Sometimes my work life and my home life do not complement each other.
Work, at 12:30 p.m. Students enter the classroom and simultaneously begin talking to me, all thirteen of them. Despite my best efforts, even after a gentle “heads down, make a pillow with your arms, breathe” time out, this continues. For say, ten minutes or so.
I teach in multiple rooms throughout the day, so as the verbal assault continues, I unpack. Take attendance, pull together late work, give reminders. In an attempt at proximity control, I walk the semi-circled desks and check in with students. Any problems with the homework? Where? All set now? Good.
I go back to my desk. Put lecture notes on the board, and begin. And as I talk THEY ARE ALL STILL TALKING! THEY ALL WANT MY ATTENTION AND TO TELL ME:
I GOT A HAIRCUT LAST NIGHT MY BROTHER’S COMPUTER CRASHED I FINISHED THE FAULT IN OUR STARS I LOVED IT I HATED IT HOW CAN YOU HATE THE FAULT IN OUR STARS YOU’RE A MONSTER! I pop in: No, we don’t call each other monsters. We respect each others opinions. Apologize. WHATEVER. SORRY. STUDENTS ARE ALL STILL TALKING: IS IT OKAY THAT I MIXED UP ACT AND SCENE AND ONLY READ THE FIRST SCENE THIS IS STUPID THIS IS BEAUTIFUL MS WEBB WHERE DO YOU LIVE CAN WE COME VISIT YOU? WHO IS QUEEN MAB? DID I DRAW ENOUGH PICTURES? WHEN IS THE FINAL? WHAT’S ON THE FINAL? WILL YOU HELP US STUDY? IT’S XXXXXX’S BIRTHDAY. YOU SPELLED HIS NAME WRONG! NO YOU SPELLED HIS NAME WRONG! MS. WEBB HOW ARE YOUR CHICKENS? CAN YOU TELL US A DOG STORY? ONE DAY MY DOG (every student tells a dog story then a cat story then whether they had a gerbilferretguineapig or goat, their story) HEY – MY NAKED WEAPON IS OUT? IS HIS PENIS OUT? WHAT FRIGGIN LANGUAGE IS THIS THERE IS NO WAY PEOPLE USED TO TALK LIKE THAT. WHAT’S A ‘MAIDEN HEAD’? OH – OHH! GROSS. DID YOU SEE THE BIRTH MOVIE IN HEALTH CLASS? IS THAT WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE? HEY THERE’S A BIRD! BASED ON THE PRODUCTIVENESS OF THIS CLASS, CAN I GO GET A MATH BOOK? Me: Oh, no kid. You can start us off. Begin with Mercutio.
This ends with me finally locating the YouTube bypass code and showing multiple Romeo and Juliet episodes of Crash Course literature. So be it.
I love these dear, sweet, children. But when THAT occurs on top of regular life, when I’m trying to find time in my schedule like I try to find money in my bank account, and I have to go home to my own homework, one teenager (with his own homework), one husband with un-medicated ADD, two dogs (one injured), twelve chickens, and multiple gardens? I need a re-boot.
I had more to say, but I forgot. Here’s a picture of my chickens: