There must be. There is no other explanation for why my nearly-tolerable group of upperclassmen have gone off the deep end this week.
First, that dude checked out a book to a new pupil who was only on my roster for a couple of hours. Checked out a book! While I was away at jury duty. As if he was the one in charge, even rummaging through my cabinet designated for personal items and teacherly paraphernalia.
Today, a pupil came to my desk holding the assignment given out a scant 10 minutes prior, an assignment about inheritance of traits, which required thinking, and plotting alleles on Punnett squares. "Would you look this over?"
"You mean ALL of it? Both sides? Wouldn't that be like grading it? Only you want me to tell you what's wrong, so you can correct it, and then give it back to me to grade all over again?" Because, you see, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is there to help. To explain. To reiterate concepts. One, perhaps two questions at time. Not grade all 45 items and give each pupil a re-do. But that's what soft-
"You are really annoying me right now."
"As you are me. I did exactly what you asked, and now you're complaining."
Sweet Gummi Mary! Today's youth is never pleased. The problem with upperclassmen is that they know it all. No matter how sweet they were a couple years prior, when we were simpatico.
By that time, there was a line backed up to the pencil sharpener. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is only one person, you know. Sometimes a couple would crowd around, and two birds could be killed with one stone. Figuratively, of course.
About that time, Mrs. HM noticed that her mechanical pencil was lost. She had been using it just a moment before. She tore that desktop apart looking for it. "Just a minute. I need to find my pencil. I think much better with my pencil in my hand. Has anybody seen my mechanical pencil? It was right here." Let the record show that nobody had seen Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's pencil. It was to the point that Mrs. HM began to cast out her eyes around the room to see if anybody coincidentally had the exact same style and color of mechanical pencil as she. A model not manufactured for many years, but taken from a stash in Mrs. HM's bottom drawer as needed. Let the record further show that Mrs. HM has been known to use the same mechanical pencil for an entire school year. She rarely erases.
AHA! "Excuse me, Flippantly. Would that be my pencil that is in your hand?"
"Yes it would be."
"I would like to have that back. Now."
Because, you see, Flippantly continued writing with it! Mrs. HM's pencil! Which she had cold-heartedly picked up off Mrs. HM's gradebook as she turned in some makeup work from absences. After pupils have been instructed not to touch things on Mrs. HM's desk. Just took it! In cold blood. Thing is, Flippantly has borrowed from Mrs. HM before. Asking like a civilized human being, and always being given one from the "found" stash on the front of the desk. But NEVER a personal writing implement from Mrs. HM's work area.
"Here." And Flippantly put back the mechanical pencil on top of the gradebook, and went back and sat down (in a seat not assigned, where she had been working with the purloined pencil near the pencil sharpener, but Mrs. HM had let that transgression go, choosing her battles wisely) and looked at her paper for which she had no writing implement.
"Would you like to borrow a pencil? The right way? Because I have an old yellow wooden one here."
"Sure." And Flippantly came back and got a pencil and went back to work. Though she moved to ANOTHER seat, not assigned, but also on the periphery of the room, only this time at the back, by the turned-in papers rack.
It's a conspiracy. It has to be.