Thursday, November 28, 2013

We Talk Without Speaking

Perhaps I mentioned that I have needed to rearrange my classroom furniture when I arrive at school in the morning. Not to be all artsy-fartsy or feng shui-ish. Just to survive. To put things back like I left them the previous afternoon. In working order. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Wednesday was Day 3 out of the last 4 that I had to re-do. It will probably come as no surprise to you to hear that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was not a happy camper.

I repositioned my student rear-end receptacles so that we had clear ingress and egress on all four sides of the classroom. I mentally shook my fist and vowed that Cus would pay for this uncalled-for invasion of my territory. Seriously. Nobody wet-mops a room three days out of four. Nobody. My arrangement allows ample access for the short dust broom. I see this escalation in our battle of wills as a thumbing of Cus's nose to my sovereignty. A kingdom divided by an extra 12 inches cannot stand.

There I stood, minding my own business, scanning the halls for huggers and runners, at the start of the school day. My students entered. The hallway traffic ebbed. And I heard it. The click of a door handle. I saw the bar turn downward on the side door to the kitchen. And out stepped Cus! Cus does not work mornings! Cus comes in at 2:00. Or 1:30. Did you know that Cus is an overachiever? Anyhoo, there stood Cus, anachronistically.

It was like the calm before a gunfight on a dusty frontier town main street. Like a duel begun by an aspersion cast upon one's ladyfriend, escalated by a white-gloved slap across the kisser, ending in a staredown at 20 paces, just before the bang-bang. Like divorced parents eyeing each other across the gymnasium at an elementary school Christmas concert. Cus looked me in the eye. I looked Cus in the eye. Cus knew that I knew that Cus knew the desk-moving shot across the bow had been discovered. Cus dropped the gaze and went about the business of starting a job that should not have started until six hours later.

I went into my classroom as the bell rang. Did my teacherly duties. Watched the hall again 50 minutes later. Graded some homebound work on my plan time. Ran a week's worth of copies for two subjects. And shuddered as I heard the wheels of Cus's trash can coming down the hall. I sat very still, like a rabbit under a hedge as the hounds ran by. My automatically-shutting-off lights had turned themselves off. Maybe Cus wouldn't notice me in the dark room. Wait! That's not good! Cus might come in and rearrange. I waved my arms over my head wildly. Rolled three feet to the right. Waved like the signalmen flagging in a jet on an aircraft carrier. The lights popped on. The wheels went on past my rented piece of real estate.

When the bell rang to end my plan period, I went back to supervise the hall. Here came Cus. "Hey, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom...when is your planning period?" AHA! Cus wanted to clean my room early. Even though it had been cleaned last night, and only ONE class had been in there since then. Well. The joke was on Cus.

"Oh, I just had my planning period. Now I have classes every hour until we're dismissed." Heh, heh.

It was a bit distracting to look up several times the rest of the day, and see Cus's face in my door window. Too bad. No amount of yearning can make a class disappear from a classroom.

Score one for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.


Sioux said...

I can hear the iconic theme song from the movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" in the background(You have the first role...Cus takes on the 2nd and
3rd role.)

Hillbilly Mom said...

I am so glad you knew which part best suited me!