Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The anti-Cupid on Valentine's Day

Boy this post is a late Valentine entry.  I meant to finish it last Friday- but I took our very abbreviated February rest seriously! 

I am the anti-Cupid.  Opposite in every way from that cute chubby little baby in a diaper with a bow and arrow, inspiring young love everywhere.

I do not wear a diaper. My schedule got changed and now a third class has been added to morning program.  I need to get the worksheets copied in the  thirty minutes before my first class starts.  If the line at the copy machine is long  or if one copy machine in the chain is not working- not an uncommon occurrence, I don't make it to the bathroom before class and that diaper thing has it its appeal.  But I'm not there yet.

So I guess the chubby thing is the only thing Cupid and I have in common.  He goes around spreading love, I go around saying, "Stop kissing, go to class."

Thursday was Valentine's Day.  With our February break, reduced to a long weekend and a global warming induced succession of snowy frigid days, followed by warm slushy ones, only to be succeeded once again by freezing ones,  by Wednesday I thought this week would never end.  And the state, city monitors were spreading anxiety.

Valentine's Day brought the usual procession of helium balloon and stuffed animals and I tried my best not to consume the little chocolate treats I purchased running into the school (see above for chubbiness report).So much love to be spread around.

Three little stories (kind of like the mini-valentines the elementary kids bring in for everyone in the class- I only have the energy for three)

Michael showed up for math class for the second time of the week on Thursday.  Tuesday he spent the complete period on his phone texting.  "It's important," he kept telling me-it's my mother."  If it was, why wouldn't she make him get off the phone and do math?  I asked him continuously to put the phone away-he kept reminding me it was his mother, it was important.  His mother is disabled and can't leave his house, Maybe it really was her, maybe I'm stupider than I look. Wednesday he didn't show, Thursday he was there with two roses.  "I was going to give both to my mother, but I guess you deserve one," he said as he handed it to me.  He didn't take the phone out, he did math.

I gave up my preparation period to go the educational planning conference for Matthew.  Matthew, who sat quietly and suffered through the tenth period math class all last semester.  Matthew's mother eloquently retold the story of Matthew's childhood, how he ate the paint behind the his playpen at the babysitter's house as an infant and had an extremely high level of lead in his blood.  Matthew, who spent the last semester staring at every algebra example as if taking his eyes away from the assignment long enough to retrieve a pencil from his bag would some how cause the paper to attack, listened intently.  Matthew received a shopping bag full of chocolates for being most improved student. I needed chocolate.  I asked him for one of the KitKats, he studiously sieved through the collection and handed me all of them.

Regina showed up for tenth period with a rose, a box of chocolate and sour face.   Regina and I have been staying after school to work on learning to read.  Regina did not attend school for the first 13 years of her life and she ended up in high school without the ability to read a three letter word.  In the current, leave no child behind world, Regina has no option other than the same college directed courses everyone else takes (and passes them all- how- I can't begin to fathom, I fear it has much more to do with unrealistic grading policies, than hard work and perseverance). So we work together after the day ends and we sound out words with short vowel sounds.  The sour face was for the fact she was sure she would end up in a foster home because she had arrived at school late yet again and someone had called her mother.  I got the rose and the valentine- she got a phone call to her mother, explaining how hard Regina was working with me.  She was there Friday. No foster home this time.

Maybe one more little story.  Wendy took my phone and texted Mr.Teachefish- Happy Valentine's Day.
No signature.  Mr. Teacherfish, assuming it was me, texted back "I love you.- Let's go out for dinner."  Now the fourth period class thinks I'm married to a romantic guy.

May all our days be lead paint free,  spent in homes with people who love us  and filled with roses and chocolate.
Happy belated Valentine's Day

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