Thursday, June 22, 2017


Just a few more hours and this school year will be a wrap.  Of course, I have educator evaluation hoops to jump through this summer, so it's not really a wrap, but we do have to wrap up our rooms.

My teammate and I spend many late afternoons hanging out and getting our rooms packed up into the closets and various other places where we can hide our mountains of junk.  Today, day almost-done, we are both there way-too late (she later than I).

Yup, this sight is getting to be pretty regular.  It means we have no social lives, at least not for another few work hours.  After that, all bets are off, and my car won't see this parking lot for many weeks.  Until then, our cars will keep each other company, but at 2:45, kids ... That's a wrap.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I need a break. 
I'm not sure I'm going to make it two more days.
My bullshit meter is already on overload.
I have lost the ability to be patient in the face of utter and extreme density.
I mutter under my breath ... and maybe over my breath, too.
I honestly don't mind field day at school, except it's late;
By this time of the year, I am as much toast as are the students.
I stay late at work to pack up my room.
I cannot get ahead of the paperwork.
The copy machine won't feed my original papers because of the humidity.
Anyone in my way gets whacked with a figurative sledgehammer.
I've turned into the Hulk.
I'm the woman in Airplane:
"I just gotta get outta here!  I just gotta get outta here!"
I cannot function anymore.
Yesterday I spent an hour doing important paperwork that I could not find this morning;
Lost the papers.
Gone, most probably, into the recycling bin.
Of course, I printed them back out today and promptly broke my printer.
Broke my printer when humid paper jammed in the machine.
I will find the papers in September when I return.
That's how it always happens.
But, right now, I'm mentally fried.
I'm psychologically tapped.
Everyone ... EVERYONE ... who interacts with me knows this:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Today is project day!  Yay!

I spend all day Saturday prepping multiple packets of stuff for a project I've suddenly decided that I must do: paper-towel tube totem poles.  I cut up pieces of craft paper, construction paper, buy 2,500 stickers, invest in eighteen glue sticks, and cut and tape shut twelve plastic snack baggies so that I have twenty-four packets of sequins and other metallic charms to distribute evenly amongst the classes and groupings.

In other words, the project is a GO.

I've never done anything like this.  The idea came to me while I was recycling paper towel tubes, and, since it is the end of the year and I'm short on time, I figure the worst that can happen is that kids glue charms onto their heads.  They're middle schoolers, so I kind of hope that they don't even joke about this, but, yes, apparently at least one child who shall remain nameless (Ryan) decides that gluing charms to himself will help his social life.

The project does not crash and burn as I am expecting it to.  Instead, it works out pretty darn well -- except for the pile of paper scraps and glittery metallic sequins and charms I have to sweep up using a very short, very small broom.  I know the janitorial staff will not be too mad at me; other than moving my desks around constantly, the layout of my room is relatively easy for sweeping, but I don't want to leave that kind of mess behind me.

Besides, if the totems start falling apart tomorrow, no one can trace them back to my classroom because my floor is practically spotless.

Monday, June 19, 2017


Saturday I evening I develop a headache.  No big surprise -- it's that time of year: crunch-time at work, plus it's allergy season.  So, when the ache starts, I don't really pay much attention to it.  I assume I will sleep it off and wake up feeling fabulous.

I fall asleep and promptly wake up within a half hour with a neck cramp and a headache, then I doze off again.  I wake up about two hours later with a headache, then I doze off again.  Three more times I wake up with aches, cramps, pains, and general malaise.
Finally, around 4:30, I force down a Tylenol.  Why didn't I take one sooner?  Because anyone who has migraines will tell you that putting anything into the stomach once a migraine has started is a sure way to need a bucket for several hours.

I continue my wake-pain-sleep-wake-pain-sleep pattern until 9:30 a.m.  At this point, my neck still hurts, but I can move my head around.  I wander into the bathroom to get a look at myself:  one eye lid is puffier than the other, my cheeks are red and swollen a bit, and my hair looks like something Medusa would've styled before saying, "Fuck it; the snakes will be an improvement."

To be honest, I look like Nick Nolte's mug shot.

I move slowly, making sure I really am still alive and that my head hasn't exploded sometime between rolling out of bed and putting on a clean shirt.  I decide tea is in order and hope the caffeine helps the last of the migraine on its way, then I sit quietly on the patio to sip the mug while listening to a fifteen-minute meditation through one ear bud.  Two ear buds is too much assaulting on my brain.

I finish my patio occupation with an hour of Pandora radio (Steely Dan radio), also through one ear bud, and finally give up when the humidity level outside surpasses "sweat-yer-ass-off" levels.  Between the humidity and the sweat, my hair now looks more like Little Orphan Annie's, which, I suppose is an improvement of sorts.

Hopefully this will be the last of the headache crap for the day because I still have work to do.  Maybe, if I'm super-lucky, I'll sleep soundly tonight and wake up not only feeling but also looking fabulous tomorrow, Nick Nolte be damned.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


It's official.  My two break-apart kayaks do not fit inside my new/used car.

