Note: This was posted at nearly 8pm, not whatever time blogger says...
It's not been a bad day but it hasn't been a very good one...
I felt sick and tired and fat and ugly this morning, but I pushed it aside and just dealt; I had to go to work. Jacqueline made my morning run ever so smoothly and before I knew it, I was heading to the car. And what should await me there? One very panicky cat! He had been shut in all night long. Needless to say, he peed. And the car REEKED! Thankfully it was warm enough to drive to school with the windows down without freezing and looking suspicious. I applied some strong clean smelling scented oil to my wrists and headed to work.
Work seemed to go ok at first. I got to my classroom (I was to be the TA in a 3rd grade inclusion class) and the door was unlocked, but the other teacher wasn't around. So I found the Ta's desk and searched for some plans... nothing but a general description. But then the other teacher arrived, and it was all good! I would be working with the awesome dude with the polite class (seriously, he's working the manners thing overtime with them!), and he is such a nice guy! So the children arrived and they introduced themselves to me:
"Hi, I'm Jake!" *holding out hand*
"Good morning, Jake! You can call me Mrs. B." *shakes hand*
"Nice meeting you!"
"Nice meeting you, too!"
Then we went down to Morning Express (a short assembly for announcements, awards, etc.), and after that, my perfect morning crumbled. The TA was there; she had asked for the sub for tomorrow when her Dr's appointment is, not today, and the only reason she wasn't there first thing was because of an early morning meeting. So I head down to the office to find out where they want me until my afternoon placement with a different teacher.
Of course the office staff is busy, as they always are, with calls and teachers and students coming in and out, and half an hour later, the principal of all people comes to walk down the hall with me, going from room to room to see if they needed help. Eventually we came to the reading room, where there were 2 other subs, and of course they said yes to the principal; any sub would! So I got to "help" the other 2 subs do simple reading activities with the 8-10 students who were there. Of course, after about 45 minutes they had a planning period and that took up nearly the rest of the morning! I did however get to work with a boy who probably doesn't remember me, but who is actually my ex-husband's cousin. It's interesting to see how he's grown, and a little sad that he's in the slow reading group.
At noon I headed to my afternoon placement, and again found an empty classroom. I noticed that there was a note for the sub, but it was for tomorrow and for all day. It did however explain that kids were in specials at the moment, so I headed down to the office to make sure I really *was* supposed to be subbing for her this afternoon as well. They did reassure me that I was indeed subbing for her, and I was lucky to show up right when her TA walked into the office, as for the next hour and 20 minutes the kids would be at specials and then lunch, and then she, the TA, would be handling the afternoon.
So I headed to the faculty lounge and ate the lovely lunch Jacqueline packed for me while perusing a book. After a while the room got noisy, so I grabbed the paper instead, where I discovered that someone I went to elementary school with is now superintendent of the school district my dad lives in, a place I could conceivably work! I don't know why, but I find that scary, and it makes me just a little disappointed in myself. I suppose just because he makes more money and has become an *important* person, it doesn't make me less of a person, or less important.
At the appropriate time I headed upstairs to the classroom, just before the kids, and well before the TA. With no plans and no idea what was supposed to be going on, I just let the kids do what they wanted, and they were pretty well behaved. A few minutes later the TA came in and told them that until the Math Group comes back (a group that must get pulled during "activity time" after lunch) it was to be a quiet work time, and if there was talking during quiet work time, there would be no going outside during recess at the end of the day.
Everything was going fine until D came back to class, which happened to coincide with the TA vanishing. I have no clue where she went, I was helping a student with some work. D, however, has serious anger issues. He came in loud, slammed his chair around, started talking loudly to his classmates, and disrupting everyone. I wandered closer to his desk (that proximity thing really does work for some students) and he just got louder. So I explained that we were having a quiet work time right now, and told him what things he should be working on. He was disrespectful and rude in return. I quietly and calmly said he didn't need to have an attitude; I was just explaining what we were doing, since he had been away when directions were given. He continued with his attitude but got to work, so I walked away. Of course the rest of the class had by this time all started talking. So I questioned the class, "I thought this was to be a quiet work time or there would be no recess?" Just then the TA came in, and everyone got quiet.
