Monday, May 13, 2013

I Spayed my Cat. Twice.

I had this really weird dream that I accidentally spayed my already-spayed cat, and then a transformer box blew up at my work leaving me trapped in a dark classroom with my rowdy 7th period class all day, and then I won Teacher of the Year.

Oh wait.  Those things actually happened.

Let me start with the power outage.  It happened today,* on an upside-down week.  On upside-down weeks, kids start with their 7th period class in the morning, and then proceed to 6th, 5th, 4th, and so on.  Today started perfectly normal.  I conducted an in-class Spelling Bee during our 7th period morning class, the kids took a break (I have each group of kids for two periods), and then we started reading A Wrinkle in Time during 6th period.

That's when the power went out. 

The kids immediately screamed because, well, that's what 12 and 13 year-olds do when their classroom descends into darkness.  I just played it off and said, "Come on guys, this is no big deal."  There was no way for me to call anyone up front to see what was going on since our classroom phones were dead, and the level of darkness in my room made it impossible to do any work or read, so I took the kids out into the sunshine where we finished reading our chapter.

Right when 6th period was nearing its end and students were packing up (in the dark) for their next class, a campus aid walked in and informed me that I would have to keep this group of students in class with me until the power outage was over.  I think my response was, "Um, wha...?  Come again?"  She explained that for accountability purposes, all students were required to stay with the last teacher who took their attendance, that way they would know exactly where everyone was.  That just went in one ear and out the other.  I was like, "No Amy, you can't leave me here!  Take me with you!" as I flung my arms around her feet and allowed her to drag me across the campus (this might be a good time to mention that 6/7th period is my rowdiest bunch. And that I might be bit of an unreliable narrator). My students, on the other hand, were elated, with shouts of "Yay! We get to stay with you all day Mrs. P! ALL DAY FOR ETERNITY." (Again, unreliable). Basically the prospect of spending the day trapped in room 405 didn't bother them a bit.

So I did what any sensible 7th grade teacher would do in this situation.  We played Heads Up Seven Up.  Followed by Silent Ball.  And Spelling Bee Ball.  I even came up with a little slogan--a mantra, if you will:

Staying Alive in Room 405.

Catchy, huh?

Anyway, a few minutes before lunch (yes, it's been half of a day at this point--aka: Half of eternity) the school counselor came into my room and told me that I was allowed to dismiss students for a 30 minute lunch.
"And after lunch would be a perfect time for them to go to a different class, right?" I asked.
"Nope.  These kids will return to your class."
Oh good.  Because I hadn't gotten my fill of them yet.    

After a very dark and strange lunch (I think the students ate emergency peanut butter jelly sandwiches or something), I plodded dejectedly hurried enthusiastically back to class where I was greeted by my now-high-on-sugar 7th period.  Because I was starting to look like this,

I decided to send two of my students to fetch some board games from nearby teachers.  We managed to procure four games of Monopoly.  This was a GOD send.  I divided the class into four groups, and we spent the rest of our time together playing a classic game that has virtually no end--which is perfect for a day that has no foreseeable end either. 

On a side note, I am now adding Monopoly to my survival kit for both home and school purposes.  As far as I'm concerned, it's right up there with food, water, flashlights, and batteries.

Oh (another side note), speaking of flashlights, did I mention that mine was dead?  I've had an emergency flashlight in my classroom for seven years now, and the first time I go to use it, it doesn't work.  Words can not describe how much fun it is to try to use the staff restroom in pitch darkness.  Especially for those who enjoy stubbing their toes on porcelain and head-bashing walls.  And don't even get me started on the damn toilet seat liner.

So back to my story.  Monopoly saved my hide, and the power finally did come back on that afternoon.  Turned out a transformer exploded underground.  Trinity was in P.E. jogging right passed the transformer when it happened, so she heard the boom and saw the cloud of dust.  But even better than that is the fact that she was stuck in her P.E. clothes all day.  That's every girls dream, right there. 

During 1st period, the principal came into my classroom, and announced in front of all my students that I had won Teacher of the Year at my school site.  That was just...wow.  My kids went crazy, and I cried a little.  She told me to dress nice on Wednesday because they're coming to take my picture for the paper.  I don't know who "they" are or what "paper" she's referring to, but I told her I had already set aside a nice sloppy outfit for Wednesday and now she was jacking with my mojo. 

After 1st period ended, it was time for homeroom.  And I'm sure you can guess what kids I have for homeroom.

7TH PERIOD.

Yep.  They came in, and I said, "Hi guys!  I missed you!"  'Cause, you know, we just didn't have enough time to truly bond.

And that officially ends the story of the longest Friday I have ever had in my whole life.  But hey, did I mention that I won TEACHER OF THE YEAR??  And let me tell you, I was truly feeling the whole teacher of the year thing when I was screaming, "No, I get to be the thimble!"

Oh, one more little thing.  As I alluded to earlier, we dropped off our new cat (Toshi) to the vet to get her spayed.  They called around lunchtime where the following conversation commenced (Vet = red):

"Where's your cat's uterus?" 
"Um, I don't have it." 
"Well we can't find it." 
"Okay...do you want me to go over there and look for it?" 

After exploring around in her stomach some more, they finally concluded that the cat had already been fixed and stitched her back up.

Yeah, that's a little awkward.

But it was an honest mistake.  Clint's sister had the cat before us, and when she took Toshi in to get her vaccinations, she was told by the vet "your cat is in heat."  Little did the vet know that Toshi is just a really affectionate cat.

So the poor cat came back completely stoned last night from a surgery she didn't even need.  Not many animals get fixed twice, so I'm glad this one has nine lives.




*(post written on 5/10 but published later to give Shan's very cool  technology post more time on top)