Thursday, June 1


9 days

Nine left. The over/under of the grasp on my sanity? Tenuous.

Wednesday, May 17


Has it really been 2 months?

Been awhile blog.

I've tied down a long-term gig at a middle school teaching algebra. Teaching middle school algebra is about as fun as it sounds. No, scratch that, it's about as fun as having your balls eaten by fireants sounds.

The problem with being a long-term sub is kinda like the problem of being a large Mario, but not a fire-throwing Mario, in the underwater levels of Super Mario Bros. Large Mario finds his powered-up size works against him in the narrow confines of the water stages. So what if I'm bigger, older, and stand in front of the classroom? All these signs of power egg the kids on. If only I was fully powered up in the eyes of my students, if only I could find that elusive fire-flower, which effectively nullifies Mario's size disadvantages with the ability to hurl flames.

Eh, then again that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


- Discovered a note informing me that I "suck monkey balls." "A Student that doesn't like you" addressed it to me "hate." At least that's not as bad as having a student that hates you addressing a note "don't like." I think.

- A plot to put itching powder on the sub failed when I refused to shake the suspicious outstretched hand of this one knucklehead. That's right, his idea was to first spread the itching powder on his hand and then shake mine. Honors students they ain't.

- Going back to "knucklehead." Just about every teacher's lounge I've been to throws this phrase around for the school's utmost punks. It's kind of a catchall that fills in for "jackass," "dumbshit," "douche bag," and anything else you shouldn't call a 13 year old.

Friday, March 17


Two more days of PE

Two calamities struck in the midst of otherwise uneventful periods involving the dispensing of crunches and pull-ups.

Calamity 1

Someone touches your shoes. So you touch his backpack. What's the next move? Fight, of course. I mean, those might be your favorite shoes, but you have the audacity to touch his backpack! What else is going to happen?

Breaking up fights. Frustrating.

Calamity 2

Some freekin' genius set a stink bomb off in the locker room. Imagine rotten egg mixed into the olfactory jambalaya that is a boy's locker room. If you can't quite imagine that, try the following.

An orangutan has finished a 10k and really exerted himself. You know, gave it his all, didn't walk, and as a result is absolutely covered in sweat. On his way home, he stops at his favorite Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately, Guillermo, that night's cook, has been battling an unusually potent stomach flu. Unbeknownst to our orangutan (let's start calling him Petey) the super burrito he ravenously consumed had been infected with Guillermo's bug.
The flu acts with lightning quickness.
Petey's relief in the restaurant's public restroom is short lived after the discovery that his stall's toilet paper reserves are exhausted. Faced with no alternatives, Petey unlaces one running shoe and removes the fetid socks from his still moist foot. Using this reeking orangutan sock, Petey smears the barely digested burrito from his densely haired rear.
Forget about Petey and focus on that sock. Now, imagine pulling that sock over your head (which shouldn't be too hard, orangutans have large feet).

But other than that, a great day, really.

Wednesday, March 15


P.E. Streak

For the past week it's been nothing but P.E. spread between two middle schools. The thing about subbing P.E. is it really ain't that interesting. Watching kids chuck basketballs is easy, but doesn't make great campfire stories. But there were still a few mild entertainments.

If every kid in every period did 20, then I've supervised 20,000 push-ups this week. But only one did those prison style push-ups you see in movies, you know the ones, using the knuckles. What did he do after he was done? Shank? Trade some smokes? No, he gingerly cradled his bruised and scrapped knuckles.

This one school makes kids pick up trash for detention. Great idea, they're still miserable and they're doing good for the school.
Two kids I didn't recognize joined my class' basketball playing frenzy. I ask if they should be picking up trash. They say no.
But something doesn't add up.
There's some kind of knavish glint in their eyes, which craftily dart leftwards as they talk. Also These kids are standing near two scantly filled trash bags and have plastic gloves for picking up trash.
I decide to investigate.
I ask them their names. The first, out of earshot of his buddy, tells me "Michael." I walk over to the second. He tells me Michael too. Befuddled, I point out they have the same name.
"You told him Michael too?" says the second one.
And they picked up trash for the rest of their days. The End.

Thursday, March 9


Back to the Wolves

Hey, remember that one class I subbed for, like, three days? The one that by the third day was starting fires and forming bike gangs in class? (This Class)

They greeted me with huzzahs and ovations. The principal, who was subbing for me (it was one of those last minute deals) asked the class, "Is he the sub you were talking about?"
Aw, shucks... or aw, crap?

Turns out, Aw shucks. The kids were fantastic today. Intelligent, diligent, and not delinquent.

I still managed something terribly unprofessional (bringing my Ripken-esque streak to, like, 40 days). Because of the suddenness of today's job, I forgot to grab food. Lunch rolls around, me starving. Me starving bad, me think great unright. So I raided one of the lil darling's earthquake food supply. Hey, I'm a jerk.

Tuesday, March 7


Battle with the Creatures of Habit!

Everything I did in yesterday's third grade class got the same response. "Mr. Regular Teacher doesn't do that." I mean, everything. My handwriting, how I dismissed tables for recess, the way I asked them to open their math books before they put their names on their papers, my preference for an open palm slap as opposed to use of a yard stick for discipline, everything.

Then there was this passage from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. If it had been a batch of older kids, and one of them had started laughing I think I might have too, which reveals tons about my maturity. Anyway, it was during that part when Wonka describes the everlasting gobbstopper and it went something like this:

"It's amazing! You can put it in your mouth and suck it for hours and it won't get any smaller! You can suck it and suck it and suck it and suck it all day and it won't lose any of it's flavor. It'll be great for children with little pocket money!"

What's wrong with our society when third-graders aren't laughing at this stuff yet! Parents must be notified.

Sunday, March 5


Let's Talk Movies Today

Well, Girl's PE was nothing special. A rainy day schedule confined everyone to the Gym where every class shared the basketball courts without any problems. Since I didn't get to break up a fist fight or save anyone from an exploding car, anyone who reads this thing (Mom) is going to have to hear why the Academy Awards was sucky baby.

Why the Academy Awards was Sucky Baby
All this talk about how Crash and Brokeback Mountain were necessary films that needed to be made and seen. Well, these were the two AA movies I saw this year and it seemed to me either would have been alot more necessary (necessarier) ten years (at least!) ago.

CRASH - This movie got me thinking, could densely populated urban areas really be hotbeds for racial tension? Naaahhhhhhh.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN - Sure, it was great to have a few queers portrayed in a realistic (well, Holly-listic) way. A great movie for anyone who hasn't seen cable television over the last decade.

Both were great movies. But necessary?

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