In which it’s not just the legg

You may remember that I picked my current classroom at least in part because I was told that the other room frequently was prone to heating and cooling issues. I am therefore just a little pissed to let you know that it was approximately a hundred and forty degrees and infinite fucking humidity in my room all day today, and by the time sixth and seventh hour– so far, my favorite and least-favorite group, back-to-back– rolled into my room, I was utterly and completely without a single iota of patience after five hours of being sweaty and putting up with the funk of dozens of fourteen-year-olds, some of whom were, incomprehensibly, wearing sweaters.

Sixth and seventh hour didn’t go well. I will take some– perhaps a majority– of the blame, because by that point I was just completely beaten to death by the heat and the humidity and it kills me. But one way or another they didn’t go well.

Anyway. That’s not the story. Here’s the story: during my prep period I walked into the office to check my mailbox, and I happened to walk behind my assistant principal and another teacher, who were standing at a counter in the office. The office staff were also in place. I nodded and didn’t say anything and walked back to where the mailboxes were, and then heard my name over my shoulder.

“Yeah,” someone was saying. “I think it’s Siler.”

I am not joking when I say I had been sweating for four straight hours at that point, so my initial reaction was basically pure terror.

“Christ,” I said, recovering the contents of my mailbox and walking back into the office. “I’ve been sweating like a pig all day. Do I smell that bad?”

I hear my principal laugh and realize he’s in the room as well. Dandy.

“No,” my AP says. “You smell good! There’s something–” and here she takes a deep breath– “kind of floral that just wafted past us.”

I take a whiff. I can’t smell anything Goddamn floral. All I can smell is axe body spray and funk, which is how I know I’m in a middle school.

“I promise it’s not me, then,” I say. “I don’t wear cologne and I promise you any odors wafting off of me right now are not floral. It’s a hundred and forty in my room. That might actually be the smell of death.”

I’m not certain my bosses know if I’m a good teacher or not yet, but at least they think I’m funny?

I feel like you might have forgotten about this

I heard the real version of this song last night and spent most of it trying to remember the words to the “literal” version, so now I have to share it with you.

#REVIEW: The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon

This was one of those awesome accidents, a book that I had never heard of until I picked it up off a shelf at Barnes and Noble, mostly because it was a giant, intimidating (800+ pages) doorstop of a book with a cool cover and an intriguing title and, finding myself still thinking about it, ordered it a few days later. I wasn’t familiar with Samantha Shannon’s previous work, and the notion of a one-volume epic fantasy sounded like a nice change of pace even if that one-volume was, on its own, enormous.

The basic plot is, I’ll admit, a touch on the pedestrian side: an Ancient Evil is about to awaken, and once it does, well … it’s gonna be bad, in the way Ancient Evils typically are. I mean, you don’t get to be an Ancient Evil unless you’re planning on upsetting a few apple-carts once in a while, if you know what I mean. It’s in everyone’s best interest if the Ancient Evil is prevented from waking up. That’s just kind of a given.

Where The Priory of the Orange Tree shines is how it’s about that admittedly seen-it-before premise. First of all, the action is literally worldwide. Each of the four main characters is from a different culture and a different country, and many of them do not begin interacting with one another directly until the last third or so of the book. Second, the role of religion in the book is really interesting. The Nameless One (its actual name, which … whatever) was locked away a thousand years ago, and as it turns out the different cultures do not exactly agree on the precise order of events leading up to said locking away, and some of them have based their entire governing systems on a line of succession from someone who the other cultures don’t even see as legitimate. There is an Important Magic Sword; no one agrees on who made it or who wielded it, although there is general agreement that it was used to stab the Bad Guy, somewhat less effectively than one might have hoped. Various aspects of the actual truth are uncovered at various points throughout the story; most of the time, those truths end up pissing people off.

Oh, and most of the main characters are women and lots of them are gay.

And there are dragons. And spies, and a rather interesting magic system, and court intrigue on a couple of different continents, and a plague, and I spent about half the book wondering how in the hell everything was going to get wrapped up in a single volume and the other half wishing it didn’t, which I have to figure is a recommendation. I’d happily return to this world for more, to be honest, but if there isn’t ever a second volume it absolutely wraps itself up satisfyingly.

Thumbs up. I’ll be on the lookout for more Samantha Shannon in the future.

Proof of life post

In all honesty, the last two days have gone as well as I could possibly have hoped. Better, even, since I never imagined “as well as I’d hoped” to actually be a possibility and therefore they exceeded that impossible barrier.

But I’ve been home for about four and a half hours and I’ve been staring mindlessly at my phone for about 90% of that time, so I may be too tired to string thoughts together coherently at the moment. I’ll try harder tomorrow, I promise.

See you on the other side

I am as prepared for tomorrow as I’m going to get.

I will post a real post tomorrow night provided that I remain alive.

For now, I’m going to take a shower and go to bed early and hope I can sleep.