Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's work life generally runs smoothly. She's no novice at this education business. She gives no quarter, and takes no prisoners. Her charges generally prefer Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's way to the highway leading to the office.
Two days ago, just as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was starting class, an interruption arrived at her door. A fly in her ointment. A bee in her bonnet. A jerk on her chain. Mrs. HM's nose was about to be yanked out of joint.
This is an important class. The older kids, the ones who must take the EOC test at the end of the year, whose scores reflect mightily upon Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's teaching prowess. Let the record show that Mrs. HM works hard for those scores. She does not have the upper crust elite geniuses in the advanced course, but the working stiffs who are enrolled in technical school all morning. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom gets along swimmingly with her clientele.
She had just passed back yesterday's assignment, and was rounding the far turn by the windows to go over those answers. Reinforcement, you see, to help those future test scorers understand any errors. There came a knock on Mrs. HM's classroom door. Mrs. HM does not like interruptions. All of her students know not to come a-knockin' if Mrs. HM is a-talkin'.
Outside the door was an urchin from two years previous. Not currently enrolled in Mrs. HM's classes. Mrs. HM frowned. Shook her head. The knock knock knocking continued. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom heaved a heavy sigh, and walked all the way across the front of the room to the door. She peered through the tiny safety glass rectangle. "This better be important."
The urchin assured Mrs. HM that it was. "I have to give something to Junior." On occasion, the office sends student workers with an item to deliver to a student. But more often, the office calls that student to come get it.
Mrs. HM pushed the door latch to unlock it and let in the Interrupter. Who promptly rushed to Junior and a cohort, and laid a single stick of silver-wrapped gum on the desk of each.
"You need to leave. Don't come back. I'm going to find out where you belong. Don't ever interrupt my class again."
"But I promised them a piece of gum."
Interrupter left, amongst several calls of "No regrets." I guess that's the IN thing now. As you can imagine, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom set about motions to make sure that Interrupter would certainly suffer regrets. We are better than that. Newmentia is not a School of Distinction for nothing, you know.
Mrs. HM went over the previous lesson. Started the current lesson. And in the ensuing lull, called the office. "Newmentia, student worker."
"Oh. You can't help me. I'll call back."
Within five minutes, the secretary called. Because we're united like that. It takes a full staff to bring consequences to a child. I explained the situation.
"Busted! Yes, I know what class Interrupter belonged in. I will pass this information along."
Uh huh. Interrupter's presence was requested for an audience with the Enforcer later in the day. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not one to sweat the consequences. She completed her link in the chain. Dispensation of final retributions is not her department.
Interrupter will never again cross Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's threshold. It will take a village, an army, and a certified letter with an official seal before Mrs. Hillbilly Mom falls for such a trick again.
Because, like Newmentia, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is better than that.