enjoying the greener grass

19 January 2011

warning: semi-pictureless, wordy, mundane crafts though! lucky duck.


Its no secret that my year of teaching high school English was pretty--welllll, honestly--I can't think of the perfect word. It was rough. I do not have thick skin and I will never forget the insane amounts of sweat that spewed from my underarms during the 98 rushes of pure horrified adrenaline each day and the nightmares that followed me to bed each and every night. In retrospect, there were a few comical (NOW..not at the time) exchanges that I took part in or observed in the classroom. One of them being this:

(during reading of The Crucible)

student raises hand

G: yes?

student: I was wondering....

G: ok...

student: ok, so say like a woman gets pregnant with twins but like the twins have different dads. What does one twin call the other twin's dad?


student: I'm serious. I want to know.

Or there was the time a girl asked me if she could leave her jacket on during class because she had forgotten to wear a bra that day. Or another time when a student handed in a jaw-dropping horrific pornographic narration that involved all of the male characters in Huck Finn. Or...there was the student that put his name down as "spicy wiener" on all of his assignments. Or the time that a parent told me a student was being "resourceful" by skipping the reading assignment and going straight to the Sparknotes. Or the time a student raised his hand in front of 29 other students to tell me that I had spinach in my teeth--that was a barrel of laughs. Or when a student handed in an entire Wikipedia article twice as a research paper and claimed to the vice principal that I hadn't made the assignment guidelines clear. Or when a student stuck a maxi pad to another unsuspecting and innocent student's back during class.  Or the time a student threw a banana peel at me and called me racist. .... you get the general photograph here.

[This is not to say that there were not some positives to the year. The teachers I worked with bent over backwards to help me and even gave up numerous sick days for me so that I could recover adequately from the thyroid surgery. There were also some very nice students that sometimes made me feel like a little bit less of an idiot ... fortunately.]

So...on days like today when it feels as if I am wearing the yoke of an ox on my shoulders due to the position in which I was forced to sleep with a fussy Julia burrowing into my armpit all night Simon asks,

"So...what do you have on your docket for the day?"

and after some thought I reply, "Well, I do need to go to the store to get an onion..."

and he waits for the rest of my plans and .... there aren't any....  maybe its bad but I don't really feel guilty at all.


  1. DON'T feel guilty!
    signed- your favorite blog creeper

  2. Believe it or not, it IS possible for a set of twins to have different fathers. It happened last year.

  3. bahaha. an onion. i love it. i'm going to make some scones..

  4. A valuable life lesson Grace, Thank you.

  5. LOVE this. I have some doozy stories from my time in property management and I love waking up each morning and being like, " we're going to the park. And I should probably go get Stinky a new pair of shoes. that can wait until next week." And that's my day. Best. thing. ever.

  6. Ha! I love that you called this post "retirement." I refer to my current state in life as a "retired office worker." However, I think this business of having kids is WAY more work!

  7. So I saw your link from the 21 day challenge and being the nosy voyeur that I am, began poking around your blog...This post linked from your "About" section literally made me cry from laughing because I can completely relate!! I am going into my 6th year of teacher high school English and it is CRAZY what students and parents do/say. Congrats on getting out...I'm still looking for that door!

  8. Haha! Getting called racist gets old. I just started saying, "Yep, I'm a racist. That's why I chose to work at a school where no one is my same race."

    I'm so glad you're not having such a bad year anymore!

  9. I have one more week of teaching those same kids Algebra 1, and then I will be thanking God every day for the wonderful privilege of staying home with my son!

  10. I'm sad I'm just now reading this post -- it is hysterical! I would dieeee as a high school teacher, you must have gotten so many souls out of purgatory! And the onion docket, love love love! This post makes me happy :)

  11. Let's reminisce together: One time I found a piece of weave wrapped around some bacon on my floor. Once a student flipped over my filing cabinet because he didn't like his small group. I had a girl shove me over in front of the whole class (suspension much?). I chased a kid down the hallway screaming at him while the football coach tackled him for me. They put a kid (recently out of jail) in my class and told me that as long as he took his medication we should be ok. A girl asked me if she could leave her coat on because she was pregnant...A kid set off a stink bomb in my class and forced us to cancel the rest of the day. I wish I could go on, as I assure you I could, but Ellen is getting crank-town. And wouldn't you know, I prefer it.

    Plus, we really should get a move on. We have plans to pick up Mike some shaving cream and, if we have time, we need shredded cheese.

  12. Yeeeeah, my husband teaches high school English. Whenever I'm tempted to think, "Wow, my life as a homeschooling, writing, nap-taking, coffee-drinking mom is sooooo taxing, how will I ever crawl through this day?" I instead imagine him in the classroom and I collapse into a heap of groveling gratitude that I've been able to stay at home all these years due to his fortitude.

  13. I laughed out loud...often.

    I have been teaching high school English for seven years now. My students are nut jobs, and I think it works for me because I'm an even bigger nut job. If I'm being honest, I would acknowledge that working with teenagers who are perpetually a hot mess makes me feel like I constantly have my crap together. At my first school, I taught a girl whom I needed to walk to the bathroom any time she had to go; otherwise, she'd fling poop. I still don't understand what would keep her from playing poop Picasso with me in the bathroom.

    Yeah, I understand why you cut bait and ran.


  14. I was seriously laughing out loud reading this post. You are so funny. And I loved the "spicy weiner" bit.

  15. Okay, so I read this along time ago and just reread it after clicking on your link. I think the last time I read it I hadn't subbed yet in the Wichita district and now that I have that experience under my belt I soooooo relate to this post. I feel your pain sista! Anyway, cheers to retirement!

  16. I had girl threaten to punch me in the stomach and kill my baby my first year teaching. Can't imagine why I stopped teaching in that district...

  17. OMG Grace, I didn't know you taught English for a year! I was an English major too (woohoo?) and now teach 8th grade reading. And we read The Crucible too. Neat.



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