Monday, August 22, 2011

The Morton Salt Girl Pays Mrs. Hillbilly Mom A Visit

When it rains, it pours.

Silly old me went off to school this Monday morning, heart full of love and head full of optimism. I knew I had parking lot duty. I left in plenty of time. Dropped off The Pony and his trombone at Basementia. Scooted on over to Newmentia. Wrote the assignment on the board. Logged on at my control center, in spite of a recent rash of parsing errors. Hoofed it out to the parking lot, dutifully.

I observed traffic flow. Greeted select students who appeared to do mornings. Chatted with Mr. Principal. Re-entered the building. Started class. Took roll. Pledged allegiance. Assisted with guided practice.

And then it began to unravel, that fine thread of sanity that I cling to diligently in an effort to just get by until 2:56.

I had been using my down time to set up the command center for a short Nat Geo video as filler for my quick classes. You know, the ones who find the assignment to be a breeze. No need to sit and stare at each other when we could be learning about the invisible world all around us, the different types of creatures and energy that inhabit our kingdom.

As I went to disconnect and re-connect the white and yellow wires from the DVD player to the VCR for that 1979 videotape so carefully preserved by the library, I spied a wire hanging by a thread. It was on the main sound box on the bottom of my tech equipment tower. One. Single. Copper. Thread. And as I turned the stack of black boxes to get a closer look, it slipped out. From which hole, I could not tell. I'm on a short leash that hangs through my ceiling tiles.

I called the classroom next door to snag the #1 son before he got away. He could not make it until after the bell. At which time he said, "Well, I can put it in this hole, because that one might electrocute you. But it's not going to stay." I promised to call his teacher to excuse his tardy. But just as he finished, I remembered that her phone does not work. What do you think this is, anyway, a regular business? I called and got her voice mail and left a message, which will probably be discovered about the time she decides to retire, long after #1 has graduated.

So I went down the hall to tell her in person, taking along the DVD-RWs that I got to copy the new textbook resource discs that had been needed last Friday. But Arch Nemesis had the originals, so LunchBuddy had to send a student after them. While we waited, she showed me how the wire should go in the back of the black box. "Red on the right, black on the left. Two empty holes in between." Which was fine and dandy, but I had no colored plastic on those wires, they having been stripped to bare metal.

Back in my room, I looked for the custodian, holder of screwdrivers. Called the office, who had not seen him. Heard him in the hall, snagged him and his screwdriver. He listened to the set-up, whittled away at my short leash, exposed some colored wire, and hooked it up in a jiffy.

By now, only five minutes remained of my plan time. So I called the Basementia library and described a DVD without a key word or title that I need next week. The librarian went to the shelves and found it, agreed to ship it by bus with the afternoon Pony. Next, I called Arch Nemesis to negotiate a lab tour time for Tuesday or Wednesday. Then I called two teachers to arrange for work for my next hour students who were new to me today.

Those three new students needed math help, which I did in between grading papers from first hour. Lunchtime rolled around, and I warmed up my food, and ran 110 copies for tomorrow, since my plan time wasted away. Upon arrival at the lunch table, I discovered (through the kind enlightenment of my fellow faculty) that this week I have lunch duty. I showed my appreciation by running from the cafeteria to turn in a stack of back-to-school forms my students had given me.

Fourth hour was the jewel of the day. Fifth hour, the #1 son waltzed in for a parent signature and three-dollar lab fee. I negotiated it down to two, plus my John Hancock. Next came the Tech Nazi to remediate my parsing error. He was quite pleasant and efficient, our company computer guy, and if he continues on this track, I might feel bad about my name for him.

Sixth and seventh hour, I tried to use my down time to get into the teacher text resource materials. Let's just say it was easier for Indiana Jones to get into and out of the Temple of Doom. But at least the students got to retch at the dust mites and eyelash mites in The Invisible World. That brought the academic day to a close, but I had yet another round of parking lot duty to attend. Then some unpaid time with which to run more copies and write in my plan book and record scores.

I'm thinking Tuesday is going to be an easy day.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

you are a saint ....

Hillbilly Mom said...

Well, I WAS once compared to Mother Teresa. But that was by somebody who had never actually met me.

labbie1 said...

Tech Nazi--That's a good one! LOL I need to share that with Gman...

and what is a skerowli--My confirmation word...

Hillbilly Mom said...

He has toned it down this year. But last year we lived in fear that he would pop in while we were away from our desks. See, some of us assume that when you lock the classroom door, your computer is safe from tampering. Not so, the Tech Nazi. Log off or lock it, even if it is hermetically sealed in concrete on the bottom shelf of Davy Jones's locker.

skerowli is that little thingy on your mouse that you roll with your middle finger. The Tech Nazi might call it a scrolly.