Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillbilly Mom's Good Day

I was trying to have a good day. Really. Even though my #1 son reared his hateful bedhead and pitched a little fit because I complained that he put us 3 minutes behind schedule, I was trying to have a good day. Even though I had morning parking lot duty, lunch duty, and afternoon parking lot duty today, I was trying to set the tone of good-dayness.

Being Mrs. Even Steven, it came to pass that although we got behind the school bus I could have missed 3 minutes earlier, a dump truck pulling a trailer came up the narrow road and made the bus pull over at the next stop. That gave me time to drive past, T-Hoe being more svelte than a big yellow bus. There was no incident on the morning duty. Nobody drove behind the building, or squealed his tires, or drove too fast, or picked a fight. My first hour class was composed of angels who meekly worked on their assignment with only a rare whisper.

THEN IT HAPPENED. Second hour had just settled down for their seat work, and I was was continuing my catch-up work, having made an entire Algebra worksheet and answer sheet 1st hour. But no. The peace of Hillmomba was shattered by a hunch. Something made me look over at the first row by the door, and I saw it. A hand. It wasn't really doing anything of note. But there it hovered, thumb and index finger joined, resting atop an elbow-planted forearm. Everybody else was working. Except for the boy to which the hand was attached. Perhaps you remember that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is psychic. And does not suffer fools in any way, shape, or form.

"What are you doing?" Twenty-two heads raised and pivoted in unison. The head to which I was speaking stammered, "Wh..what..what am I doing?" I repeated myself. "Yes. What are you doing?" The hand remained in position. Trapped like a rat in a corner, facing the untiring terrier Hillbilly Mom, the perpetrator said, "Throwing a paper wad." Oh, no he didn't! A freshman dared throw a paper wad in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's classroom, in only the second full week of school!

A lecture was called for. To set the tone for the rest of the year. "How dare you throw a paper wad in my class! That is just rude. It is disrespectful. I take it personally. Do not EVER do that again, or I will send you right up to the office. That kind of behavior is not tolerated in my classroom. You go pick it up. I see two of them. What were you thinking? Put your arm down. Don't even think of throwing that one. Shame on you. You should know better than that. Now you have made me not trust your class. You should be ashamed." By this time, the kid had his head in both hands. I think he was kind of playing along with me, because I wasn't screaming like I do about once a year when I get really mad. I was exaggerating the seriousness of the offense, to make it clear that I was not to be messed with.

"I won't do it again. I'm sorry.I'm ashamed." Which was a step in the right direction, along with stopping when I told him to, and playing his part in my little drama. "Well, you know I'm going to have to tell everyone what you did. Just so they don't get the idea that it is OK to do something like that in my class. That's all the pencil-jabbers need to hear. Then they'll start it, too. I'm outraged. But I commend you on admitting what you did, and for apologizing. But don't EVER do that again!"

I really was trying to have a good day.


DeadpanAnn said...

That is awful. Just when you think things are going so smoothly, someone has to do something as senseless as throwing a paperwad. Kids these days!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
I have issues with wadders. Especially the 'spit' variety. One time, after a substitute, I harvested an entire wall full of quarter-sized spitwads. Oh, I didn't touch them. I knocked them off the wall with a yardstick, and scooped them up on a piece of paper. I have issues.