They grow bolder. Like jackals creeping ever-closer to the fire.
The timid little freshmen ain't what they used to be, many short months ago. They have lost all fear. Scoff at my rules. If I didn't know better, I might think they were unweaving the fabric of society, one tiny stitch at a time. I present, for your reading horror, four hair-raising examples. All observed in a single day. A MONDAY.
A conundrum of a lass arrived in my classroom thirty minutes before first bell. THIRTY MINUTES EARLY. Even though she is constantly tardy, passing right under the nose of Mrs. HM just before the tardy bell on several occasions, and deliberately going the other way. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a sitter service. She does not rake in the big bucks for tutoring, nor encourage direct student contact for Career Ladder purposes. Her time without students is used for working. To stay caught up. Conundrum, let's call her Conny, asked if she could leave her books on her desk for first hour. NO. Because then I would have to let every loquacious lost layabout cart his books in while I was trying to get ready for the day. They never just put down books, you know. They stop to chat. They bring a friend. Then two. Then three. Next thing you know, your classroom is the new teen hangout. Like vampires, once you invite them in, you can't keep them out. There are plenty of teachers who encourage visitors before school. I am not one. Students are made away of this on the first day, and reminded pretty much on a weekly basis.
It's spirit week. The first basketball game of the season was Tuesday night. The theme for Monday was Wear Pajamas. I don't know why. They don't have clever reasons like Red Ribbon Week. Just Wear Pajamas. Notice that the directive is to wear PAJAMAS. But no. Some students pushed that theme to the limit. Slippers. Robes. Blankets. Pillows. Call me a curmudgeon, but the day that I allow a pillow and blanket to cross my threshold will be the day the learning dies. I sent the Travelodge Sleepy Bear packin' his gear back to his locker. My explanation was lost on him. Perhaps I need to make a recording so he can absorb it subliminally during a nap.
I caught a Scofflaw strolling around my classroom before the tardy bell, DRINKING FROM A WATER BOTTLE. Water bottles are forbidden. As are all beverages. I called him into the hall. Sent him to throw it away in the cafeteria garbage can. I couldn't have him toss it in my wastebasket, because some other copycat might fish it out and drink from it. Freshmen are like that.
The epitome of the boundary-crossers was caught caressing my file cabinet. The one which has a bottom drawer reserved for snacks for The Pony and Genius. Like a Yellowstone Grizzly was he, all sniffing and pawing, showing a lack of fear and respect for the top human. That is not acceptable. Students should never have any reason to OPEN MY FILE CABINET. He had his hand on the handle, did Eppy. He would have slid it open quicker than a Ghost Hunter inspecting a morgue drawer, had I not peeped in from the hall, around the corner of my door, and caught him in the act. Even then, he was slow to withdraw his lingering touch.
I must remain ever vigilant. Booby-trapping is frowned upon. A ring of torches will soon lose their effectiveness. I fear that marking my territory with my own urine will be an act so misconstrued as to render me a lead story on the evening news. I'm pretty sure stun guns are not allowed on school property. I do not have certification to dispense tranquilizer darts from a propulsive device.
I will try to leave a journal detailing my final days, in the event that I turn up missing.