Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Final Showdown (For This Year At Least)

(Before I begin...totally sorry for not posting in ten days. Even after eight years, the last days of school always manage to knock me flat!! All the filing, organizing, grading....oh my! While at first glance, one might think, "Mrs. Mimi, you totally heart organizing and such" and you would not be wrong. However, at the end of the year, everything is so in your face and dominated by an urgent countdown of days left...it renders me fully catatonic (read: insane bitch). I have missed you though, my friends, I have missed you.)

Now that we have gotten that out of the way...

Get this. Last Friday I was absent. I know, I know...I am kind of a d-bag for being absent at The End, but I had a wedding related event. I am a bridesmaid and I take my duties quite seriously. Anyhow, I was absent, get over it. Another "teacher" (read: the dreaded kind out of the classroom person who is used to five free periods a day and therefore horrified when asked to work a full day) covered my room while I was gone. This "teacher" also happens to be all buddy-buddy with a certain Bacon Hunter.

(insert ominous music here)

Together they are like the Dynamic Douche Duo...two useless souls banded together in their pursuit of ways to slack off and not do any actual work. Basically, they are everything that is wrong with the public education system. I'm sure when they found out one of them would be posted in my room for the day, their first thought was, "I have to, um, DO stuff today?", their second thought was, "How will I eat a bacon, egg and cheese in front of the children?" and their third thought was, "Jackpot."

You see, I am a rock star. I work with other rock stars otherwise known as my Super Colleagues. And we have a little something I like to call the Binder of Everything That is Important...or the Binder Del Mundo. This binder is filled, literally brimming with genius. Original rubrics, engaging lesson plans, authentic assessments...seriously it is H-O-T with a capital brilliant! The Bacon Hunter has been trying FOR YEARS to get her little bacon-grease covered paws on this gem because it would be a) something she could/would take false credit for and b) a vehicle to do even less work than she already does.

Ever the consummate professionals, we have been hiding the Binder Del Mundo in locked closets for years. You know, because we're collaborative? We're safety conscious? We're jerks? Whatever. I, personally, take part in the Binder Protection Plan because this woman adds absolutely NOTHING to our conversation and while I will share anything with anyone in the name of bettering our practice, I refuse to share anything...not even a scrap of paper with this woman. (Ooooo....I sound a smidge angry, don't you think? I heard bitter equals wrinkles...I better watch out!)

You still with me? Okay. So I'm absent on Friday and the Bacon Hunter takes the opportunity to buddy up with her partner in crime and ransack through my cabinets while my kids are in the room and they should probably be, oh, I don't know, attending to them or something. Let me say this again, so you can react fully and thoroughly. THEY RANSACKED THROUGH MY THINGS....MY CABINETS, MY FILES, MY SHELVES. I am assuming they were in hot pursuit of the Brilliant Binder. Um, so holla that I lock it up in a move of shockingly juvenile spite, right?

I come to work on Monday and several adult sources, along with a group of horrified students, told me of Fridays events. At first, I was all, "whatever...they stink...they didn't find it." But as the day wore on, I was more like, "WTF?! They went through my ROOM?!? I mean, I know it doesn't technically BELONG to me, but it is MY SPACE. My KINGDOM. It is the only oasis I have at work." In short, I became fairly pissed. And it was then that I thought to myself, "Self, you can not roll over and take this. There are five days left in the school year, so why not have a good old confrontation?"

Fast forward to me showing up in her office.

Me: Um, so did you find all my math supplies in proper order?
Her: What are you talking about?
Me: When you went through all my things...on Friday..when I wasn't here.
Her: I would NEVER do that.
Me: But you did.
Her: Well...(Insert me holding up my hand here, stopping her in mid sentence. This is a move I learned from Big Mama Mimi when I was a teenager who may have, you know, mouthed off occasionally. It used to make me so mad when she would cut me off like that, that I would imagine snapping her hand off. However, fifteen years later...very effective.)
Me: Stop. I have been listening to you all year. Now, listen to me. Don't go through my classroom. Ever. Never. If you need something, have the professional courtesy to ASK. I know we don't always get along but I would NEVER go through your desk because I am not a sneaky, unprofessional person. Please show me the same respect. This will not happen again.
Her: You need to...
Me: Nope. No talking. (Cut to me turning on my fabulous heel - love you Nine West outlet near my grocery store! - and walked out of her office.)

