Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Val's Tasty Treats: The Armgate Scandal

Time for another heapin' helpin' of Val's Tasty Treats. Tonight, I bring you an unpolished gem that may or may not be included in my WIP. I find it enjoyable, but it doesn't have much oomph. It's a tale from several years back, concerning my classroom control issues.

My son, Genius, won a stretch limousine trip to Pizza Hut as one of 16 students who were tops in the Middle School fundraiser. It was a white, SUVish stretch limo kind of trip.

My 9th grade students and I were shooting the breeze, having finished our math work in record time. It's amazing what these little whippersnappers can accomplish when they know the rest of the time is theirs. I don't mind. They never give me any trouble, there are only 13 of them, and it gives me time to grade their papers. Yesterday we reached a high temperature of 79 degrees. I had the heat turned off, but could not bring myself to turn on the air conditioning. We had snow days last week, by cracky, and there are still a few drifts of the stuff hanging around. My room was a classical room temperature 72. One of the kids asked if she could open a window. I agreed.

Next thing I know, there are 6-8 kids at the two windows, each sticking out one or more arms. In retrospect, they were just 'feeling the weather', as one told me today. I never let the kids stand by the windows. In fact, that's number 12 on my Never Ever List. But I made the exception, you know, for the nice weather. Then I hear, "Hey, look at that limo! Where's it goin'? Hey! It's turning in!"

Yep. The stretch limo went through our circle drive. I told the kids to get away from the windows. They did. They asked why. But it was too late. The limo had already gone by. I explained. "Chances are, that's the limo from the Middle School. How many limos do you think there are, driving around our town at noon on a school day? And if that's the MS limo, my son is in it. And he will point out to his friends, 'That's my mom's room right there. The one with all the arms sticking out the windows. She always lets her kids stick their arms out the windows.' And in two years, when that class is over here, and I teach them science, they will go rushing willy-nilly to the windows to stick their arms out. When I correct them, they will say, 'Well, you let everyone ELSE stick their arms out the windows.' So that's why we can't do that any more."

Oh, and I forgot to mention that at the time the limo was turning in and preparing to cruise my windows, a man on a horse rode by the other way. And the kids said, "Can we holler at the horse?" I hope you know the answer to that. Then a kid said he bruised his arm on the window, and I could already see it forming, and I told him great, if my kid noticed that, he would tell his cronies, 'Sometimes they hurt their arms on the window, and then they sue the school to pay their medical bills.' All this because Val tried to play Mrs. Nice Guy for a day.

Nice guys finish last, with kids sticking their arms out the windows.


Tammy said...

Oh, I know this is true, every word. I am a sub, and subs attract kids who like to stick their arms out windows, and then you are forever The Sub-Who-Lets-Kids-Stick-Their-Arms-Out-Windows.

Josh Hoyt said...

Great story. We just had three days of snow and no good weather. Yes you need to maintain control of those kids for sure :)

knancy said...

Just make the experience into a science class project. See how many students can guess the true temp and barometric pressure from what they felt when they stuck their arms out into the natural air. Or study the physiology of a hematoma. And don't forget the horse. Maybe a paper on their personal experiences with the equine family would prove interesting reading! What fun!

Val Thevictorian said...

Well, I left all three of you the most scathingly brilliant responses...but Blogger sucked them into his gaping maw. When I have time, I'll try again.

Val Thevictorian said...

Let's try that again.

My imaginary hat is off to you. I could never be a sub. My own experiences with subs have resulted in:

The Sub Who Rearranged The Classroom Furniture (student desks included)

The Sub Who Told Us Dirty Jokes (to 6th-graders)

The Sub Who Took Us For A Walk Around The Building

The Sub Who Totally Ignored Us Because She Was Looking Up Things On The Internet On Your Laptop

The Sub Who Left Us Unattended While She Sat In The Library And Read Magazines

The Sub Who Left Us Unattended While He Walked Around The Parking Lot Smoking A Cigarette

The Sub Who Ate The Candy In Your Bottom Drawer That The FACS Teacher Gave You To Reward Us

That's what happens when I loosen the reins just a tiny bit.

I like the hematoma idea. It reminds me of the kid who grabbed a Kleenex off my desk to dab at his lumpy, skinned shin, courtesy of some brotherly kicking love before school.

Except that the Kleenex had that anti-viral stuff in it, and his leg turned redder and started to burn. Which was a perfect lead-in to my lecture on why you should ask before taking anything off my desk, and why you should always read the directions on products.