Monday, May 18, 2009

You Have To See It To Believe It

No. I'm not posting a picture of the egg tree yet. That will come later, when I am home all day during the summer, and run out of things to talk about. What you're about to get now is a ridiculous example of what we are dealing with at school during these final days.

Today, my classes had their egg drop competition. It could be a better competition if I dared to ask to drop eggs off the mezzanine onto the gym floor. But my intuition tells me that my chances are slim to none in that endeavor. So we just dropped them from the 7-foot top of my cabinets. The grand prize winner was a contraption made of a toilet-paper tube, with a double-decker parachute made of a paper plate and a plastic bag from The Devil's Playground. Its mass was only 22 grams, people! That's a winner. Especially considering that third place in one class went to a behemoth that was 586 grams.

But that's not the story. First hour, I was happily sitting on my big fat butt, massing the contraptions on a triple-beam balance because the battery did not work on the digital scale that my Arch Nemesis had offered me. Oh, and I could have had everything ready before class started, except that the cabinet housing the scales was LOCKED UP (I know Mabel will not see the irony here, but only truth) and I didn't have a key. I am only a core class physics and biology teacher, you know. I can't be trusted with such a security clearance. But I digress.

After finding the masses of all egg protectors, I started passing out the eggs, which I first encased in a cheap non-ziploc bag, because my mama didn't raise no fool, and some children might just have come up with a design such as an eggy bed of nails for the fun of watching me crack. There I was, as content as The Gremlins' Gizmo tooting his Christmas bugle, when a kid waiting in the egg line said, "Put on your shoes!" I knew that I was wearing shoes. I try to make it a habit every day when I go to work. So I looked in the direction of the shoe-crier, and beheld the kid who flipped that piece of his shoe sole into that other kid's mouth a while back insolently wiggling his bare toes. That's right. No socks. No shoes. No remorse.

"Put your shoes on! It clearly states in the student handbook that students are to wear shoes at all times." He had the audacity to reply. Yeah. Like it would matter what excuse he came up with. Like you might tell Johnny Cash, "Stop shooting that man in Reno," and Johnny would try to justify it with, "I just wanted to watch him die." Yeah. Like that. The Empty Sole said, "Actually, I don't think it's in the handbook. I have a planner right here." Give me a freakin' break. I wasn't going to play quotesy-wotesy with him on the Dress Code. "PUT ON YOUR SHOES!" And he said, "I'll have to go to my locker to get them."

Can you believe it? A kid walks from Mabel's end of the building, all the way down the quarter-mile hall barefoot as a jaybird, and nobody notices! Excuse me. I also did not notice. I am not in the habit of checking feet every time the students enter my room. Have I mentioned that I hate feet? They are just nasty, unless they are attached to a baby under 6 months old. So I sent him barefootin' down the hall to get his shoes, which turned out to be flip-flops, which begs the question: How much more barefoot do you need to be than in flip-flops? Don't get all namby-pamby I'm OK you're OK bleeding heart liberal on me. Don't think that poor waif could not afford shoes. That kid has had other shoes since his Empty Sole experience. The flip-flops fit him. He had a nice pair of dress shoes at the Chore Concert the other night. It was just pig-headedness. No offense to pigs. Sweet Gummi Mary! What was he planning, to meet Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae out behind the dumpster to smoke a grapevine after school?

Then he decided that since he had forgotten to create an egg container, he would use one flip-flop and some Devil's bags for cushioning. My hopes that his shoe was longer than a foot were dashed upon measurement. You see, the limit on the containers was 12 x 12 x 12 inches, with the exception of floating parachutes. Empty Sole was blessed with small feet, and his flipper was 11 and 11/12 inches. Of course the thing flipped just right when shoved off the plank, and landed on the right end to absorb the shock. Too bad, so sad, though, that it was one of the heavier containers tested. Oh, and during the loading of the egg into the flip-flop, he snidely remarked, while looking right at me, "I have to make sure to wear my other flip-flop, so I don't get in trouble for being barefoot."

But that's not all. I have lunch duty this week. As I lifted my sandwich brought from home to avoid the dreaded 'Cook's Choice' week, I spied Empty Sole two tables away, barefoot again! Not for long, because he got up and hoofed it over to the soda machine room. I'd had enough. I went straight to Mr. Principal's office, informed him that Empty Sole had been warned by me first hour to wear shoes, as it was in the Dress Code, and he was flagrantly and fragrantly flaunting his toe jam all over the cafeteria. Mr. Principal must have as strong an aversion to feet as I do, because he made a beeline out of that office and into the cafeteria, as I trailed along exclaiming, "You have to see it to believe it."

Mr. Principal read Empty Sole the riot act, and it took a long time, because I think Empty Sole tried to reason his way out again, just before pulling his flip-flops out of his backpack, which did not go over well with Mr. Principal, who came to the faculty table and instructed us all to check out that kid's feet, and if they were bare, send him directly to the office. BRAVO!

Here's what I really wanted to say to Empty Sole. "Perhaps if you spent less time flicking pieces of your shoe into other people's mouths, you would have shoes to wear on your feet." But I thought that might be pushing the envelope, even though he DOES have at least three different pairs of shoes that I've seen, and I'd kind of like to hold onto my job right now.

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