Thursday, May 15, 2008


Next Friday is the last day of school. I've been working steadily for several weeks, mostly at the high school and more often in the advanced classes lately. Nearly every morning, though, I pass one of my special ed kids, the big guy who's graduating this year, and he trots on over to shake my hand with a most serious face. It's the sweetest thing! A stop-and-smell-the-roses moment.

Today I subbed in chemistry. Most of the students are serious brainiacs. One student was boiling a substance that crystallizes as soon as it is poured out onto a cool surface. He was doing it for fun. Another student showed me how he can fire up some kind of flammable stuff right on the chemistry table -- It burns so quickly that the table remains unharmed. He thought this was so cool to do that soon a dozen students had gathered around and put the solution around the entire perimeter of the table and lit it so that it burned bright enough to signal aircraft for help. Another thoughtful student thought that perhaps we'd better open up a window so that the carbon monoxide production wouldn't harm us. I really hope I don't get fired.

In another class, most of the students left for the senior picnic, so I played cards with the remaining students. Our fine educational system at work. I learned a new card game and was thoroughly trounced. We then played Hearts where I redeemed myself and trounced them. Now THAT was fun.

I left school a few hours early to go to Kathleen's Honors Program. She got a plaque 1) for getting all A's and B's (only two B's all year) 2) for perfect attendance and 3) for not getting sent to the Principal's office. Keith and I are very proud of her hard work. She had a rough start for the first six weeks or so, and then suddenly things kind of smoothed out and she's been sailing pretty smoothly ever since.

The Principal's office is a pretty busy place. I went there myself earlier to report three kids that had given me trouble. Earlier this week, I was in charge of 13 students who were not allowed to go outside to sign their yearbooks because they had either 1) failed their classes or 2) had too many trips to the Principal's office. I kept order by putting names on boards and then checks for anyone not doing their assignment. Three boys had trouble settling down, so I reported their names to the assistant principal. He took one look at my list and said, "I know these names very well."

"I bet you do."

With a glint in his eye, he said, "So, do you want their bruises to show or not?"

I smiled back, "I just want them to know that I mean what I say when I tell them they're coming to see you."

"All right. They'll get ISS tomorrow."

Doesn't ISS sound like some kind of gestapo/nazi thing? It stands for In School Suspension. When kids rack up ISS trips, they get into further trouble. I don't like to go that far, but I will if I need to.

On the home front, I'm terribly behind in my laundry once more. My plan to get the kids to help me with it has been failing miserably. Essentially laundry is being done on an emergency basis only. One load late at night with everyone's emergency supply all thrown in to one load, light and dark together. Hopefully Konner has remembered to put some of his socks into tonight's load that's running right this minute. He has the world's stinkiest fee!

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