October 2, 2012

Top 10s (10 - 8)

Side note: I came up with this idea a while ago, but due to...LIFE...I haven't been able to write all 10 yet. I figured I'd start with these three and continue to add, periodically, until I reach Number 1 (a doozy, I tell you).

A few of us teachers were hiding out in the break room the other lunch, and we started laughing about some of the (mis)adventures that we've had over the years as teachers. (mis)Adventures that we were never warned about in teacher school. 

Here are some of my Top 10 Teacher (mis)adventures, in no particular order...

10. The Run-In: students find you.
It was one of those days. The kind where it snuck up on me and head-smacked me over and over. Heading home, I stopped at Target to pick up a few necessities for my survival of the next 12-ish hours. You know, the recovery-kit: Totino’s Pizza Rolls (the max pack), the large bag of Halloween candy (bless Target for starting early on that marketing campaign), the 2-gallon jug-o-wine (I’m not ashamed), Ben and Jerry’s Phish Phood (it’s possible there were three of them), “Felicity” seasons 1 – 3, and um…how does one put this delicately? A box of “lady items.” Suddenly, out of nowhere (and, I mean NOWHERE) this voice pipes up, “Ms. Doe! How ARE you?!?” There, before me, stands one of the culprits of said horrid day (and creator of my need for at least half of that jug of wine), smiling as if he’s as pure as the driven snow (he’s not. I promise). Standing next to him? His father. The lead pastor of the most über-conservative church in town.

9. Back-to-School-Night:
As if the idea that I need to talk to the PARENTS of my students isn't bad enough, my very first B2S Night (as our school likes to abbreviate it), I looked like one of the students. I kid not, that year I was “escorted” to the office more times than I could count by our “helpful” parent volunteers, all of whom were convinced that I was out of class without permission. Needless to say, that night, I needed to look the grown up part. I had that down – and was tastefully dressed in a way that (I had hoped) conveyed a level of maturity and sophistication

All was good until dinner time. The school provided us with a meal, since so many of us couldn't go home and back in the time allotted, so I had moved to the quad to join my co-workers. It was then that it happened. The worst, worst possible issue to befall a tastefully dressed lady who so needed to impress her students’ parents.

I sat in it, unawares. A large, purple, sticky blob had formed on the back of my dress, and of course, we discovered it five minutes before the festivities were to start. There was no time to run home to change – I had no Plan B.
I spent the whole Back to School Night leaning against my whiteboard, hiding my purple-hued left butt-cheek, praying that no one would notice. I thought I had succeeded until I met the parents for Student Council (my last class of the night).
It was then that the Student Body President (who was in attendance, and whom I have forgiven…I think…), stage whispered, “Ms. Doe…! What happened to your dress?!?!”
Lesson learned: bring three clothing options for B2S Night. Never leave anything to chance.

8. Driving “Adventures”:
Every teacher has to drive his/her students somewhere over the course of his/her teaching career, but I think the teachers at my school have pulled the lion’s share of this duty. Between field trips, service days, sports games, and missions trips, we always seem to be piling kiddos into vehicles and departing to destinations unknown.
One year, I was tasked with driving a white 15-passenger van (!! We called it “Moby Dick”) filled with 16-year-old boys all over (I mean ALL OVER) San Francisco. The thing about 16-year-old guys is: they just learned to drive, think they’re 10-feet-tall and bullet proof, and honestly think they can drive better than you – even though you earned your license BEFORE THEY WERE BORN.
Needless to say, the whole way to SF, all I heard was how I should merge over, go faster, get around that car up ahead, and “Geez; could you turn OFF Boston/Train/The Who/Journey/Eric Clapton and turn on Chris Brown??” Every bit of my performance was under critique from teenage driving professionals, and I came up lacking.
Until the field trip headed to Ghirardelli Square. Until I pulled the coup d’état that knocked all the wind out of their very-full-of-s#@% attitudes and sails.
I parallel parked that Moby Dick of a van directly in front of the Ghirardelli sign like a pro.

Take that, boys.

Radio Silent

I've been silent for a long time; I know that. I was so busy being, teaching, hanging out with loved ones, laughing, SLEEPING...that I didn't have time to blog.

Oh, I had blog ideas. Lots of them. They swam around in my head, circling like the bright colors on a Calliope. Thing was, I just didn't have time to put them on paper, so to speak.

So, my brilliant, hilarious, witty, life-changing (hah!) blog posts stayed locked up in my brain all summer long. I apologize about that, but...selfishly, I was having too good a time with my adventures to stop.

I think that's what life is supposed to be.

Now that I have settled into a (albeit, erratic) rhythm back in the teaching world, I hope to jump back into blogging. Telling stories.

Reminding myself...maybe others...that life is worth living. Fully. Completely.