Of Butterflies and Unhinged Boys

So today was a so-so day at work. I come to school preparing to spend the first four hours working on the mountain of papers I've yet to grade whilst my students watch a film, The Prestige (and lest you think I am a horrible teacher, today was PSAT Testing in my school, otherwise known as the local "skip" day when teachers hold their first block class for four hours straight when they're not put on the sh*it list and made to proctor). I was fortunate enough not to have to proctor, and I wasn't about to teach the whole block and have my kids be leagues ahead of the other students I didn't see today, so movie day it was. Or at least, it was to be.

I kid you not, the second I hit the play button on my DVD player, one of the guidance counselors came running into my room telling me they needed me to proctor after all. Some sort of an "emergency." Whatev. I was fuming mad, but outwardly I kept my cool and politely smiled and said I'd be right over.

They wound up moving me from the comfort of my room to a classroom in the other building, where I had to proctor 14 kids taking the PSAT. Because some teacher missed the training. A teacher who is a sweet, sweet lady, but folks, she's been there years more than me and you betcha (as my "friend" Ms. Palin would say) that she knew how to proctor the fragging test. At least the kids were sweet and well behaved. I left my grading in my class and brought a book to read in between keeping watch over their testing and making sure they weren't cheating or drooling on their testbooks or whatnot. It wasn't so much that I couldn't have graded while proctoring, I was just in full-on rebellion mode after being made to do something I wanted to do. Childish? Yes. That's just how I roll.

But at least I had a good book to read during my limbo. What book, you ask? Ahh... It's my new obsession, The Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris. It's the books that the new HBO series "True Blood" is based upon, and they are awesome so far. I'm reading the first book, Dead Until Dark, and loving the hell out of it so far. I even think it's better than the show, except that it seems to be missing a few characters, like one of my favorites in the show, Sookie's wise-cracking best friend, Tara. But it's early pages yet - hopefully she'll appear in a later chapter.

After the four hour PSAT onslaught was over and done with, we broke for lunch (mercifully on time, a rarity for a test day) and then saw our last block of the day. I wasn't expecting a lot of kids, but I was pleased to see all but three students present, since we were reading the pivotal Act III of The Crucible today. Unfortunately, the student I chose to read for John Proctor decided to skip out on school today apparently (and if you're lurking out there, Abel, I'm disappointed in you, young man!), so I had to get a girl to play his part. Why are Advanced English classes 98% female?! Hmm...

Before that class begun in the afternoon, a strange thing happened. I was getting my stuff together as the kids were walking in, and in comes this student I don't know holding something pinched together between his thumb and index finger. As he comes closer, I'm horrified to realize what it is - a butterfly, wriggling desperately in his grasp. As I watch, mouth agape and fingers itching to press the security button, he holds it out to me and says, "Miss, this is for you."

I should probably back-track now and say that the window display for my clasroom features a beautiful butterfly border and giant cut-out of a blue morpho butterfly. Which perhaps inspired aforementioned creepy young man to present such a lurid gift. After I recovered from the shock, I told him something along the lines of, "No, but thank you. You should really set that free, hon." Very graciously, of course, because I didn't want the kid to snap.

After the kid and his butterfly left, my students curiously asked me if he was one of my students. I replied no. One girl who's very outspoken and honest cried out, "Stalk-er!"

Yech. I hope she's wrong!

2 comment(s):

Abel said...

I was at a School Board meeting today, sorry!

Unknown said...

You're forgiven ... as long as you come to class on Friday to reprise your role.