Great things ARE happening…
For the sake of argument and anonymity, let’s just say that I work at P.S. 1046. Get that in your mind now, because it will be important later. If you mix up the number…you’re not going to get the big joke…Got it? Super.
Ok, so each and every morning of my teaching career has begun by meeting my students in the cafeteria, walking them upstairs and getting them focused on their morning work. We do morning work to make time for everyone to get themselves together and keep us busy while we wait for late students to show up. Hold up, wait a minute! Let’s stop right there for a moment and ruminate on this idea of LATE students. I commute about an hour each way to school in the morning, yet have only been late three times due to traffic accidents (not mine, some other poor shlep). My students, on the other hand, live either ACROSS THE STREET or, at most, about five blocks away. It blows me away that they have the balls to be late. And not like ten or fifteen minutes late. I’m talkin’ hour, hour and a half at the earliest. Good luck learning how to read sweets, because you routinely miss our ENTIRE reader’s workshop!! Maybe their parents feel like I do a repeat performance in the afternoon…I hate to burst their bubble but I do an original routine every day, all day.
Welcome and don’t forget to tip your waitress…
Anyhoo, my friends and I are diligently working away one morning (at P.S. 1046…don’t forget that number!!) awaiting the daily morning announcements. Ah, the morning announcements. Either an opportunity for one of our vice principals (remember Ms. Weavealicious??) to use her best porno voice to announce our daily activities OR a venue for the OTHER vice principal to attempt to read her own handwriting after embibing several early morning cocktails. At least, I hope she’s drunk, otherwise she has a whole other set of issues. Sometimes in the morning I play a little game with myself trying to guess which vice-principal-train-wreck it’s gonna be. And on this glorious morning, we got our friendly neighborhood drunken VP…we’ll just call her Ms. Cocktails Before Noon.
Not unlike the lovely xylophone chimes of Rydell High (liked that Grease reference didn’t you?), our announcements begin on this particular day with Ms. Cocktails Before Noon breathing heavily into the microphone.
L (one of my little friends): What’s that??
Me: Um, that’s Ms. C.
L: Oh, is she sick?
Me: (thinking to myself…maybe after her next shot…) No sweetie, she’s just testing the microphone.
Ms. C-B-N: Good morrrrrning little tigerssssssss! (Oh, by the way, the tiger is our school mascot. Not sure why we need one, but there you go). Please stand for the pledge of allegiance. (insert sound of heavy, ragged breathing here).
Ms. Cocktails Before Noon then proceeds to invite some three year old pre-K student who can barely manage to not regularly pee in their pants to say the pledge. Needless to say, it takes about twenty minutes and is completely unintelligible. Then…she gave us this lovely little nugget.
Ms. C-B-N: Let me tell you, you little tigers are lucky to come to P.S. 1046! We have got trombooooonnnne! We have got ball room dancin’!! We have got a socca’ team!
Me (in my head of course): Are you f’ing serious? Isn’t someone going to take the martini out of her hand and turn off the microphone?
Ms. C-B-N-: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaaa….Yes boyssss and girlsss…there are great things happening at P.S. six – (pause)- oh – (pause)- four - (pause) - one!
What? Did she just say P.S. 6041? No, I must have heard wrong. Right? I mean, being aware of and being able to correctly refer to our school number MUST be a job requirement for a vice principal, right? I immediately scribble several notes ripping Ms. C-B-N a new one and promptly dispatch students to ferry my professional thoughts to my friends all over the building.
LATER THAT DAY IN THE OFFICE:
I have the following conversation with our principal:
Him: Hey, how’s the year going? Is there anything else we can do to support you?
Me: Well, now that you mention it…
Me: I would like to do an inter-visitation. You know, get some fresh ideas from another school? I heard there were great things happening at P.S. 6041.
Him: You are terrible. (He was totally cracking up on the inside though, believe me.)
You can’t make this stuff up.