Shaddup Already!


Spiders and 6th graders

I promised you a spider story and a spider story you shall have. However, if there is any problem with posting it this time, I will not type it in again.

Tuesday I was in the teacher's lounge with two of my team mates. Tina is a floating teacher, so she has an office instead of a permanent classroom. She'll teach in other people's classrooms while they have their plan periods. So Tina, Susan and I were shooting the shit and Tina poked her head into her office. She turned to Susan and said, "He's still in there."

I guess I gave a funny look because she said, "There's a really big spider in there." We talked a bit more and then Tina said she didn't want to go into the office alone as long as the spider was there.

Now let me give you some background on me. First and foremost, I am incredibly arachnophobic. However, I also believe that the spider is my shadow totem. A shadow totem is a very powerful totem--once you conquer your fear of the creature. As long as you have fear, the totem is stronger than you, once you overcome the fear, you harness the power of the totem. While I have been okay with the spider having more power than me, I am trying to overcome this irrational fear I have.

With all that in mind, I said very bravely that I was going to try and capture and release this spider (that I hadn't even seen yet). I did add that I might be forced to kill it, but I was going to try to relocate it first. I walked into the office and asked where the spider had last been seen. They told me he was on the wall near the ceiling, so I started looking around. I looked up and there was this huge spider on the ceiling. He was changing the bulb in a fluorescent light--you know, one of those long tubes. So I said, "Oh my god!" and backed out of the office in a very girly fashion. There was no way I could conquer a spider on the ceiling. That's just crazy thinking.

I walked back out to the lounge area, which is right next to this office, and the ladies were laughing at me. I said, "I didn't know it was on the ceiling!" as if that would explain everything. Susan walked over to the coffee area and grabbed a big Folger's can. She opened it up and determined that there was little coffee in there, so we could use the can on the spider. How, I don't know. I still have no idea what she had in mind.

At this point another teacher, Erin, walks in and I say, "Are you afraid of spiders?" She looks at me and says it depends. We tell her there is a big spider in the office and she really ought to take care of it for us. She steps in and finds the spider, she squeals and backs out of the office in a very girly fashion and says, "It's on the ceiling!"

At this point Susan grabs a big trash can and says, "we can use this, maybe we can get it to drop in here." Now I'm thinking, "What the hell are we going to do with it once it's in the open garbage can?" but I say nothing.

It was somehow decided that someone ought to find a broom and get the spider down. So Susan went to get it and I think we stared at each other for a while. Then Susan reached up and swept the spider onto the wall. We all squealed and backed out of the office in a decidedly girlish fasion.

At that point, Erin came back, she had gone somewhere briefly. She checked on our progress and we said the spider was behind the file cabinet. Actually, it shoved the file cabinet away from the wall and caused it to come crashing to the floor in it's mad dash. Did I mention it was a huge spider?

Susan says that now we can just push the file cabinet against the wall and squish the spider. So we peered behind the cabinet and the spider wasn't there. We looked further down the wall and gasped at the spider's amazing speed. It was hanging out on the wall next to Tina's desk.

Erin grabbed the broom and slapped it against the wall. The spider bounced off the wall and landed belly up on Tina's desk. It was still twitching. So Erin brought the broom down again, squishing it good this time.

Then she turned around and said, "Do either of you have a tampon?" Now we know the secret to her strength.


Today was open house for the students. It was also a very hectic morning. They told us yesterday that we needed to go pick up our text books at 9:00am. Well, the open house for 6th graders started at 9:00, so I asked the department head what to do. She initially told me to come later in the afternoon, but then she called me back and told me I needed to come that morning. Apparently, the language arts books were blocking all the other subjects' books.

So I dragged an unassuming 7th grade teacher to sit in my classroom while I went to get my books. I told him I would only be 30 minutes at the most. All I had to do was pick up a few boxes of books, how difficult could it be?

I get up to the workroom that housed the books and found a bunch of disgruntled English teachers standing around. Apparently, all the books were mixed up and most of the books that were needed were behind a bunch of other books. I was looking through the stacks and noticed that the other subjects weren't behind our books, they were mixed in with our books. There was absolutely no order in this workroom.

So I hung out a bit to see if I could get my books. It's a pretty long haul from my portable to this upstairs workroom, especially when you have to take the elevator because you have a cart to carry all your books. I didn't want to have to go back. I ended up staying there for 30 minutes.

Finally, I labelled my cart and left to go meet some students. I got to my room and I asked if teacher-man had scared away any of my kids and he said yes, a few. I acknowledged that this was a good thing. Then he said people were coming in going, "Are you Mr. B?" To which I replied, "What'd you answer, 'no, I'm Ms. B'?" He said that is absolutely what he said and he told people not to judge him. I think I'm gonna like this guy and only wish he weren't married. Grrr.

I stayed in my room a bit and met with scared 6th graders to be and then went back up for my books. I was able to get them, but my cart was so loaded down that it took me and three spiders to push it out to the portable. When I got there, there was a woman with two kids waiting by my door. She was really sweet and offered to help me with the cart up the ramp, but I declined as I was too tired to even pay the spiders. I left it at the end of my ramp.

I was sweating profusely and out of breath because I had walked about a half a mile with 3000 pounds of books. Everyone and their brother decided this was the time to visit teacherlady's classroom. So I'm standing there as people are just pouring into my room. The next thing I know, I'm surrounded by parents and kids. I tried to shake everyone's hands and then I joked about how popular I was. I finally got them out of my room and went to retrieve my cart.

As I got to the bottom of my ramp, a mom and a girl were walking my direction. We had an interesting exchange:

Girl:grinning widely

Mom:This is daughtergirl and she met you at another open house.

Girl:still grinning widely

Mom: She really wanted you as her teacher, she was so excited to see teacherlady on her schedule.

Me: That is so sweet. Thank you!

Girl:grinning so widely her face has now split open

The mother very kindly offered to help me up the ramp with the cart. Since my spider helpers had left for the day, I accepted. We pushed the cart up and I thanked her. Then we chatted again. Daughtergirl finally spoke and told me how nice I was. I still couldn't figure out what open house I met daughtergirl at. We have several open houses a year, but not usually for the 5th graders.

Later the girl came back with her friend, who is also a student of mine this year. I finally remembered when I met her before and actually remembered meeting her. I can't remember everything that was said, but I do remember that it was her birthday the next day. She was going to wear her princess dress to bed that night. I said, "Of course, everyone should wake up a princess on their birthday!"

I love 6th graders. They are so cute and scared and childish. They haven't quite reached the developmental stage where they are declaring independence and not playing with toys, but they are beginning to think they should be there. They try to act so mature, but they are just cute little kids.

It's also funny because on open house, hardly any of the kids speak to me. I always try to shake their hands and introduce myself, but many of them won't tell me their names. A lot of times it requires a shove from mom or dad for them to figure out that it was their turn to speak.

However, in about two weeks, these same kids won't ever shut up :o)


The other night I got out of my shower and my Scout kitty was burrowing in my pile of dirty clothes. She managed to get herself into this position:

She wasn't at all happy when I started to take clothes away to put in the washer:

Just in case you're wondering, my faucet isn't really spotty, it's my camera, yeah, that's it. My camera needs fixing. I'm gonna have to talk to those Sony people.

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