Friday, May 1, 2009

Life Lessons From Hillbilly Mom

There are 14 days of school left. When the countdown gets this low, you must beware. Do not eat the cafeteria food. They are cooking up the surplus items that are left from the whole year. We are having corn every day. It smells good when they cook it. But it since it didn't taste good earlier in the year, it is doubtful that is tastes good now. The menus promise exotic vegetables such as peas, and carrots. Not a single pea has crossed that serving line all year. Maybe some carrots did once. We used to get mashed potatoes a couple times a month. That was months ago. Then we alternated corn and green beans. Mr. S holds the record on getting stems in his green beans. It's like the cooks save them for him. Since the corn-only decree, no stems for Mr. S. But don't you worry about Mr. S, since he was the proud recipient of a chunk of cob in his corn. At least that's what we deduced it to be. It wasn't corn, and it wasn't bug.

Another thing to be wary of is student behavior. They have grown comfortable. Their britches have grown too small. Common sense flies out the window. The window which you are not allowed to open if you are on the road side of the building, unless you are uber-vigilant about turning off the air conditioning, because patrons call and question why windows are open in an air-conditioned school, even though it may be in the 60s outside, and you just want fresh air to rid your room of the smoked-fart smell.

Today I had to teach two students a life lesson. As in: don't taunt Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.

I handed back some papers first hour, and made the explicit command, "If you don't want it, throw it away. DO NOT put it in the desk or on the floor." Because that's what they do, you see. They desire to live in filth. Or rather, they desire ME to live in filth, since they are free to leave after 50 minutes, and I must remain. Of course one little smarty-butt left his on the floor beside his desk. The desk that is closest to MY desk. I checked his schedule and saw that he had Mr. S during 4th hour. At lunch, I requested the presence of Trasher in my room for a portion of 4th hour. Mr. S agreed. Apparently, he did not tip off Trasher as to what the visit was about. Trasher came in, saying, "Mr. S said you wanted to see me." Perhaps he was expecting a pony.

Oh, yes. I wanted to see him. To see him recognize the error of his ways. I pointed to his desk. "Pick up your paper and throw it away. I am not going to pick up your trash. I am not your personal custodian." Keep in mind that Trasher was now out of his element. Out of his class who understands his position in the pecking order. He went to pick it up, as the 4th hour class hooted at him. He did not take it well. He mouthed something back, which was hooted at even louder, as his words held no power with this group. As he left, I said, "That wouldn't have been necessary if you hadn't thrown your trash on my floor. Let that be a life lesson."

Call me cruel if you must, but I didn't create the situation. Trasher's behavior did. I am not a touchy-feely I'm OK you're OK everybody's a winner kind of gal. Tough love, baby. All actions have consequences. Some are not pretty. Besides, if I had really wanted to decimate Trasher, I would have called him into 5th hour, into my class of techies, instead of into a class of his peers.

The second life lesson was dealt to fEMO. She's a slip-of-a-girl EMO. First of all, she was tardy, and came in making excuses, which does no good, really, other than to make me certainly unlikely to forget to mark her tardy. Then she said her finger was hurt because she caught it in her locker, so I sent her to the nurse, and she returned with an ice pack, and commenced to talk about it, interrupting our lesson of Waking the Baby Mammoth. It was on National Geographic Sunday, and I had promised to show it to the class. All of this was still no cause for the life lesson.

Perhaps I have mentioned that students are not to touch my stuff. This includes the four cabinets on the side of the room. There are two cabinets that students may open to get supplies, once they have asked permission for some specific item. It's not a thrift store. There are two other cabinets which students are NOT allowed to open. They know this. It is where I keep my personal items such as keys, phone, purse, reward items, advisory files, teacher edition texts, etc. Nobody ever opens them. They know better.

After I turned off the Baby Mammoth, I prepared for the bell by kicking my doorstop into the alcove and propping open my classroom door. It took about 5 seconds. As I turned and entered the classroom again, there was fEMO. She had the door of my cabinet open. The one with my phone and keys and, today, my checkbook. She was saying, "...how you open your locker like this?" The cabinet door was wide open, with all my valuables plain to see. I don't advertise that this is where I keep my personal valuables. The lock does not work.

As you might imagine, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom took issue with this behavior. "Close that door. You know that you are not allowed to open that." I pushed the door closed, as fEMO was just looking at me and huffing in an EMO sort of way. "I was just telling them, like, how I opened my locker like this..." AND SHE OPENED IT AGAIN. Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom went ballistic. "Don't EVER do that again! I am tired of you people getting into my stuff. I don't come down the hall and open your locker whenever I want, and tell Mr. S and Mrs. MathCrony to look. Stay away from my stuff." Oh, but this was not enough of a red flag for fEMO. "I didn't do anything wrong. I was just showing..." I most certainly had had enough. "Are you going to continue? Because this is not a discussion. You might as well stop now, because I guarantee you, I WILL WIN."

At least she had enough sense to stop then. Perhaps spending the first semester in alternative school had taught her another life lesson.

3 comments:

Cazzie!!! said...

Those studenta are just like Bart Simpson... if you say Don't they WILL DO! Little turds, LOL. Seriously, I do not know how you maintain your composure. Then again, I do not know how I maintain mine at work with some of the people that waltz in through the triage door.

DeadpanAnn said...

Emo kids are so stupid. I've never met one that I know of, and don't want to, but I don't need to meet one to know that they are stupid.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Cazzie,
I think you have it worse, working with adults. At least I can pretend I am superior to my kidlings, and know that I have the back-up from the office that allows me to win.

Miss Ann,
Thank you for that EMO declaration. They are poopieheads in need of attention at home, methinks.