So maybe it wasn't the smack down you were envisioning. Maybe I should have just popped her.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Blogoversary To Me!!

Well friends, it's been TWO YEARS (!) since I started this lil 'ol blog...thank you so much to all of my loyal readers! You make my day when I want to poke myself (or The Weave) in the eye. Keep reading and keep being fabulous!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thanks A Lot Calvin Klein!

Today I went on a field trip with my friends. If you are a faithful reader, you are amazing. AND, you also know about my issues with field trips based on the ghosts of Horrific Field Trips Past that continue to haunt me. However, I am dedicated to my calling, and therefore, continue to subject myself to that yellow school bus, public bathroom emergencies and other potential disasters.

On this gray, gloomy and God-why-isn't-the-year-over-yet day, nudity struck before we even got to the museum. Now, I had a run in with Field Trip Nudity last year, but for some reason, it keeps coming back to bite me on my (clothed) behind. We're rolling along on the bus when we get stuck in a bit of traffic. As I chat with a fellow colleague, an uproar spreads across the vinyl green seats, followed by intense laughing and cat calling.

Little kids cat calling? (is something you might ask incredulously)

Yes, little kids cat calling.

At a Lady Ga Ga poster. In which she is essentially wearing only pasties and a frizzy hair-do. (I would find the image and upload it here, but am not going to for several reasons. 1) I don't know how to do that. 2) I think the image is permanently burned into my brain and I am trying to get it to go away and 3) I have a feeling that the regular readers of my blog aren't chomping at the bit to see her and her little tassels...am I right or am I left?)

As the bus pulls away from the Boobs, I think we might be out of the woods. But no, there's more. I am alerted to a Calvin Klein ad which stretches the width of an entire building and depicts a young, very muscular man as he evidently begins to, um, pull his pants down? I mean, good for you Mr. Model, but really? There are small children here who definitely don't need to ponder what you have on under your Calvins.

This is the point where I begin to desperately search through my Teacher Bag for some Advil, or my travel coffee mug, or a whistle to divert their attention.

Thank goodness the field trip was fabulous. But on the way home, don't you know we took the same route and stopped outside the exact same images? Of course we did. I wouldn't have it any other way. And as I watched these images literally push all their recently acquired knowledge out of their little heads, I wondered what they will say when their parents ask about the highlight of the trip today...

Although really...am I any better?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Say What?!?

I have a lot of respect for kindegarten teachers. I like little ones, but kindegarteners are WAY too little. I see some of my colleagues in the hallways and, despite their best efforts, it always looks a bit like they are herding cats. However, from my current position as "the cool teacher down the hall with the big kids", I enjoy admiring my little mini-friends from afar. In fact, one particular mini-friend might be the cutest little one I have ever seen EVER and, don't take this verbage the wrong way, he has become somewhat of a class pet. All my friends and I adore this kid. He is super duper mini, has the crazy little high pitched voice and no ability to filter what he says AT ALL. Plus, like icing on the cake, he is a Naughty Boy in training...he has this wonderfully saucy side to go with his cute personality.

Mini Friend gets sent to my room fairly frequently - when he's not allowed to go on a field trip, when he's been naughty (heart it!), or just for a visit. Sometimes he comes bearing notes asking for favors and other times he comes just to brighten my day.

Can you tell I love this kid yet?

If you can't...I worry about your ability to use context clues.

The other day, Mini Friend walks into my room and without seeming to notice that there are twenty big kids on the carpet in front of me, interrupts us by saying, "Mrs. Mimi, I'm in trouble."

"Sweetheart, what did you do?"

Mini Friend ducks his head with a little smirk and hands me a paper. On the paper are some incoherent kindegarten scribbles. Fortuantely, "child" is my third language and as I scan the page, I think I see the word "Ta-tas". Ta-tas? That can't be right...wait, let me check the post it. It reads, "Your friend was writing a poem about boobs."

