. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: I’ve Been Remiss

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I’ve Been Remiss

Where have you been, Edna?

I know that's what you all have been thinking, anxiously checking your email/reader for my latest prose, wondering what happened to me, hoping I was not trapped beneath something heavy.

Well, I have been trapped beneath something heavy…

…the insupportable weight of a new school year!

It's not the mountains of paperwork that we must hand-out, explain, highlight for parent signature, collect, rehand-out, re-explain, rehighlight parent for parent signature, collect, rerehighlight for parent signature, screw the explanation, stick a post-it note on with the words "sign here" in three languages and an arrow pointing at the signature line, collect, and then eventually forge the parent's signature that exhausts me.

It's not the repetition of classroom routines that, after three weeks, remain a mystery to this class.

"Go to your seats, empty your backpacks, go the coat rack and hang them up."

"Anthony, why is your backpack at your seat and your books in the coat rack?"

"Vicki, when you sit in front of the coat rack and empty your backpack, no one else can hang theirs up. Do you not see the line of 32 students waiting here? Besides, you might get stepped on."

"Jim, how did you even manage to fit your backpack into your desk?"

"I know Vicki is crying. Tell her Ms. Lee said Told ya' so."

It's not even the looooong hours required just to keep my head above water (or the fact the mechanic at Goodyear told me, as he packed up to leave at 4:00 PM, that he'd love my job because he'd love to work from eight until two each day. I let him know that the only way my hours and his would be the same was if he had arrived for work at 4:00 AM because it's not unusual for me to work from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. So put that in your tailpipe and smoke it, sucka!)

No, it is none of the above.

It's Travis.

Travis is new to our school this year. Wanna know how I know that?

Without fail, every day and with every activity we do Travis raises his hand and utters the phrase, "At my oollld school…" and then attempts to tell me how what I am about to do is different, and in many ways inferior, to his old school's practices.

In addition to being the unofficial historian for his old school, he coughs the cough of a student vying for attention, twice daily grips his stomach from inexplicable pains, scratches at rashes only he can see, suffers from blinding headaches until something more fun is being done, loses sight in one eye for brief periods of time, limps during PE but forgets which leg he was limping on and will actually ask me if I could refresh his memory, wonders aloud if everyone can hear that ringing noise or if it's just the return of his ear infection, and cries during math because although he understands the assignment he still wants to live with his Nana.

Oh, and he has a twin brother who, thankfully, was enrolled in the other 4th grade class. He likes to remind me that they ARE identical twins.

God, help us all.


Mister Teacher said...

So, a normal year then, eh? ;)

Edna Lee said...

Painfully normal...

Anonymous said...

The mechanic is clueless. I have heard that same comment sooooooooo many times. Travis sounds like he will be quite a challenge. Sometimes those uprooted kids are never happy with their new schools.

Melissa B. said...

Well, at my ollllld school, we sent kids like Travis to the coat room to clean up all the extraneous backpack leavings impeding our progress to the hooks. No, I'm just kidding. But I feel your pain! The new school year is underway, and there's no end in sight! BTW, if you have some time tomorrow, drop on by my place. We're playing the Silly Sunday Sweepstakes, and Sharing All That Caption Love!

askthehomediva said...

Ah Edna,
Glad you're back… start an ECD… Emergency Chocolate Drawer… I bet they didn't do that at Travis' old school ;-)