Monday, December 04, 2006

There's A Fine Line Between Charming And Irritating

I was on a tear today. State writing tests are tomorrow and with two days out for snow last week, we were eons behind where we should have been in regards to testing administration. The work should have been done months ago.

When the powers that govern testing promised last week to "get right on this", I was able to be zen about it. Maybe kids don't need to know all this information weeks ahead of time. Maybe I just worry too much.

With ten minutes left before my English class left the room, never to return until test day, however, the time for zen was gone. It was time for righteous anger.

I raged. I raged to the office in charge of testing, I raged to two principals. Things were handled, sort of, and my principal asked me to gather the thoughts of my department as to what went wrong in the process.

I was more than happy to oblige.

My afternoon classes were researching, so I was able to furiously compile my thoughts in between walk-arounds to check on my class's progress.

I warned them to tow the line today. No chatter, all efficiency. I was a bit of a loose cannon today.

With that, I sat down between my two silliest boys. I was ready to compose my screed.

This is to document the events leading up to Fall testing...

"Hey, Ms Educat? I have a question. You're going to think I'm being silly, but I'm serious."

"Hmm? What?"

"Is there any kind of chance that we could get William Shatner to visit our school?"

"No." I say, not looking up. "Can't see it. Not a chance."

"Oh. Hey--you know why Adam Smith is my favorite philosopher?"

"Mmm? Why?"

"Because! He was totally kidnapped by gypsies!!"

I snort, lay my head down in front of the computer, and shake with laughter a bit.

and try to compose myself and work up the rage again...

...the events leading up to Fall testing. We have some very real concerns...

"So if Shatner couldn't come, then we probably couldn't get Ricardo Montalbon
either, right?"

"Nope." (type-ity, type, type...)

It's silent for a few minutes while my Ritilin Ranger reads for a moment

"I don't get The Wealth of Nations. Can you help me read this? Please?"

"Yessss" with a sigh. Trying to be patient.

We read. Slowly. It takes about a page before he has a grip on the basic ideas, and with that, he goes back to read. He does so for a good while.

"Would it be ok if I walk for a while? Just to clear my head and think?"

How is it that this kid isn't making me crazy? How am I so amused at this moment by him?

"That's a great idea. I really appreciate that you want to walk this off instead
of irritating others. Thank you."

He takes a lap around the library, and returns to me with an observation.

"Hey, you know what? There's those "read" posters that show all the athletes
reading classic books?"
I looked at the poster later, and for the record, he considered, "The Purpose Driven Life" a classic
"...And, you know, Shaq is reading like,a sports book? Yeah, I bet he's the only
one who picked his own book. Hey, if I ever designed a philosopher video game,
would you play it?"

I finished my nasty letter draft, and with much lower blood pressure than when I began.

Thank you, Ritilin Ranger.


The Crib Chick said...

Hey, I would totally buy a philosopher video game.

And I thought Adam Smith was *in* a band *called* Gypsy.

But perhaps I'm mistaken? ;o)

Sandi said...

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who fires off nasty letters to administration during testing week in the midst of conversations about Shatner and Shaq with kids on Ritalin. Oddly enough, these are often the most amusing exchanges of the day. Thanks for this.