My work day flies by.
I barely have time to take a breath, take a tinkle, and stuff myself with sustenance on my 22-minute lunch hour. After all these years, I have a routine. I know what I'm doing. I know how much time each activity will take. It runs like clockwork, NOT!
Because the phone rings, or somebody drops by to give me something or to need me to give HER something, and the intercom hollers instructions for this and that, and I get lists of kids who will be gone with various activities, or a stack of homebound work appears, then the gradebook program gets worked on for the first time in...um...EVER...on the day I get six late assignments left on my desk or in my mailbox after school. So there is never any true catching up. Which keeps me off balance. Which makes the day rush by in a blur, with me always thinking I'm just about caught up. And then the final bell rings.
Yesterday I was trying to suck in a deep breath just after my class left the room and just before I had to rush out to the cafeteria for lunch duty. There came a tap tap tapping at my door. No gently rapping. Nevermore. It was The Pony. Of course my door was locked, per policy, so I had to get up and shuffle to the opposite corner of the room to let him in.
"What are you doing? You never stop by. You're killing me! I've got to finish this last bit of grades and get to the cafeteria."
"Oh. I have a headache. And you always tell me that if I get a headache to come get medicine, before it gets worse, and is harder to get rid of."
"Yeah. Here. It's an ibuprofen. But part of it looks white because it was in my pocket, and it must have gotten wet, and part of the coating came off. But it's fine."
"All right. I'm going to grab a cookie to go with it, because you tell me not to take one on an empty stomach."
That's my Pony. A true direction-follower. He pulled open the bottom file cabinet drawer to get into the stash of snacks he keeps for after school. His grandma gave him a big baggie of cookies the other day. Not homemade. But she took them out of the package and baggied them for some reason. I went back to my desk to finish entering grades on the previous hour's assignments. The Pony went on to Chem II, and I gathered my broughten lunch.
We had an eventful lunch 1/3 hour, what with the smack being laid down on fee-owers and ID-losers. Did you know kids don't like to be sent to the back of the line, or told they can't have double or triple trays? Yeah. The audacity of a school, wanting the money it's owed, and expecting kids to identify themselves to the lunch record-keeper!
This year my plan time is after lunch. I'd say AMEN to that, but I fear it might violate some separation-of-church-and-state statute. I was a bit perturbed upon entering my room. The last class in there was a pleasant enough group. They are small in number, and I sometimes allow them to switch to another seat after turning in the assignment. We don't really have issues with wildness or slovenliness. But today, the chairs were out of place. Sure, it could have been from the hour before them. Time flies, you know, and I barely make it to the door to let the next class in before they start banging on it like an angry mob demanding their learnin'.
Not only were the desks askew, but there was some kind of crumby foodstuff on the desk where I had seen a girl pull up a chair and sit, head tucked down, talking to a guy. They are both civil, polite, low-maintenance pupils. I had thought nothing of it. But now I was about to come to a boil. THEY HAD BEEN EATING IN MY CLASSROOM! That is not allowed in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's realm. No Food. No Drinks. No Slurpage. That should be a sign. I would buy one and hang it on my door. Every now and then I find a wrapper of some breakfast treat inside the desk. But these two had left no packaging evidence. I had a good mind to yank their two points a day for good behavior right out from under their grade-point average. But since they had been good kids so far, I talked myself down and decided to give them a stern talking-to the next day.
Of course I had to clean up the mess. That, or listen to the next group complain about it, like I had personally soiled their learning furniture. The captain swabs down the ship, even if the cabin boy besmirched it. I grabbed a paper towel and some Fantastik and set to work.
Well, don't that just beat all! The foreign foodstuff was the remains of about 1/4 of a CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!