Friday, September 26, 2008

I've Been Voted Off The Hexagon!

Today we had an Inservice Day, which was not so much a worthwhile learning experience as an exercise in torture. Good News, Bad News Department: breakfast was provided, but it was donuts and diced fruit; lunch was catered, but it was a pan of pork, a bag of buns, three containers of BBQ sauce with one spoon, potato salad and beans.

We listened to the same guy all morning, and he put us through the paces of recording info and standing up to tell the whole cafeteria what our group had decided. For lack of a Mabel, my group of 5 consisted of Misters H and S, MathCrony, and Rev Comm Arts. Not bad as groups go, as we are sympatico, but guess who had to record data AND stand up and tell the tale? I think you might have guessed it. Moi. What's up with that? Mr H was supposed to be the moderator, someone who controls the discussion, and keeps everyone on task. Who always started discussion? Moi. Did Mr H stop Mr S when he started an endless, rambling tale of former students in prison? NO! Mr H let S roam like a free-range chicken with its head cut off. So much so, that the Presenter Dude came over and tried to get us going, and THEN asked us to be the key ingredient in something called Toxic Friends. Uh huh. That's our reputation. Except that WE were not the Toxic Friends--we HAD Toxic Friends. Who included my arch nemesis from Newmentia.

As stars of the Toxic Friends show, we had to carry our own chairs out to the mezzanine and circle them and discuss our rambling story in front of the whole faculty from two buildings. Yeah. And our Toxic Friends stood behind us in a circle, which was unpleasant for me because my particular Toxic Friend thought it was funny to jab me with her bony finger every 10 seconds or so and whisper, "I'm watching you!" When we were supposed to start, my group sat there and contemplated their navels, so I started it off by saying, "I think you had something you wanted to bring up, Mr S." Heh, heh. As I've said, there's no need to send out a birth announcement for my arrival into this world yesterday. S got us into this mess, and S would get us out. Mr S chose an entirely different story and topic, and soon ran out of steam. The rest of my group sat there like bumps on so many circled logs, so I fed Mr S some comments to clarify matters. I think, in his own way, he was grateful. Next, we had to stand behind our Toxic Friends and let them discuss what we had said. Then we had to sit back down and specify matters in question that they had dredged up. S and I complied. The bumps did what bumps do...sat silently and looked at the floor.

By now, three hours had passed, and we were released back into the cafeteria for our delicious catered lunch. Which, I might add, we were shorted 20 minutes from the advertised hour for lunch. Then it was back to more of the same, splitting into subgroups, in which mine made ME be the spokesman. I call foul. If there are three in a group, and one is the principal, I think he should take on speaking duties. But my opinion was not asked for by either the principal, or our third partner, a head coach. Go figure.

As the afternoon dragged on, we were told to split into groups of 4. Which meant that one had to leave our legal group of 5. I whispered to H, my Trivia buddy, "Don't make me leave." I thought it was a joke. Surely I had proven my worth, what with my yeomanlike performance all morning. One of the dead weights could be expended. But no. H eenie meenied, then he My mother told me-ed. And I was it every time. What a surprise that was, what with H only using me and himself, and not all the others. I told him he knew how that would turn out, because he has nothing better to do every night than sit home and practice those little ditties. And that is how I was voted off the hexagonal table that had been my home all day. Teachers can be so cruel.

The next table, some Basementia hooligans, had carried an illegal load of about 10 people all morning. They divvied up, and requested my induction as one of their kind. That was before they even knew I had been banished from the Log Bumps. They wanted me. They really wanted me. I agreed, much like Zach Mayo in An Officer and a Gentleman, having nowhere else to go, and discovered that our 4th member was to be my arch nemesis from Basementia. Say it ain't so. They swore that they were informed at the last moment on their 4th. We sat down at a new hexagon, and lo, who should appear but my angel in shining armor, the AD. It was like a closely contested contest of musical chairs. AD slid into his seat just as the arch nemesis was walking up to the hexagon. "Well, it looks like I've been beat out," he said. And turned on his heel and went to grace another group with his presence. Worked for me. Then I discovered that my new group expected me to be the spokesperson.

The high point of the day was soon to occur. We were given a mythical pizza store that needed to hire workers from one of four training schools. Each school dealt with a specific teaching taxonomy. For example, the AD took the simplest one, where students learn by reading information. I had the one where they learn by doing. We had to sort through an envelope of tasks. My lone task was "Grating the cheese to put on the pizza." I could not believe my good fortune. I traipsed off to my 'school', which was run by Headmistress Arch Nemesis. When it was my turn, I grandly presented her with my duty to attach magnetically to her marker board. "All I have been entrusted to do is cut the cheese.

Let's just say that my training school welcomed me with a raucous cheer, and a few scattered tears of laughter. And I gladly relinquished my mantle of spokespersonhood to Headmistress Arch Nemesis.

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