Friday, February 17, 2012

Not My Style

Here's a little-known fact: Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a bit of a micromanager. I know. Who woulda thunk it?

I was waylaid today by the Kyocera, which started shooting out a 150-page document just after I'd filled its gullet with 1000 sheets of paper. Too bad, so sad for Mrs. HM, who had to spend yet another planning period unable to run her copies. Luckily, she had a class today with only one student. So after settling the young lass with a good book and instructions to come two doors down to the teacher workroom if she needed anything, Mrs. HM quickly ran some copies in the most economical way possible. Meaning that she did not have Kyocera staple for her. That could be done manually, or girlually, in this case, in the classroom.

Lassie had generously offered to run the copies for me. I politely declined. The Kyocera is cantankerous. We don't need students trying to slay that dragon. When I returned with a stack of copies, Lassie still wanted to help. I gave her a stack of top sheets, a stack of second sheets, and my very special maroon Swingline. Then I set about the business of grading the assignments from 1st hour.

As a seasoned stapler, I would have set the top sheets on the right, the second sheets in front of me, and the Swingline on the left. Pick up a top sheet, slap it on the second sheets while extracting one, and insert the corner of the two pages into Swingline and push down with my left hand. Voila! Two pieces of paper, stapled in the tip-top upper left corner. It's not brain surgery.

Thank the Gummi Mary that your gray matter was not in Lassie's hands. I glanced up to see her personal stapling stylings. She stood over a student desk. She picked up a top sheet in her right hand. Then a second sheet in her left hand, and put them together. This combo, she held in her left hand. Then she repeated the process. After that, she picked up the Swingline with her right hand, and squeezed it on the corner of first one of the left-hand sets, then the other.

Unlike Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Vacation, when he observed his niece stirring the Kool-Aid with her arm up to the elbow in the pitcher, I did not say, "May I help you with that? Please?" I let it go. To each her own style of stapling tests together. The bell rang before she was done with the stacks. I thanked Lassie, and sent her on her way.

I looked at her stapled tests. Rather than an angled staple in the tippy-top upper left corner, Lassie had placed her staple parallel to the top edge of the page, at an orientation best described as the lower right-hand corner of the stars square on a present-day United States flag.

I guess the test-takers can just rip them apart, then come ask to staple them back together when they're done. You know. Rather than simply fold the front page back behind the second page.

Next week, I'm torn between a lesson on reinventing the wheel, and building a better mousetrap.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

Always remember ..... if you want something done right, do it yourself. I know you are going to re-do it.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yes. I will re-do it because it will actually save me time. If I don't, I will be in the middle of grading a stack of tests that have been turned in, and each of these messed-up test people will come to my desk to re-staple. They can't just pick up the Swingline and squeeze it. Somehow, a conversation is always necessary. "Can I staple this? Do you want them here? Where should I put this? I had to take it apart. You stapled it wrong. Do you want both papers? Two stacks or one? Can I wait and watch you grade mine? Do you want the answer sheet stapled on it? We can write on these, right? Can I throw this away now? Do you want our name on both papers? Can you show me my grade in this class?"

It's SO much easier to have the standard turn-in spot that is AWAY from my desk.