Things seemed to go ok for a while, but then quiet work time was over, and they were going to do a science experiment. Apparently they had done this experiment on their own yesterday, but messed it all up; so the TA was going to do the experiment herself, with the students watching & helping. Theoretically, this sounds feasible. Not with D and his cronies all hanging out together, it's not. They were pushing and shoving, not just each other, but other students as well, with D being the ring leader: "Hey, S! Push him!" He'd whisper things like that, not realizing I was right behind him, and when I make my presence known, he'd give me the attitude. "Whut?!" Then of course, instead of paying attention to the experiment, he's goofing off and playing with some toy. I asked him to put it away. He refused, claiming he could still hear. I said he needed to be watching with his eyeballs, and if he was playing with that he wasn't; so he put it away. I took 2 steps away to write something on the board for the TA and he had it out again. I said his name, he ignored me, I held out my hand for it and he pulled away. I said, "Put it away or I will hold it til the end of the day," and he put it back in his pocket. Back to the board to write more data down, and he had it out again. I walked up to him and as he hastily tried to hide it, said, "Give it to me." He gave it to me, but held on to it through a loop with one finger, not exactly letting go. I told him to let go and he complained it was caught, yet when he straightened his finger it came right off, and I put it on the teacher's desk.
Of course this left him bored with nothing to distract him, and since the Ta's stance had been to tell him what to do and then ignore him 'til he disrupted the class again, I chose to let him be, standing at the board waiting for data to write down. After a few moment he looks back at me and I am still ignoring him, not making faces or telling him to do anything, and he yells across the classroom, "What's that look for?!" Thankfully, everyone ignored him. One student did catch my eye, and we exchanged puzzled looks. The experiment took nearly 45 minutes. It was tedious. And then there was a ditto. And getting the students to explain their observations and conclusions was like pulling teeth.
Eventually, they muddled through it, got their report cards, got their back packs, and we got to go outside. It was sunny and warm and just about every grade was out playing. It was lovely. After recess, the TA asked me to walk them up and told them to follow me. I was shocked when they didn't! Absolutely stunned when the moment she turned the corner, they took off running. Was I *that* ineffective??? When I got back to the room, the phone was ringing, and the students were loud and running all over. After answering the phone, I told the kids to sit quietly on their desks (their chairs get stacked in the afternoon), and they didn't listen. They were standing in groups talking, running about, goofing off... Eventually the TA came back, and the students were dismissed, and I got to go home, but guess what. I'm the sub in the room tomorrow too... >.<
Of course the day wasn't over. There was the returning to the car to find the cat pee smell had of course been fermenting in the warm sun! Then coming home and discovering I put my bag in the pee on the ride home! And then discovering it soaked through to my purse! But there was Jacqueline, and she listened to everything, and cleaned up the cat pee while I checked the messages. At 1ish my dad had called saying he had chest pains and a racing pulse and was calling 911 to get an ambulance to the hospital. I immediately called his cell. He answered. Still in the ER, no idea what the problem is. He didn't want me to come down; he said he'd call when they got him in a room. He had an angiogram and had to have a stint put in just last month.
That was at 4 and I have been writing this ever since. Not continuously, I've done other things... I made myself a sundae, with a can of mandarin oranges, 1 scoop of ice cream, and the last of the hot fudge. I looked for some info on who the real Kilroy was. I stood at the window and listened to all the birds and the spring peepers. I ate a column of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. I tried to find plans for a flag book-type of scrapbook. I read my email. I talked to Jacqueline and a little bit with Mykel on IM. I ate a small bowl of chili with cornbread. (I think I ate too much junk food earlier.)
And Jacqueline said to me in an off-line message, "A theme in my unschooling groups seems to be about not losing today because you are worrying about tomorrow. I am trying to remember that - live it." And it's a good thing to remember and try to live by.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.
Worry is wasting today's time cluttering up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles.
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!
So I shall attempt to not worry about tomorrow, or even later when my dad calls, in fact, I think I am so tired right now, that all I can do is sleep...