Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was not pleased yesterday to arrive at Newmentia and discover that actual work was required of her on her professional development day. This professional developed a somewhat bad attitude.
First cat out of the bag, the remaining custodian brought the brand-spankin'-new custodian into my room while I was tending to my blood-pressure-pill business in the teacher workroom. Upon my return, I was greeted with the backs of the two cleaners standing just inside my door, discussing procedures. I don't begrudge a good breaking-in, but I think, perhaps, there may have been a better place for the conference. They do, after all, have their own closet. With a sink, even! So I played third wheel, sitting at my control center in the opposite corner, pretending I was invisible.
THEN the day took a turn for the worse at the stroke of 7:55, which is 8:00 school time, when the all-call came alive with information that we were expected to sit in for talks on building our own curriculum for three hours, then fortify ourselves for an afternoon of tech talks, and then roll up our sleeves and start actual construction on that curriculum. All this after we'd asked and asked for days what to expect, and had been told nobody knew yet. So we developed false hope that it would be a work-in-our-room day. Oh, and to rub salt into our wounded egos, word from the horse's mouth was that an apology was in order, because Elementia and Basementia were having lunch brought in.
But that's not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's main complaint. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's main complaint is: The Germinators!
Our meeting room was a classroom with flat desks like mine, all shoved side-by-side, aranged in two L shapes that made a rectangle open in two corners. I went to the back, the better to gaze straight-on at the projector screen. Tomato Squirter was already seated on the end of an L. I left a courtesy desk between us, and set my stuff down. STUFF being laptop, mini-spiral, folder with blank paper and my benchmark tests, a bottle of water, and my cell phone.
"Do you want me to sit right next to you? Because I can."
"No. That's good. We can leave one for our stuff."
I assumed others would see the benefit of such an arrangement. There were scarcely more than ten of us, because special teachers were meeting with their leader, and the travelers were at Basementia. My cronies trickled in. And wouldn't you know it, my next-door-school-neighbor came and sat right by me. Yes. RIGHT BY ME. No buffer in between. Who knew her hearing was so good? She picked up my heavy sigh right away.
"Oh. Do you not want me to sit here?"
"Well, we were leaving an empty desk to spread out our stuff." Let the record show that there were three desks open between me and the next person.
"I guess I can sit somewhere else if I'm not wanted."
"It's not that you're not wanted. We were leaving space. So we're not cramped. But you can sit there. You're small. Just know that I might flow over into your area."
She sat down anyway. I guess Europeans have a different size personal bubble than us ugly Americans. No sooner had she sat down than she started coughing. I turned to look at Tomato Squirter. She's very perceptive sometimes. I got an eye-roll of commiseration. So all during this three-hour presentation, I had to keep turning my head, and breathing out short breaths like my childbirth training, just to keep that germy air out of my lungs. It didn't help that a couple of cronies on the other L were hacking up chunks of lung.
You'll never guess who came and sat at my table in the library during the tech talk. Okay. You DID. Uh huh. the Lung Chunkers. Don't get me wrong. They usually sit with me. But I was the meat in a Lung Chunker sandwich for 30 minutes.
I want a HazMat suit before the next meeting.