I knew better when I bought the car.  I should've held off and kept looking.  I can fit 1.5 kayaks in the car but not both.  Dang it.

Actually, I only try to fit one into my car, anyway.  I am too lazy to carry the second one up from the basement, so I have to eyeball the space in the car.  I've never been very good with visual calculations, so it's still possible that I can somehow manage to get the second kayak completely into the car.  Perhaps I can jury rig the space including the trunk (although the trunk-to-back-seat area actually hogs up rather than adds space).

For now, though, one kayak is in the car, and I have the oars in, as well.  All I have to do is pack my life jacket and I'm good to go.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Last Friday the vice principal came around and begged teachers to chaperone the Washington, DC, trip happening this week.  There were several last-minute emergencies, and the group needed one more responsible adult to take the spot.

This counts me out because even though I am an adult (on paper, anyway), I am not responsible.

One of the younger, wiser, far more responsible teachers took the spot.  It was probably a good decision since she is well-liked, fun, and is incredibly patriotic.  Besides, she hadn't yet been to DC, and I knew she was in for an eye-opening experience.

I'm not going to lie -- I was and still am a little jealous that she went on the trip.  Lucky, lucky girl.  Of course, right this moment after the week of high temperatures and humidity and a long, long, loooooong bus ride home (she kept updating the buses' extended arrival times), she probably doesn't feel lucky; she's probably already asleep.

Anyway, to make sure she knew we hadn't forgotten her, we kept in touch via texts.  I sent her a picture of the deserted school hallway, and I sent her a picture of her car sitting out all alone in the parking lot, waiting for her to return and drive it home.  I guess since I sort of watched out for her car, that makes me semi-responsible, right?  Right?  Maybe even responsible enough to volunteer next year...

Friday, June 16, 2017


I stay up way too late last night.  I am grading some gawd-awful open responses because the students are as done with the school year as the staff is, and nobody proofread anything before handing it in.  By the time I am ready for bed, my eyeballs are falling out of their sockets.

Then I remember that I haven't paid the credit card bills due next week.  Damnit.  After I get those bills ready to mail, I figure I might as well pay some others.  I suddenly remember that I received a notice about renewing my license, but I cannot for the life of me remember into which pile it was put.  I search the kitchen, the den, the living room, upstairs, downstairs, and then I make these rounds four more times before writing myself a huge note:  LICENSE RENEWAL.

By the time I get to bed, it's after midnight and I am pissed as Hell at myself for losing the DMV notification.

I toss and turn for a while because I am now completely agitated.  I finally fall asleep.  Usually I get up at least once, which I kind of like because I can tell myself things like, "Three more hours to sleep ... two more hours to sleep..." or whatever it happens to be.  When I wake up during the night this time, though, I glance at the clock, preparing to calculate my sleep-leftover time.

I try to decipher the clock from across the room, and I think it says 1:30.  I have to get up and pee, anyway, and now I can get back to the business of snoozing.  Right?

Wrong.  I am not quite sure what the clock really does say, so I slide on my glasses and glance over.  4:50.  Wait.  Wait a second.  4:50?!  First of all, I rarely sleep through like that, and, second of all, damnation -- I have to get up in twenty minutes.

By the time I get back upstairs from the long trek to the bathroom, which is inconveniently located at a distance from the bedrooms that corresponds roughly with the distance between Boston and Istanbul, the clock reads 4:53.

Pissah.  Wicked.  Wicked pissah.

Now, the conundrum.  Do I stay up or try to get back to sleep?  As I contemplate the state of my universe, I am hit by a massive hot flash.  Covers off, fan on, window open. Holy motherfucker, I'm melting like the damn Wicked Witch of the West.  Still trying to decide if I should roll off the bed and get on with my day or not, I think about how nice the fan feels as I start returning to normalcy post sweat episode.

The next thing I know, the radio-alarm is playing something, I'm not quite sure what because my brain is completely shut off.  Not only did I doze off again, apparently I have been comatose for about fifteen minutes.  I feel surprisingly refreshed after my extra shut-eye, which is good because I see my note to myself sitting on the kitchen table and start tearing things apart looking for that stupid DMV paperwork with no success.

I stay at work way too late and finally leave the parking lot a full twelve hours after my initial early-morning wake-up (4:53 p.m.), bring home a pile of work, and start packing it all away around 9:00 p.m.  I decide to do one more perusal through the same piles of paperwork that I have already searched at least a half-dozen times now for that missing DMV crap.

Guess what I find sitting right out in the open, mocking me and my exhausted ways?  Yup, the damn DMV paperwork, and it is exactly where I thought it might be in the first place.

I'd love to stay and chat some more about the sad state of my life right now, but it's getting late, I have to enter grades that I just completed, I have to get up early for work, and I am damn tired from last night's and this morning's sleep fiasco ... sleep-asco ... fia-sleep ...

Yup.  Once again, my eyeballs are falling out of their sockets. I'll be back during the night, or maybe around 4:50 a.m., if I'm really, really lucky enough to make it straight through two nights in a row.