Thursday, November 26, 2015

Roll, firedrills, dead fish, and a tender psyche

The bell rings.

In a perfect world with a perfect teacher, this is the time roll is taken.

But the world isn't perfect, and neither am I. Class begins, I launch the lesson, and then--the fire alarm! I did not know (or I have forgotten) there was a drill today! Or is this real?

The law says we have to have one a month

It doesn't matter. I send the students out the door, grab the red backpack containing our first aid and fire drill paperwork, and realize too late that, oh no, I don't have the paperwork AND I don't know who is absent. I fumble around inside the backpack, searching, finally realizing I'll just have to go out there and try to piece this together with my kids' help; I'm the last to arrive at our gathering spot.
We make our middle schoolers sit down for counting ease

When I'm out there, I count and recount students. "Can you think of anyone not here?" I implore the students. I send a paper up to the admin with my best guesses, the last to send the official red paper (except mine is white and unofficial).

After the drill, I search for my boss to apologize. He is angry. Let me write that again, properly: ANGRY.  I tell him I don't have a good excuse but that I feel badly and it won't happen again, offering my hand in forgiveness. He places his in mine and it is as cold and lifeless as the dead fish that cold and lifeless handshakes are often compared to. He can't even look at me, he is so furious. I have made him look bad in front of his boss.

I wake up.  Cheesy, but true. I begin to ponder the dream's significance.

Truth be told, I am quite bad about taking roll even when I am awake. It is one of those secretarial details that I find interferes with my launch into class. It has to be done six times a day because our school receives funding dependent upon the body count--the bodies don't have to be conscious, so far as I can tell, fyi. I have found a way around this which I don't care to share with the wide world; suffice it to say that apparently my psyche has some anxieties about taking roll. And maybe my psyche harbors anxieties about pleasing my boss, or about dead fish. But the bigger question is:


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