't quite gotten to that point yet. Give me a day or two...

If you need further examples, I have a few for you. Here are just some of the things that have gone on recently which might indicate my need for a week off:

When my Organized Teaching Assistant began chastising the students for their slovenly ways and demanded to know who left the half-eaten apple in the middle of the table, I confessed. T'was I who besmirched our working surface with my rotting leftovers. took me almost two full minutes to do so and I really gave serious consideration to letting the kids take the fall. Frankly, it's more believable that one of them would eat an apple than I.

When we were down to one last Sweet 'n Sour Twizzler, I gave it to the student who requested it. I really wanted it for myself, but that didn't seem right since he did all the work I asked of him. Plus I'd sort of already told him he could have one if he was a good boy.

However...the reason we were so low on Twizzlers was because I ate five of them when the kids weren't looking. That's why I had to eat half an apple. I needed to balance out all the sugar.

I got up early this morning. I swept the kitchen floor and changed the icky shower curtain liner. I wiped down the counters. I cleaned not only the cats' commode, but mine own.

However... I wasn't supposed to do all that. I was supposed to put on shoes and go out for groceries. I was also supposed to pay a few bills and take out the trash. I did not want to wear shoes today. Most of those activities require footwear.

I spun today and even remembered to take a picture of my singles. The first few pictures were dreadful but I didn't mind trying again. I even maintained a sense of humor when the second set didn't come out all that well either.

These things happen sometimes, after all. And red-orange isn't aways easy to photograph given the light levels around here.

However...when I couldn't find the usb cord so I could upload the pictures, I had a fit of epic proportions. The fact that the cord was sitting right next to the computer all along and that I put it there myself for a very specific reason that I no longer recall did nothing to improve my mood. In that moment, the entire world was out to get me and my enemies were willing to go so far as to break into my home and hid my usb cord to do it.

The language wasn't really all that bad (mostly) and there was no gentle weeping. I suppose I'm in better shape than some of my fellow educators right about now. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't close to the edge. It's been a long haul.

Stay tuned. Feel free to visit the betting windows if you are of a mind. I don't have any tips for you so you'll have to calculate your own odds regarding whether I'll survive another week of middle school education or break down and require the intervention of specialists.

Like I said, it's a fine line and I'm dancing pretty close to it these days. Who knows where I'll land...


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Temperatures Soar For The WNBP

Greetings to all on this fine, fine Wednesday. We've made it to the middle of the week and can celebrate with a bit of the random. Let's see what today brought in the way of newsworthy items.

Or not so newsworthy but good for filling space...whatever.

*If my weather widget spoke true today, then the temperature here was 87 degrees.

*That is very, very warm.

*For April.

*I had a turtleneck on less than a week ago if memory serves.

*Don't trust memory.

*Memory ain't what it used to be these days.

*I think. I don't really know for sure. I can't remember...

*I had four thousand meetings yesterday.

*Today I had none and got to leave school at a reasonable hour.

*Yet another one of my charges was targeted for suspension this afternoon.

*I'm running out of kids to teach.

*The Stalker (who has followed me since fourth grade and through three different schools) is getting all twitchy because he's not suspended from school and is getting taught so much that he can't take it any more.

*He's considering getting suspended just for a break.

*Pretty soon everyone will be back and things will return to normal. He just needs to hang in there.

*Who gets suspended the week grades close? Why? Why in God's name would anyone do that???????

*Last week to make a difference.

*Last week to squeak by.

*Last week to ensure that I don't have to teach them AGAIN next year.


*For the record, I try to keep kids off suspension from school for as long as I can. It's a last resort.

*So you can imagine how horrific a kid has to be for me to not intervene on his behalf.

*I knit some sock today.

*Three whole rounds while I rode the little exercise bike.

*Yup. I'm amazing. I should get a medal or something.

*I rode the little exercise bike because Wii Fit was mean to me on Monday and needs to sit and think about its attitude.

*Wii Suspension.

*From a kid in my class today regarding the whole sorry situation: "Sometimes Wii Fit is a little TOO honest..."

*The Stalker dared me to go see the school nurse and complain of a "Wiinjury."

*I didn't.

*She was busy.

*And probably wouldn't have been too impressed by someone who got a permanent leg cramp during a short run on Wii Fit...

*It was a beautiful day, though. A leg cramp and a rapidly thinning student population didn't really make a dent in my positive outlook.

*Especially when there were no meetings to attend and the Wii Fit was in time out.

That's Wednesday! We're halfway through the work week and on the downward slide! If I (and my merry band of miscreants) can hold it together for just one more week, we will finally be on Spring Break and can forget all about each other for seven days. I'm going to cling to that. Wii Fit isn't going to be in time out for much longer and next week is full to bursting with meetings.

And the temperatures are dropping even as I type...


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Feeling Flush

This is the time of year when I have to be kind of creative in the classroom. We are a week and a half away from spring break. And that is only a week long, mind you. We still have to get through the end of the school year. The snow is gone and the sun is peeking through every now and again, making us all think that summer vacation might just happen at some point.

In a room full of kids who don't want to be there under the best of circumstances, it is challenging to keep things going.

So...when they show the slightest bit of interest in anything, I leap on it like a puma who just broke up with his vegan girlfriend and has spotted meat on the hoof. I'm desperate.

We just finished up an "interesting" unit on paper airplane construction and tested their creations for flight distance. Next up: paper boats. I don't know why they want to build boats. They just do. So we are making boats and trying to see if we can get them to float for any length of time. I can make math and language lessons out of this if I don't let them know the education is in there.

