Sunday, December 09, 2007

Only Licensed, Third Party, Professionals Need Apply

State testing used to be maybe two weeks long. This year, the state has added End of Instruction Exams in three new subjects. So it's no longer EOI week, it's EOI season.

The mayhem this addition has caused is tangible all over the building. The teachers who ignored my stress induced squinting and bloodshot eyes are now squealing like piggies. "You've got to HELP us!!", "We don't know what this test LOOKS like!!!", "We don't have enough INFORMATION!!".

Um, duh. That's what we've been doing for years. Remember when you asked me what the big deal was with all this testing and why were we so tense? Because I do.

My season ed English II colleagues and I are proud now that we've developed a thick testing skin that allows us to withstand these outbursts. We don't engage the outbursters, and we don't ourselves burst out.

I am not, however, immune to stress. I've two pools of stress now. They reside right around my shoulder blades, twin pools of tension. I've been trying a lot of weird stretching to shrink them, but to no avail.

So when my Debate class asked (as is their custom) if I can be bought, I deviated a bit from my normal indignant "Never!".
"Yeah. I can be bribed. You could buy me with a gift certificate for a massage."

With this, a young man I'll call "fingers" perks up.

"Oh, Miss! I can give good massages!!"

", Fingers, I don't think that's a good idea. It sounds like
something that might be a Lifetime movie. It would have to be a gift

...and then we all laugh together and with a bit of warning, go quickly back to work. And we're working away silently, work, work, workity work, when another kid speaks up.

"Ms Educat, what if we gave you a gift certificate for Fingers to give you a

Guess what? I still have the stress pools.

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