#weekendcoffeeshare: no dying allowed edition

If we were having coffee, reading would be a nice, uncontroversial subject to talk about. I read two and a half entire books yesterday, which is both impressive and not impressive: the two entire books were a novella and a novelette, respectively, Robert Jackson Bennett’s Vigilance and Warren Ellis’ Dead Pig Collector. The two took maybe an hour and a half taken together. Then again, the half book was the back half of Dune, so I think I still get credit for reading a lot yesterday. I’ll likely finish a book today– I’m reading Mallory Ortberg’s The Merry Spinster right now, and it’s another short one, so whatever I go to after that probably ought to have some meat to it.

That said, it would probably be best to choose an oval or rectangular table, and maybe we ought to be sitting at the far ends. I thought yesterday I was most of the way out of my cold, and then we went out to dinner and got seated too close to the door and I kept getting blasted with cold air. I feel distinctly worse than I did yesterday, and in a different way from how I’ve felt poorly over the last several days. I already know that the week after this one is going to be short, between Presidents’ Day and an inservice I’m attending on the 22nd, so I’m running out of weeks where I might be at work all five days in February. I don’t have enough sick days left right now so I’d really prefer for this shit just to go away now, please. I’m pretty sure what I had last week wasn’t contagious but hell if I know what I’m heading into right now. Whee!

The good news: Sunday is a good day to sit around and binge The Great British Baking Show, and being moderately sick gives me all the excuse I need. I’m watching the most recent season right now, and … man, are these folks British. Most of the stuff they’re making from episode to episode is stuff I’ve never heard of, too, which is always fun– and half the time it’s stuff the contestants have never heard of. It’s not a bad show. Check it out, if you happen to have a Netflix subscription.

What’s been up with you lately?

shut up shut up shutupSHUT UP

On the heels of last night’s admission that spending half an hour talking about education with a couple of very talented teachers made me actually miss teaching, I woke up at an indecent hour last night to an email from my boss warning me that I was likely to have to spend a good portion of today and Monday covering classes, specifically 7th grade math, which you may remember was my major subject during the last year where I was actually a full-time, entire-year teacher.

This ended up not working out because of several preexisting commitments, but I did teach math during sixth, seventh, and eighth hour today. And I’ll admit it: I had fun. It was nice.

(I didn’t do any lesson planning or grading or really have to deal with any discipline issues. I shut them up at the beginning of class, let them know that if they were silent and respectful while I explained my rules I’d give them a generous leash during class, and then went from table to table checking in and answering questions during class. In other words, I only did the fun part of the job. Hell, I didn’t even have to do any whole-group shit! That might have required classroom management!)

I am not going back into the classroom next year, Goddammit. I’m not. No. And I’d appreciate it if the universe would quit trying to contrive situations where it pretends that thinking about returning to the classroom is anything other than a cataclysmically bad life decision.

In other news, it has been a solid four days since I’ve had a decent night’s sleep, despite sleeping for about 20 hours on Wednesday, and I’d appreciate it if that could happen tonight. I’m mostly over the cold, which is now only manifesting itself in occasional acute and intense bouts of dry throat, but I’m surprised at how functional I am given how little useful sleep I’ve had lately.

Okay I’m ready to go back to work now

45 below zero yesterday, forty below zero this morning, and I’ve been to school one day this week and twice in the last nine days. I went outside for a couple of minutes yesterday just to feel what -45 degrees felt like, and it is not something that I would recommend– not because of the cold, oddly, but because of the weird shit that happens to your skin after spending even just a couple of minutes outside in that shit and then coming back into a 68 degree house. That’s a temperature shift of somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred and ten degrees in seconds, and it turns out that it’s a bad idea.

It’s possible that there won’t be school tomorrow either. I don’t know that it’s terribly likely for a number of reasons– objectively, it’s still gonna be fucking cold tomorrow, with a windchill below zero, but the actual air temperature will be positive and I think after the last several days they’re going to look at that and go meh, good enough and have the day. Attendance will be shit because a lot of parents are going to shrug and let their kids stay home anyway but it won’t add another day in June.

(Goes and looks at the forecast)

Jesus H. Christ this shit is NOT NORMAL:

-25 on Wednesday (yesterday,) 53 on Monday, then a low of 6 again on Thursday. This is Goddamned ridiculous.

Anyway, one way or another I’ve been stuck in the house for a bit too long at this point and everything is starting to bore and/or aggravate me and despite the fact that it’s still currently -8 outside I may need to leave the house this afternoon just for the sake of my sanity. I’m maybe an hour or two away from beating Dark Souls again and part of me thinks I should just roll straight into DS2 for the third time after I finish that. The rest of me is starting to think this is borderline unhealthy and hey you have all this free time maybe finish writing a book?

That’s the stir-crazy talking, obviously. Clearly it’s all nonsense. What are y’all doing to stay sane while outdoors is trying to kill us?

On my favorite part of the day

There are so many possible options. Could it be…

  • My foot flying out from underneath me on literally my first step out of my car when trying to go into work this morning?
  • The not-one-not-two-but-three teachers who grabbed me and asked me for help and/or favors before I managed to take my goddamn coat off once I got in the building?
  • Babysitting a room full of deeply obnoxious 8th graders with no lesson plans of any kind during homeroom and first hour?
  • Returning a computer to a kid for something like the tenth or eleventh time in the last few weeks and catching myself just before telling him that if he lost it again I’d be making sure he couldn’t lose it again by shoving it sideways up his ass the next time I returned it?
  • The ten different kids– I counted– who came to bother me about charging their computers during second and third hour, which is about five times the normal number?
  • My terrible decision to go to Panda Express for lunch?
  • The two hours this afternoon where my right leg decided it didn’t need to be a leg anymore, probably courtesy of item #1?
  • Realizing that I’d been so busy over the course of the day that I’d manage to accumulate forty-five emails that I needed to read or respond to, most before going home?
  • Realizing that the “upgrade” to an essential part of our district’s content monitoring strategy, which hasn’t worked since late December and had just been pronounced “fixed,” was not only not fixed but might have been actually downgraded, and having to explain that to half a dozen angry teachers in half a dozen separate conversations?
  • The general, ongoing feeling of “none of this shit is my fault at all and I’m trying to be as gentle with y’all as I can possibly be while I’m explaining that I know that everything is still fucked and I can’t fix it but I’m starting to reach the point where I’mma snap off on the next person who looks at me sideways about this”?
  • Accidentally sticking my foot into a disciplinary issue with literally 20 minutes left in the school day and emailing another staff member to say “I’m not doing shit about this because I’m tired but you can if you want to”?
  • The vague realization that Friday, at least, promises to be way worse than today was, and tomorrow’s got pretty heavy bullshit potential too?

Right now I think it’s probably the leg, but there’s still like five hours left in the day before I’m going to be in bed.

Because it’s still true

This picture is very old– almost exactly fourteen years, in fact– but was taken under the precise circumstances and in the same mood that I am in now; that being the end of the first semester of school, and the beginning of a glorious two weeks in which I am not responsible for anyone else’s children.

So yeah. Let’s use it again.