Alive but unwilling

I am sick AGAIN somehow and have spent most of the last day and a half napping and not in the mood for much of anything. I still owe you a story or two– this was actually a fairly action-packed week despite the fact that I only spent three days teaching– but creative output is going to be minimal until I overcome whatever the hell this crud is that has me in its grip right now.


Free advice

If, after a reasonably relaxing six-and-a-half hour sleep cycle, you nearly die on the highway on the way to work because 1) somebody parked their car in a really shitty place on an offramp and oh also 2) you’re honestly fighting falling asleep for basically the entire drive, and then you get to work and, bleary-eyed and brainless, try to open your classroom door with your keycard badge, which, uh, doesn’t work on those kinds of doors, just go home. The day is not going to get better.

I also screwed up solving a problem on the whiteboard for my first hour class, only not only could I not find my error, neither could the entire class, and we sat and stared at it as a group for probably ten minutes. Turns out that, while 1.5 is half of three, that doesn’t mean that 3/1.5 equals 1/2! It equals two.

One grown adult, fifteen honors students, and it took me until lunchtime to figure out what I’d done wrong. I definitely should have given up and gone home after first hour.

In which I had shit to do today

I have discovered, at my son’s suggestion, a game called Archvale, which I played for nine fucking hours today, and it is only 5:07 PM. I had to tear myself away from the Xbox, an act requiring much more willpower than I was expecting, in order to make sure that my minor son, who I am both legally and morally responsible for, ate lunch. And also to make sure that he was, like, in the house.

My fingers are numb. It has been a very fucking long time since I played a video game until it caused injury. And here’s the real bullshit– I still have to play more video games tonight (“have to,” he said) if I want there to be content for my stupid little YouTube channel tomorrow, since I recorded none of that nine hours.

(It’s not that kind of game, I think. I coulda live-streamed the whole mess, I suppose, but it’s not good for episodes.)

Anyway. I have lesson planning to do now, I suppose. Graaaaaaah.

Another true story of 8th graders

Upon entering my classroom this morning upon my arrival at work, feeling vaguely impish, I wrote the following on my whiteboard. I deliberately wrote the words relatively small and up at the top of the board, not front-and-center like I might with something important I wanted the kids to read:

THREE day WEEK end
(clap, clap, clapclapclap)

My sixth hour is the tampon crew. Typically between fifth and sixth hour I will go use the teacher bathroom, which is in the office area across the hall from my room. The kids know this, and they’re well-behaved enough that if I leave them alone for a couple of minutes while I go get rid of my lunch, nothing bad is going to happen, and if I’m not in the classroom the very second the bell rings no one is going to panic.

That little phrase was on the board all day, and none of the students commented on it.

I came out of the bathroom and saw/heard one of my kids in my room say “Okay, he’s coming!”

And then the chanting started.

And they were being so loud and I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe, which wasn’t exactly encouraging them to stop, and it took the principal poking her head into the room before everything calmed down. She wasn’t pissed or anything but she was definitely wondering what the hell was going on.

I find myself glad that my classroom isn’t on the second floor. One can only imagine what the teacher underneath me might have thought.

In which I make a new rule

I did not go to work yesterday, and I left early the day before, and apparently my room did not get vacuumed either day. As such, there was a bit more debris on the floor when I came in this morning than I’m generally used to, both because 1) my kids are pretty clean for the most part and 2) the room does generally get cleaned every night. However, I keep a dustpan and a broom in my closet for just these situations, and as I was cleaning up I discovered something that I don’t normally find on the floor of my classroom.

A tampon wrapper.

That’s new, I thought. Not necessarily alarming, or anything, but … new.

What did prove alarming was when a couple of minutes later I found the applicator. That’s what it’s called, right? This thing?

It had been, uh, discharged, so there was nothing inside it, which actually was kind of alarming, because I’m pretty sure you generally don’t keep those when you’re done with them, right? So somebody either put in a tampon in the middle of Math class, which even in 2023 seems kinda unlikely, or they put it in in the bathroom, brought the wrapper and the applicator back to class with them, and then dropped it on the floor? Or was there a tampon floating around the room somewhere as well?

I didn’t find the tampon.

Fast forward to 6th hour. One of my Honors groups. My favorite class, but I will deny it if you tell them that. They are fucking obnoxious, but they’re somehow obnoxious in exactly the right way? I’m not sure how to explain it.

Anyway, after hearing someone saying something about “the tampon yesterday,” I investigated, and … well, now there’s a new rule in my classroom. No one who does not possess the proper body parts to successfully use a tampon is allowed to use, distribute, touch, throw, or taste tampons in my classroom, nor are they allowed to say the word “tampon,” given that I heard it more in class today than in the entirety of my teaching career up until today. And those verbs? I needed all of those verbs.

Also, I discovered that one of my boys was unaware that there was a difference between a tampon and an IUD, and in fact thought both were contraceptives.

Anybody else wanna teach middle school?