Friday, May 7, 2010


Last week, ten minutes before the last class of the day let out, a bunny hops up the ramp to the classroom, frightened by an errant 6th grader. Someone notices him and announces it like the Second Coming: "A RAAABBIT!" and of course with all the chair scraping and requisite "Awwwwwww!"s that burst out, the rabbit shoots to the far corner of the room. Barking like a New York cop, "FREEZE!" and then like a New York librarian, "HUSH!" the rabbit only poops a little before I am able to get it hopping toward the--dang it! Bunny makes a right instead of a left and now he's in a corner clogged with bean bag chairs, books, and years of detritus!

A quick call to the custodian, and up the ramp comes K. with a broom in his hand and a smile on his face. "We have a wascally wabbit," I inform him. I am glad he has his Wabbit Wemoval Bwoom with him. We (well, K. does, anyway) have to maneuver a bookcase out of the way, but the rabbit does find his way back out the door.

This morning in the middle of high stakes testing (more on that in a future post), a honeybee finds its way into my first period class. I have to give the kiddos loads of credit. As calmly as he would have informed me that he needed paper, R. says "There's a bee in here." Not one shriek--A. looks panicky and asks to move because, as she puts it in a rushed sentence, "Iamdeathlyallergicandcoulddieifitstingsme." Yes, yes, and she swiftly puts herself as far away as the room size allows. I tell them the bee is cheating; the kids say, "How?" "It's telling you the answer is 'b' !" Some giggles, some groans, and a few beats later, K. guffaws, "I get it now!" so we all laugh again. We turn off the lights, close the blinds, open the door, and eventually we (well, I do, anyway) persuade the bee it's better off outside. A. recovers her breath, I close the door, and testing goes on. (The state of California should give them extra credit for their calm reaction!)

Then, during the ten minute nutrition break, about fifty kids are circled around the corner of a neighbor's bungalow, and the excitement is unnerving--the word "rattlesnake" is on everyone's lips. I try to prevent kids from mobbing, I try my NY cop bark, and I watch the words bounce right off of their ears onto the blacktop. Mr J and Mr P successfully nab the baby snake (but not before idiot kids throw pieces of Chex mix at it--I swear, this many centuries later we are in no position to judge the Romans for their bloodthirst) and return it to the canyon.

And finally, Ms A. comes up the ramp during the second half of the high stakes test, motioning me onto the balcony, pointing at something to the west. We live next to a naval air station, so I worry it's a plane crash. No--it is a SWARM of bees not fifty feet away from my door. I let them finish the test before informing them.

People think that owl cam is so cool (and it is: maybe we need a kid cam at school...

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