Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Who Moved My Tease?

Perhaps you've notices the lack of snow-day weather this winter. I know that I certainly have. And I'm guessing that everybody who makes a living educating the future of our nation has also noticed.

On Thursday, a colleague commented that if we could make it through six more days, we'd have a day off. Well. Isn't that so very psychic of her? And then I got to thinking...we are supposed to be off on January 16 for Martin Luther King Day. It's on our schedule every year. But we are rarely off. That's because it's the first make-up day for snow days.

We have a calendar that lists the order of make-up days. We usually miss our President's Day holiday as well. And part of our Easter Break about fifty percent of the time. That hits us hard. Because our district has no such thing as a Spring Break. It's Good Friday and the Monday after Easter, a four-day weekend. I know that the idea is to make up those days because most of our days missed fall into third quarter. Since we're getting intermittent days off, we shouldn't need the holidays.

Teachers are a bit hard-headed. Those are our holidays, by cracky, and we want time off! Just like some put off scheduling their mandatory dance chaperoneship until the last one, "...because you never know what might happen," we will gladly serve out days tacked on at the end of the year if we can have our mid-year respites.

So a few years ago, we put the bug in the ear of the calendar committee that snow days did not need to be made up in order of the scheduled holidays. In our humble opinions, of course. And they compromised, with some going in order, and then some at the end, and then back to the order. It might be a little different every year. If the last day of school is scheduled for a Monday, then the end-tacked days start sooner. But if we are getting out on a Thursday, every effort is made to keep from going into a new week.

As you can imagine, the school calendar mailed out with our contract and opening-day itinerary is vital when you are jonesing for days off. After the comment about the six days then off, I felt the need to check that calendar and see if MLK Day was the first make-up day. Just in case we might get a snow day this week. Normally, I make a copy and tape one to the inside of my classroom cabinet, across from the little mirror that I use when I fork my hair after a windy entrance. Alas, with my two new textbooks this year necessitating extra preparation, I was lax in my calendar copying.

Never fear. The original school calendar is always taped to the inside of my kitchen pantry door. I never take one down. But I constantly tape them up, along with the emergency phone tree, even though that is becoming obsolete with the texting and automated phone call notification system. It's downright handy to open up the pantry for a heaping helping of hope.

Friday evening, I went to the cupboard to check on that calendar.


Old Mother Hubbard's Dog would starve to death around here. And after that, he would turn over in his grave. Not a phone tree or calendar in sight. Hick was off gallivanting about the grounds, freeing a goat's head from the fence. Nobody knew how long she'd been there, but the billy goat had a sly grin.

When I called to ascertain the fate of my longed-for symbol of hope, my calendar that teased me with fourteen make-up days in case of time off for snow, Hick said, "You just now noticed it was gone?" Like I should have been keeping an eye on it through the dog days of August, the sweltering month of September, Indian Summer October, four-day weekend November, and Christmas vacation December. I swear, I don't know what goes on in that guy's noggin sometimes.

Seems that Hick had removed my good-times blueprint when he took off a week in November to putter around and do jobs that didn't need doing. Like staining all the interior doors, which he had neglected to do these nigh on fourteen years since we built the house. Staining them an unappealing oak shade, when I preferred a clear coat to let the light pine color brighten up the house to match my sunny disposition. But that's not the point right now. Hick had taken down ten years of my life, and carelessly tossed it high on a shelf in the master bathroom walk-in closet. Without removing any tape.

By the time I solved that sticky puzzle, I was in no mood to save my career memorabilia, and the record of district spelling bee practices and summer open gyms and basketball schedules and choir and band concerts. It's as if my pantry door had a gastric bypass, and has already slimmed down considerably on four ounces of food per day. One phone tree and one school calendar hang forlornly on the inside surface.

I'm keeping an eye on the forecast.


Sioux said...

Me, too. When the weathercasters say,"We're so lucky! The snowstorm missed us!" I hurl heavy objects at the television screen. Lucky? Who considers no inches of ice and no feet of snow good fortune?

We had an inflatable snowman named "Snowy" who helped bring bad weather last year. Snowy died. Now we have his smaller cousin, Poppy the Penguin. Poppy better pull it off.

Stephen Hayes said...

All I can say is that I don't think teachers get the appreciation they deserve. People think teaching is easy; well, it isn't. I tried teaching at a local college several years ago (I didn't even have the problems that go with teaching small children) and I felt overwhelmed by the rules and paperwork. Teachers need to be treasured more!

Linda O'Connell said...

Now I have to go look at my calendar, becaue we were off two extra days at Christmas, hmmm, wonder if they're pulling a slick one.

Val said...

Well, they wouldn't have to crow about the snowstorm missing us if they didn't give a lame forecast to begin with.

THANK YOU! Val loves to be validated. In fact, she yearns for validation.

Two words. Pantry door.