Thursday, January 08, 2009

Did I fall into Bizarro World this week?

So, I teach in a school for kids with learning differences -- dyslexia, ADHD, and Asperger's are our biggest draws. I tend to forget that some of them are socially inept. They seem really normal until we take them in public, or until days where something really bizarre happens. Don't get me wrong. I love them. But social skills are not their strong points.

This week has been ripe with such days... Make sure you read all the way through. The second story is way better than the first.

Tale the first: Sticky Buns

A few months ago, a former student came to my classroom and said he had a little tiny present for me. Every year, he brings me a Christmas present still. He's a nice boy. A little while later, he shows up at my door with a 2-liter of root beer. I'm not a fan of root beer, so I try clever dodging strategies. He thought it was a day where you could wear jeans to school if you brought in two 2-liter soft drinks. Well, it was, but only for the grammar school. Instead of just donating the bottles anyway, he and his friends drank one bottle, and he decided to bestow the other one on me. I was touched. Slightly weirded out, but touched. I run out of avoidance strategies, and end up stuck with the root beer. I stick it under my desk, where it stays for the next couple of months.

Fast-forward to the other day, when we had to rearrange my classroom to make room for this massive AV closet they brought for the 12" flat screen. I notice that I bumped my big stack of Scholastic Book Order catalogs under my desk, which knocked the root beer over. I straightened the stack, then pushed them further back, and put the root beer right next to it. Why? Because I didn't want kids fooling with it.

Tuesday afternoon, I teach last period down the hall. I return to my room, only to discover that Terry, the teacher using my room at that time, left a note on my desk (name changed to protect the guilty):

Aimée --

Bob "accidentally" knocked over your 2-liter of root beer. I told him he has to bring you a new one tomorrow.


I walk to the front of my desk, see no spots on the ground, shrug, find the bottle in the trash (which, by the way, looked like it was squeezed by Andre the Giant and has an unscrewed cap. Interesting. Not being a fan of root beer, I have never opened it. I kept it at school so that the next time there was a 2-liter collection, I could bring it to the donations. "Oh, well," I think. "At least I no longer have to worry about the root beer."

Now, I have a very wide desk. To get the bottle and "accidentally" trip on it requires you to "sweep the leg!" under my desk and kick it out.

I sit at my desk and discover that I'm sticking to it. Then I notice that my butt feels damp. I look around, and my purse, the shoes I was originally wearing until I walked to the store and changed into flip flops but forgot to change back into, my candy jar, the arms of my chair, the legs of my chair, the charger for my laptop, and the seat and back of my chair are coated in sticky goodness.

And now I seethe.

I took Germ-X and Kleenex and did my best to remove the stickiness for now. I then filled out a write-up form with a VERY wordy yet detailed explanation, attach a recess detention to it, and wait.

Bernie comes in to talk to Jenn and me, and I pushed back in my chair a little bit to pick up a pen I dropped. I reach under my desk to pull myself closer to the desk again, and what do I discover, Wet, sticky, brown finger tips. I scream, "ROOOOOOOOOOOOOT BEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in anger, then rant about how Terry must have run away scared, haha. I'm kidding, of course, and I'm not mad at him, but I am mad at Bob and the situation.

The next morning, Bernie starts baiting Terry with tales of my wrath over the situation. Meek little Terry, who is an easy blusher, comes in and stammers an apology as I'm heading to my off-period and Bernie teaches in my room. Bernie is loving every second of this. I manage to convey my non-Terry directed anger to Terry, and figure out that Bernie has scared him. Am I that intimidating? Or is Bernie that good at lying?

Tale the second: "I Have a Cat. His Name is Bony."

As if the root beer explosion isn't crazy enough, I get pushed to the limits this morning.

We have a kid with some communication difficulties and some form of autism spectrum. He's very bright, but he can be hard to understand. He adores me....he's the one who so fiercely defended me against the kid who made lewd remarks about me and attempted to grab my rear earlier in the year. Anyway, I was recoding some grades on my computer when "Mickey" starts rambling to me. I'm trying to concentrate on not screwing up grades, and I'm half listening. All I hear is, "I have a cat. His name is Bony. Want to see why his name is Bony?"

Expecting to have him shove a wrinkly photo of a skinny kitty cat in my face, I say, "Sure." He knows I love cats. He asks me about my pictures of my cats on my desk (What? I don't have kids. I have cats.). I figure he's got a picture of his.

Mickey says, "Look. It's on the desk." I look up to find him pointing at a desk with a Ziploc freezer bag on it. "Where?" I say. No photos are on the desk. "In the bag," he says.

I look closer and am horrified to discover that Bony the cat IS, in fact, rather aptly named. Bony the cat is a decomposing bag of fur and bones. I decide now would be a good time to freak out on the kid.

"WHY DO YOU HAVE THAT!?!?!?!??!?!"
"For science class."
"Yeah. I asked her."

There's only one "her" who teaches 8th grade science: my friend, Kristin. Kristin, who only eats organic food and cruelty-free meat. Kristin, who planned a mock protest in front of my room when I wore my Cruella De Vil costume at Halloween. Kristin, who does not believe in dissecting animals and took a "C" in high school biology because she refused to dissect. Kristin, who takes in foster animals. Kristin, who is an environmentalist. Kristin, the closest thing I've found to a real-live member of PETA. This story doesn't add up.

"I seriously doubt that Ms. O would want you to bring that to her class. ARE YOU SURE that she said yes and ARE YOU SURE that you asked her about it?????????"
"Yes. We're studying about mammals and bones and teeth and I told her I have this and she said I could bring him."

At this point, Jenn steps in and suggests he put it away, as I'm bordering on hysterics and absolute disgust. Kristin was in her off-period in the teachers' lounge. I march in there, and apparently have one awesome expression on my face, because Bernie is in there and greets me with, "Hello. Are you okay?" and a concerned expression. I point at Kristin and say, "I have an important head's up for you. Did you by any chance give Mickey permission to bring a DECOMPOSING CAT IN A ZIPLOC BAG TO SCHOOL TODAY!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?"
Now it's her turn to look ill. "NO! Why would you think I would do that?"

Poor Terry was sleeping on the couch in there, and he woke up. He's as red as the couch, Bernie is practically crying, and they are laughing up a storm. Brendan is there at some point during my freak-out episode, and all three are rolling. Physically rolling, in Terry's case. Kristin and I are near nausea, both yelling and dumb-founded.

Apparently, during class, while they were, yes, learning about mammals and their teeth and bones, and said he had a skull at home, could he bring it. Kristin asked what kind. He said a cat skull. She said she guessed he could.

What he failed to mention was that said cat skull was still attached to the cat's other bones....and its fur...and resided in a Ziploc freezer bag.

Bernie kindly ran interference for us and convinced Mickey to put Bony in his locker for the rest of the day.

I went to Guidance and said, "I need a Guidance Counselor for myself, STAT!" Candice looked up and laughed and asked what was wrong. I told her my tale, and she said, "Oh yeah, he's bringing it for science class." Apparently, he brought it in Guidance and showed it to her while she was meeting with a parent and a student and couldn't really deal with it at the time. She said he has had it for a few years and found it outside. EW EW EW EW EW EW EW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Add these parents to my "List of people I want to punch." They're number 14, correct?

1 comment:

Emi said...