In an effort to get into the spirit of the whole thing, I looked up directions for making a simple paper boat and whipped up an example. I am, however, tired and not really given to adult behavior at this point. This could go a long way towards explaining yesterday.

Ms. Sheep: Hey! Lookit! I made a paper boat!

The Stalker (who has followed me since fourth grade and through three schools): Mmm-hmmm...

MS: I said LOOK! It's amazing! In fact, I think it is the greatest boat ever crafted out of unread parent notices that no one bothered to take home!

TS: (absorbed in his own boat building) That's very nice. You did a good job.

MS: I'm gonna test it. I'll bet it will float, like...FOREVER! (begins scanning the room for sources of water)

TS: We could take it outside later. Maybe during study hall or something. You just have to wait until after lunch and then we can go visit that enormous puddle.

MS: No. I wanna do it now. I just need to find a place...I know! I'll put it in the toilet!

TS: That is a very bad idea.

MS: No. It is a very good idea. The toilet is right over there. I won't even have to go outside.

TS sighs and puts away his half-built boat. He goes into the bathroom, shuts the door and the sounds of running water, crumpling and crashing can be heard. Also audible is a great deal of muttering. He emerges a few minutes later and takes his teacher's boat.

MS: HEY!!!

TS: Look. I'm putting it in the sink. I've stopped it up with paper towels like we did that time in the downstairs boys restroom that you don't know about. Only this time I shut off the water. Just leave your boat in there and we'll check it when I get back from lunch. Think you can handle that?

MS: I still think...

TS: NO. It stays in the sink.

MS: (mumbling) Could've made some wicked cool waves in the toilet...

It actually floated for quite a while in there. It would have lasted longer had I not kept sneaking in to add more water. I sort of accidentally filled the little boat when I lost control of the tap and scuttled it. But I didn't admit that when The Stalker and the boy who is Gauged And Aerodynamic came back from lunch.

MS: My boat sank.

TS: That's the way these things go.

GAA: How did you float your boat?

TS: (before MS can answer) I put it in the sink. SHE wanted to put it in the toilet.

GAA: That's disgusting. And someone would have flushed it eventually.

MS: Yeah. That would have been a mess, I guess.

GAA: You'd be surprised what would go down there. I've seen people flush soda cans and everything.

MS: I really didn't need to know that. It's possible I could be obligated to say something about this.

GAA: Sometimes we just go in there to flush stuff.

MS: And then the toilets get backed up. It's not good.

GAA: My toilet at home is amazing. It will flush anything!

MS: Mine's pretty good. Swirly water and whatnot...

GAA: Hey! You dissin' my toilet? No one talks trash about my toilet!

MS: (snickering and having forgotten all disappointment over her failed toilet boat experiment) What? Is your toilet gonna come after me? Should I be all scared of your toilet?

GAA: Yeah, you better be scared. My toilet don't mess around.

TS: It'll flush you up, girl.

That was the end for me. I couldn't even breath. I think I may have actually hurt myself laughing. It was nice to have a little moment of joy in an otherwise rough time of the year. We probably won't ever make it into the paper boating hall of fame, but that's OK. Maybe one of them will grow up to be a plumber or something. At this point in the school year, it's perfectly acceptable to stretch the limits of probability.

It's also the time of year where I apparently lose the will to knit. I've lugged that foolish sock around with me for weeks now and still can't seem to work up the gumption to make it into something finished. Maybe when school vacation finally rolls around I'll have the time and the inclination to do something with it.

Or I might just race boats in the toilet. You never know how these things will play out at this time of year...


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Sometimes You Gotta Have A Little Class

I brought my knitting to school yesterday. I do that sometimes. Mostly, I don't get to it. But, you never know. Some days there's a free minute and you can forget the horrors of the middle school years while you mindlessly work a round or two.

Like I said, mostly I don't get to it. Which could go a long way towards explaining that twitch I sometimes get above my left eye...

Yesterday, however, was a half day for the kidlets. The teachers were to be herded into the library once the little darlings were released back into the wild. There we would be treated to an afternoon of workshops. I figured I could get there early and snag a seat in the back. I knew that knitting could happen from that most desired of chairs.

I got my seat, but never quite worked up the courage to break out the needles. The meeting was of the most decidedly "mandatory" variety and was advertised as a time when we would be getting Very Important Information. That alone might not be enough to keep the sock-in-progress tucked away, but the presence of the superintendent of schools right behind me most certainly was. Frankly, it was pure luck that I happened to glance back and see him there. The lady sitting in front of me who was using her school laptop to do a little shoe shopping didn't think to do a room scan before logging in and her screen was nicely visible to all of us behind her. I'm not sure if my knitting would have been raised to the level of a lesser sin by comparison, but I wasn't going to take the chance. It seemed best to take the high road and behave myself professionally. You want your boss to think you have a little class, after all.

As it was, I barely had time to quit out of Twitter before getting caught sharing my workshop woes...

In the absence of knitting progress, I shall instead share a lovely image from the Easter greeting Mommy Sheep sent me this morning. My mother is a retired elementary school teacher and was raised in the east coast traditions of refinement. She can (and does) use the word "shall" in regular conversation and if you think that's easy you should try it sometime. Seriously. You won't last an hour. My mother is not one to let an occasion pass without properly acknowledging it and, while she is now availing herself of more digital formats, she is no less aware of the etiquette required by the holiday calendar.

I trust that I am following in this tradition even though it is a day early. I shall be dining with family tomorrow and would hate myself if I did not honor the example set by those of my maternal line.

Happy Easter!