Monday, September 27, 2010

Mrs Frisbee and Mrs. Whatsit

This school year, for the first time ever, I have classroom pets: two rats named Mrs. Frisbee and Mrs. Whatsit.  I know the mere mention of rats makes most people shudder, and I'm not going to claim that they're cute in the traditional sense.  But they are cute in a gremlin sort of way, and have added a ton of personality to my classroom.  Not a day goes by where Mrs. Frisbee doesn't run off with a student's pencil, or eat a purple crayon; while Mrs. Whatsit meanwhile is chewing up my teachers edition of our Interactive Readers or eating the corner of someone's homework (okay, maybe I should keep them locked up more often--point taken).  Last week we had a fire drill, so naturally students took Mrs. F and Mrs. W outside into the student assembly area with us, because heaven forbid the rodents get left behind in the event of a real fire.  Last week, one of my students went to run a few errands for me, and without my knowing, he smuggled Mrs. Whatsit in his pocket and took her on a little field trip around the campus.  The students have endless fun with these rats and, for better or worse, they have become somewhat of an icon in my classroom.

And it's not just the students--I have my own little unsolicited adventures with these two troublemakers.  The first time I took Mrs. W and Mrs. F home for the weekend, I had nothing to carry them in, so I stuffed them in an empty tissue box.  For obvious reasons, this didn't work out.  The following weekend, I used a tin lunch box.  Unfortunately, the two were jostled around so much against the hard tin that I decided I needed something else.  So last weekend, I put them in a much more soft and comfortable large vinyl lunch box.  It worked for the ride home, but on the ride back to school on Monday, Mrs. Whatsit chewed through the vinyl, and both rats escaped.  I can't even begin to describe how much FUN it is digging through your car, trying to find two rats running around in there amidst kids' sweaters and toys, and meanwhile hoping that no other teachers pulls up to see you going through this process.  So having learned my lesson, this weekend I put the rats in a small plastic kitty carrier.  It was the perfect solution, because they wouldn't be able to chew through it, yet the rats would have enough space to avoid getting knocked around.  But when I arrived to school this morning to pull the carrier out of the car, there was only one rat.  Somehow Mrs. Whatsit had yet again escaped.  Feeling rushed and desperate, I called out, "Mrs. Whatsit!  Come on out!"  I know this had to be a coincidence (either that or I'm the Rat Whisperer), but she suddenly peered out from underneath the passenger seat and scampered out.  I quickly shoved her in my purse and proceeded to class (don't ask to borrow my chapstick, by the way).

Trust me when I say that if you are a teacher who wants to add liveliness and adventure to your otherwise mundane day, get a classroom pet.  Better yet, get a pair of lively, personable rats.  You will laugh every day.  But trust me also when I say that classroom pets--especially rodents--are not for the faint of heart.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Counting Sheep

I'm still struggling to write a decent entry. It's been so long and I feel like I need to get on here and talk about the latest going-ons in my life, but I really don't want to talk about life. Hmmm...where exactly does that leave me from the blogging standpoint...?

Last night I was having a hard time, as usual, going to sleep. So I went out into the kitchen to get a midnight snack, using my cell phone as a flashlight so that I wouldn't disturb the kids.  I sat on the cold kitchen tile, in the dark, eating yogurt and drinking tea. I sat that way for a long time, feeling so tired, but in an indescribably pleasant and fuzzy way...almost the way you feel after you have taken a shot of a good, hard liquor, and the initial burn has finally passed.  Sometimes I hate insomnia, but sometimes I love it.  There is just something so intimate about having that part of the quiet pre-dawn morning all to yourself, with no sounds other than the clock softly ticking in the background.  And knowing that somewhere in the country, someone else is lying awake too, contemplating the night right along with you...and even if you never see this person, you are unwitting partners sharing the dark morning together.

Okay, I realize that I am over-romanticizing insomnia to the Nth degree, but when you have it as often as I do...well, it just seems like the healthiest approach.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Need you Now

"It's a quarter after one, I'm all alone and I need you now...".  I love those lyrics by Lady Antebellum.  That song has recently become somewhat of a lullaby to me every time I'm struggling to go to sleep.  It's obviously the world's worst lullaby though, since here I am, wide awake (that's actually not quite true.  I'm nearly delirious with exhaustion right now).

This might just be my shortest entry ever.  I'm going to attempt to bully my consciousness into shutting up for a little while so I can go to sleep, and try not to sing along to "picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor...."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Poor Blog--Stuck Outside with No One to Play With

I have a severe case of blog guilt.  It's kind of like the oh-so-common issue of the neglected outdoor dog.  Every day you can see him wagging his tail through the back door, immensely excited to see you.  But you feel incredibly guilty for not playing with him for such a long period of time, so you ultimately avoid going outside to pet him or give him attention (this would force you to face your guilt), thus perpetuating a never-ending cycle.  Same with blogging.  The longer you go without blogging, the harder it is to get back into it.  You just don't want to be forced to acknowledge the fact that you have failed to write for over a month, and that you are being a lousy blog owner.

So this is my attempt to throw my blog a bone.