Friday, October 17, 2008

Generic Adhesive Bandages For The Teacher's Soul

I am not a do-goody, lift-you-up kind of person. I don't have tales of woe that end with a light shining through the clouds, inspiring you to look for the silver lining in difficult times. That's not the kind of gal I am. I could no more write a chicken soup story than I could save a chipmunk from a cat by placing it on a tree branch. If you've forgotten THAT true story, I'll tell it again some time if you ask nicely. But I think the only people who read about my high-fallutin' Mansion life have already heard that story.

So it is with mediocre enthusiasm that I kick off my new imaginary book: Generic Adhesive Bandages for the Teacher's Soul. First of all, we have to buy into the premise that teachers DO have souls. Secondly, we have to accept the fact that, unlike chicken soup, a sheer adhesive bandage does not heal you. It merely covers up the boo-boo so you don't reopen the wound 10-12 times a day, its sticky edges transparent so as not to draw attention, and allows you time to heal yourself. That's what my imaginary book will do: give teachers insight into the pus-filled corners of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's classroom, in a classy way, and let them think to themselves, "I'm not that bad. After all, look at what happened to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom!" Yes. I'm here to provide a service. I'm here to make other people feel superior to me.

You may have noticed a change in my attitude this year. Although the 1st Quarter ended this week, there is no joy in Hillmomba. It seems as if the school year will never end. Quite change from last year, when the school year was almost over every week. I seem to have acquired a lemon. A lemon that by any other name would taste just as sour. My lemon's unlemony name is The New Crop of Students Fresh from Basementia. Granted, they are not poison lemons. They are just lemony lemons. And I seem to be fresh out of a recipe for lemonade. Don't get me wrong. I still like them. I have not found one yet that I truly dislike. They are just OH SO HIGH-MAINTENANCE. I was spoiled by last year's batch of ambrosia. Now I am paying for it in lemons.

Here are a few quotes for the front of the book. Not the cover. The inside page, before the one before the table of contents. The one before the glowing reviews. Just after the copyright page. These are quotes that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom should never have to say. Ever.

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"No, you are NOT going over there to smack him, so stop saying that. All he asked was, "Do you wear lipstick?" That is because you were talking to the girls about 'the black shade', and one minute you were talking about fingernail polish, and the next they were talking about lipstick, and you have that girl's hair scrunchy on your head, and that lip piercing, so I am not surprised that the question came up. But that was it. He did NOT call you 'gay', he asked a simple question. All you had to do was say, 'No.' So stop dwelling on it and threatening him."

"Put your feet on the floor. At this school, we do not put feet on top of the desk. Ever."

"No. You can not play 'Chinese rock/paper/scissors' in my classroom."

"Put down your hood. It's the same as a hat. You can't wear it inside the building. The only people who want to wear hoods are those who are trying to sleep in class, or listen to earphones."

"Take off the sunglasses. I don't care if they are your safety glasses. We are not doing a lab. They are tinted. You do not need them here. Take them off."

"No, a permanent marker will not wash off of jeans. That is how it got its name, 'permanent marker'. You see, some people use it to mark names in clothes. It is not called a 'will wash out with detergent marker. It is a permanent marker."

"Why would you tell me you just got a phone call? Do you want me to take your phone and turn it in to the office so you get an automatic day of ISS? Because that's what I'll do. Any time we see or hear a phone, we take it. So you must want me to take it off your hands. Otherwise, you would have remained silent like your phone."

"Get away from my desk. You are not allowed to shoot staples into your hand so you can chew on them or throw them at people."

"Stop breaking pencils. Pick up all the pieces."

"No. You can NOT throw a paperwad. Just because you have gone for a whole month without throwing one does not mean that I will give you permission. It only means that I stopped calling you The Paperwadder for a month."

"Get away from that window. This is not your classroom. You do not control the entrance, exit, windows, thermostat, furniture, whiteboard, SmartBoard, refrigerator, or cabinets. You must have permission to change anything from the way it was when you entered the room."

"Yes, you WERE disturbing class. Holding up a paper with 'We Declare War' is a distraction for everyone, and a threat for the two people who were meant to see it."

"We have been in this building since 2001. And this is the first time I ever had any student write on the wall. What is wrong with you people? Do you do this at home? Would you like me to come to your desk and write all over your jacket or your shoes?"

"What are you doing in my cabinet? You can NOT just open it up and use some GermX when you feel like it. That is my personal stuff in that side of the cabinet. You did not even have permission to get out of your seat. Don't ever do that again."

"Do not spit on the eraser and then try to erase the DRY-ERASE MARKER. Nobody wants your spit all over stuff. Especially not me, and not on my stuff."

"No massaging! Keep your hands to yourself. I don't care if you do it everywhere else. There will be no massaging in my classroom."

"It is sad that your grandma sat on your kitten and killed it, and that you didn't find it for a month, and only then because you said, 'Hey, Mom, have you seen my kitten?' and she said, 'Look under the chair cushion' and it was there and all stiff and dead...but we need to get back to the lesson now."

"Just in case you need to make a note of it, when I am talking, I am not talking to myself. I have heard all of my stories. I have created all of these lessons. I am actually talking to YOU, but you would never know it, because either you all don't care, or I am speaking some strange language, of which you are happily ignorant."

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That looks like all the quotes I can fit onto two pages. Though there are many more. I think I will start my book with the story of The BoogieMan. Tune in tomorrow, you might get a sneak preview.

2 comments:

DeadpanAnn said...

Dang. "We declare war"??

I've got a good group this year. No memorable quotes yet. Certainly nothing as classic as "chitlins is for Thanksgiving."

Don't get me wrong, they're still knuckleheads. Why is it that a 13 year old boy will ask 4 people for a pencil before he'll get up and go to the pencil sharpener, but if there's a sliver of paper on his desk, he must get up and throw it away immediately, like it's going to burst into flames if it goes another ten seconds outside of the garbage can-- even though the giant sign on the front wall clearly spells out 5 rules, with #2 being "Wait until you are dismissed to throw things away!"

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
The declaration of war came from my techie carpenters, who were mad at a couple of techie nurses.

I can tolerate the knuckleheads who get up to throw paper away, because that means that

1. They are not shoving it in my desks or throwing it on the floor, or making paperwads with it for ammunition once war is declared.

2. They are not playing 'I'm a basketball star of wastebasket and paper proportions'.

3. They are awake and might possibly hear a word or two of what I am saying.