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28 May 2007

Notes On The Week That Was - Part I

Let's have an interlude from my lengthy soul-searching regarding The Big Move, so that I can share a little of the past, crazy week with you - a week that I've just barely recovered from. I'll use my previous method of writing notes as if the events just happened, which offers endless revisionist history opportunities. Enjoy!


* There should be some fun in the week ahead, but at the expense of my sleep and sanity, no doubt. We have three huge events, three nights in a row: Senior Awards Night, Senior/Faculty Softball Night, and Underclassmen Awards Night. Because I'm the reigning Teacher of the Year, I'm supposed to be on stage for the awards nights to help hand out items of distinction (plaques, certificates, stoles, etc.). And while I'm not as obligated to play softball, you wouldn't expect me to miss that, would you?

* Perhaps so God could make sure I stayed grounded in the face of so much feel-goodism and celebration this week, He offered the following scene to my Male Bonding Buddy and I as we were walking down the hall at lunch: two big athletic types on the outside sidewalk, one a freshman and one an already once-arrested sophomore, bouncing off of each other at full force while loudly repeating some kind of rap chant. These two were caught earlier this semester stealing Cokes out of my buddy's little refrigerator in his room.

Says Male Bonding Buddy, "A couple of future sperm donors right there." Just warms the heart to think of it, doesn't it?


* My classes were awful today, and they've pissed me off enough that, even at this late date, I've resolved to crack some heads tomorrow. Think it's too late for a referral, my little chickadees? Think again.

* I'm going to declare this year's Senior Awards Night an almost-unmitigated disaster. To start with, it lasted three freaking hours, and we only had one stretch break in that time. I say stretch break, but despite the directions given to the audience, it became a full-fledged, don't-bar-the-door bathroom sprint. Since I was on stage, of course, I could do nothing so kind for myself, though I had to pee like a race horse (love that cliche).

Secondly, unlike last year, this year's senior class showed that it couldn't even muster one evening of full-class character. Sure, last year's class had plenty of losers, but only two didn't show for senior awards. After all, most of them get some kind of recognition, and the rest can at least give their friends some atta'boys or girls. But at least 20% of the class of '07 was absent tonight - there were gaps of three and four in their reserved rows of seats. Of the ones who were present, several crossed the stage with cell phones clipped to hips, or while smacking gum. There were also sidebar conversations galore, and snarky comments about middle names. The principal was so perturbed he chastised them, in as constructive a way as possible, at the end.

Plus, my butt hurts, and I've gotten home at 10:30. Any chance school starts late tomorrow?


* I found one of my senior kids this morning - the previously written about preacher's kid, in fact - and asked why she didn't attend the awards program from last night, even though she and many of her friends were getting major recognition. Was there a church emergency, or something? "Nah. I decided I'd rather stay home and watch American Idol."

Thank God. That little box, right beside the item "faith in humanity restored"? Yeah - feel free to check it off now.

* I didn't have to wait long to issue referrals. We had a hispanic girl fight this morning (a regular occurence), and when my class went out for its usual mid-class bathroom break, two of the girls bolted down the hall to congratulate one of the culprits, who was waiting outside the principal's office.

* At third lunch today, I heard a loud pop sound coming from one of the side halls. The fleeting thought that it was a gun shot crossed my mind, and just in case I poked my head out of my door. I could see people looking down the hall, but there appeared to be no huge problem. Later, I found out what it was:

My Male Bonding Buddy, while walking his class to lunch, picked up some trash in the middle of the hall. It was a scrunched up plastic water container, and it felt a little weird when he handled it, like it was moving. He figured it still had water in it, and just threw it in the nearest trash can. Moments later, the thing blew up. It contained some foil and some sort of cleaning solution in it, and apparently shaking it a little caused a reaction that made it blow. When my buddy told me about it later, I could tell he was on edge, though he did his best to remain unflappable.

They caught the punk who put it there on video camera. He tried to resist arrest - showing great wisdom to the end, since he came up to the belly button of one officer, and was about as thick as the bicep of the other officer.

The kid was 15, so what are the odds he one day darkens the doorsteps of the school again? Sadly, I would caution you not to laugh.

* Our softball game is less serious than the annual basketball game, mainly because we play co-ed, and we play with what is called a Chicago softball, which is largerand softer than the usual softball. All this lessens the chances that big dumb men (ahem), or big dumb boys on the other side, will take someone out with a slide or get in an argument over balls and strikes. Still, there is no bigger motivation to play hard, and play well, than knowing snarky 17 and 18 year olds are just waiting to laugh at you.

And I did play well, but unfortunately hit the ball hard, twice, right to a properly positioned outfielder. And, unfortunately, we lost 4-3 in nine innings.

While on second, one of the girls (a real softball player) for the seniors simply turned to me at shortstop and said, "Ya'll suck." To which I charitably responded, "No, you suck." "You suck!" "You do!"

Well, you get the picture. A good-natured - if not very eloquent - insult match with a student is one of the true pleasures in life.

Coming Tomorrow: Part II, which I promise will be a much more uplifting experience.


locomotive breath said...

The bottle thing sounds like it was another version of this

Hydrogen Balloons

They float
They explode

School Master P said...

Charming, huh? Although I will say that if that is the closest brush I have with explosives/weaponry in public schools, I will count myself lucky.

locomotive breath said...

Yeah, well, just don't ask how I knew that little experiment. ;)