Ah, thoooooose Ta-tas. I quickly pull myself together (because I am DYING!!!) and say, "Mini Friend, please go sit at the back table."

Fast forward twenty-ish mintues when my friends are diligently working away on a math project. I make my way back to Mini Friend to have A Little Talk.

Me: Mini Friend, what were you writing a poem about?
MF: Titties.
Me: (Did he really just say "titties" to me without batting an eyelash?!?) Oh, uhhhh....well, do you know what titties are? (I can't believe I just used the word "titties" at work.)
MF: (nodding)
Me: Ok. Well those are private. They are one of the private parts that we don't write about in poems at school.
MF: (smiling and nodding)
Me: Were you trying to get your friends to laugh and smile at that silly word? I know sometimes kindegartners think privates are pretty funny.
MF: (nodding...bashful ADORABLE smiling)
Me: Can we come up with a list of better topics for a poem together?
MF: (more nodding)
Me: (whipping out a beloved Post It note and a tangerine Sharpie) Any ideas?
MF: Teddy bears?
Me: (Did he say "titty" bears??) Did you say teddy bears, friend?
MF: (nodding)
Me: Ah! Fabulous idea....

I sent him back to class with a list of five more kindegarten-friendly topics for poetry. I kept the Titty poem and boob Post It for myself.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Someone Cue the Fat Lady?

I think it may be time for her to start singing.

There are a few annual events at my school that are prime for high drama. These are days in which tempers run high and the bullshit is thick and deep. For example, Picture Day is a day filled with last minute schedule changes, angry lines and disgruntled parent volunteers...you know, things that are very ironically not worth smiling about.

Field day is another such day. As I found out today, Field Day, a day that should be filled with laughter, good natured competition and sportsmanship and well deserved fun, has the potential to render me a shrill, slightly hysterical...um, bitch.

Am I yelling at the kids you ask? Oh, no! No! Not at all...they are fabulous. And Field Day hasn't even happened yet. No, no, no. All my angst and irritation is directed at the administration. So I am shrill and slightly hysterical with adults...not the kids, just to be clear. Today almost makes me miss the days when Field Day comprised of approximately 200 children literally sitting in a nearby field all day. Seriously.

However, after many years of lounging in fields, one colleague motivated and planned a real, honest-to-goodness Field Day complete with relay races, balloon tosses and fabulousness. Minus some of the odd sexual projections of some fellow staff members, it was a glorious day. This year, we anxiously set about preparing ourselves for another day of outdoor fun. With a somewhat-crazed smile plastered to our faces, we crawled through dirty storage closets, climbed over mountains of soccer balls and dug up old bean bags. We reworked master schedules, had the children create individual flags and made gorgeous banners for each of the stations. In short, we rocked out the Field Day preparations.

And then the weather man said that it was going to rain. That was when the shit began to hit the fan.

First of all, there is no rain date. We have an entire day of outdoor activities planned and the administration never thought to, you know, pick a rain date. Minor detail to them I guess. They don't have to face a room full of disappointed and irritable children ready to run around with eggs on spoons.

As we anxiously awaited the indoor Rain Plan schedule to be made public, my colleagues and I (some Super and some not so super...but hellish circumstances can bring people together, right?) tried to come up with a few scenarios for a fun day. Emergency popcorn and a movie. Murals. Painting. Craft projects. Games. ANYTHING!

And then, at approximately 3:05 (aka - five minutes after the day had officially ended) we were emailed the schedule. And...

WTF???

All the children in grades preK through 2 (about 250 children ) were alloted one hour in the cafeteria. One hour for Field Day. 250 children running around the cafeteria. This is batshit crazy for many reasons.

1. One hour???
2. 250 kids in an enclosed space?
3. Why do we only get one hour, but each upper grade gets a block of several hours? (You know teachers are all about FAIR.)
4. Did I mention that our one precious hour was from 8am to 9am?? Meaning we were going to be running around small puddles of milk, muffin tops and other assorted breakfast debris. (Could we turn that into a relay??)

So this is where me being shrill comes in....

Long, gossipy and dramatic story short, I let the new administrator with the Big Master Plan have a piece of my mind. Probably too big of a piece.

We'll see what happens tomorrow...

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