I try to maintain at least a modicum of decorum on this blog. I hope you all know that. I am not entirely a foul mouthed heathen.
But, baby, if you could read my mind tonight, you’d be blushing for sure.
Holy crappin’ crappiness, Batman, this day totally and royally sucked!
In fact, this day sucked so bad that its suckiness started last night.
There I was, enjoying a lovely relaxing evening with my Mom. Homecooked dinner, served up and delivered by my loving Mother. Glass of wine, congenial conversation, handsome cat at my feet. Perfect, right?
Except, perfect not.
After dinner Mom and I went onto the porch to relax, and I booted up my computer to do a little school work. Typical Thursday night scenario. I checked my email, and saw a message from my principal about an upcoming meeting with some way, way, way beyond difficult parents. In point of fact, these parents would like to see me drawn and quartered and hanging on the village gates. My anxiety meter ticked up a bit with that one.
Then I checked over the lesson plans and book group activities that I had spent three hours downloading onto my desktop. Looking good! Four different lessons for my four book groups! I double checked the parts that I had rewritten to meet the needs of my class. OK.
I clicked off of my carefully crafted and oh-so-beautiful-you-are-the-best-teacher-ever lessons. Patting myself on the back, I clicked on Facebook.
So I tried to quit out of Facebook. Nope. So I tried to quit out of Chrome. Nuh-uh. So I did a forced shutdown, and the whole laptop went silent.
I gulped. I thought about the situation. I panicked. My anxiety meter started to really hum.
You see, I was given a brand new school owned Macbook pro in June of 2012. I was one of the vanguard group of teachers who signed up to get our Macbooks early so that we could learn all about them and teach our colleagues.
Two weeks into the rollout, my Macbook hard drive froze itself completely and died a horrible death. But they gave me a new one! Which I used from Sept of 2013 to Dec of 2014.
When my hard drive suddenly froze itself and died a horrible death. That hard drive was replaced by my wonderful school district and I used it very happily.
I am a Killer-Of-Hard-Drives. I am cursed.
I panicked again. NO lesson plans; NO online math/history/science books. NO plans for tomorrow, and the parents-who-want-me-dead are foaming at the mouth.
I tossed all night. I turned, I rolled, I dreamed bad dreams. Then I got up. I had my coffee, kissed my Mama goodbye and headed off to school.
I arrived in my classroom, but didn’t know how to proceed. “No computer!!!” kept repeating itself in my tired old brain. “No lessons!” In an effort to hold onto humor and joy in my classroom, I taped a big chartpaper note on my Smartboard. It read “Hey! Guess who ‘kicked the bucket’ today? Yep! My Mac! Clean your desks and put some work into your portfolios!” The kids chuckled when they came in, but I was still a little thrown off.
Enter the world’s most wonderful “IT Specialist”. Brigitte brought me a “loaner” laptop and as the kids were streaming into the classroom, she asked me what was happening with my Macbook. She was pretty supportive, until she looked at my recent “I Killed Your Hard Drive” history, at which point she shook her head, gave a big gulp and walked out of my classroom.
At least I had a loaner computer. I thought I’d be OK.
The kids were all gathered around the Smartboard, ready to learn. I tried to go to the Mathbook (Pearson.com) but my computer wasn’t completely synched. I couldn’t connect my computer to the giant screen in the front of the room. Gulp! No carefully crafted Pearson lesson! No carefully, and humorously crafted by Karen math lesson! I tried to wing it, but the kids were struggling to follow my thoughts.
Then I had the brilliant idea of actually writing on the whiteboard. “Sure!!! I can do this!”, I thought to myself. So I grabbed a real live marker and tried to find a place to write. This was more difficult than you might think, though, because 99% of my “white board” was taken up by my useless Smartboard. I wrote a couple of tiny, scrawled fractions on the miniscule portion of the board that was still visible OK! No problem!
As I turned back to the kids, my classroom door opened, and in walked ten strangers, ready to watch an exciting lesson. Gah!!!! I had totally forgotten that this morning was a “tour” morning, where prospective parents would come to see our school in action. I looked at my tiny, crooked, “3/5” written on the teeny piece of visible white board. I gulped. I twitched a little. I think I murmured something awkward. Before I had a chance to think of an excuse for the tiny mathematical scribbles, the tour group had left the classroom.
Oy, vey. NOT a smooth morning, for sure!
I handed out some worksheets for the kids. I thought that they could work independently for a bit. As I walked around the classroom, determinedly grinning to maintain my positive attitude, I suddenly became aware of a sticky discomfort underneath my arms. What the…..? I thought back quickly to my morning routine at my Mom’s house. I couldn’t recall putting on any deodorant.
Given the stress of a cooked computer, parents who want me dead, a whole group of visiting strangers and a day’s worth of lost lessons, I was experiencing some serious “stress sweat”. Pew.
I could actually smell myself.
And it was only 9:15 in the morning. I glanced at the class, and made eye contact with my special ed assistant. “I’ll be right back!”, I called, and I scuttled off to the bathroom. I fumbled around in my little “hygiene pack”. I managed to locate my old stick of deodorant. I untucked my sweater, hiking it up enough to expose my sweaty pits. I grabbed the deodorant stick, popped off the cover, and began to rub it under my left arm.
“Schrooompf” The top popped off and landed on the floor. Of the bathroom. I looked at it in horror. “But I NEED you!”, I thought. I peered into the deodorant tube. Empty. I looked down at the floor, where the little globule of “Ban” lay in front of my shoe.
What to do? Scraping old deodorant off the floor of a public school bathroom seemed pathetic, even for me. But walking around all day with stinky “deadcomputer-parentsreallyhateyou” underarms also seemed pathetic and gross.
I glanced around me and realized that there are no hidden mirrors in the teacher’s bathroom. I bent down quickly and scooped up the tiny pieces of deodorant lying on the floor. I blew on them to get rid of the little pieces of shoe dirt. Then I rubbed them under my arms and went back into the classroom.
It wasn’t an easy day, but I got through it. I was proud of myself for not giving up, curling under my desk in a ball, not breaking into sobs. I made it!
On my way home, fighting the traffic and avoiding the glare of the setting sun, I decided that I was way too tired to do yoga or ride on the elliptical. I decided that I would go grocery shopping, come home and put away a week’s worth of food, then pour a nice glass of wine and soak in my delicious hot tub.
I finally got home, 36 hours after I left. I put away all the food, dropped my school bag and thought I’d get ready for a good, hot soak. I put on my robe and went into the kitchen where I found a note from my husband. “I figured it was so cold that we wouldn’t be using the hot tub, so I turned it down to save some money.”
This was surely the world’s most craptastic day.