Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Getting It All Down

It was a day. I reflected back on it as I finished the housework that was left to me to be done when my wife skittered off to do whatever voodoo that she does on Thursday evenings. I am certainly not above doing some sweeping or scrubbing a toilet. It was looking at chores left to be done before I could call it quits. With a gaping hole in the seat of my pants.
That gaping hole had come about as a result of sitting down to wrestle with the inner tube that I was attempting to insert into the back tire of my bike. The back tire of my bike that I had stopped four times over the course of a two mile ride to inflate to a point where I could limp on home. I was on my way home from the day I had when I noticed that I was more than just a little under-inflated and I needed to stop long enough to get some air between me and the pavement.
This was after I had taken a few minutes to insert the names of all the kindergartners into the math program which I intended to introduce them. It was a task that had slid down my to do list as the day wore on. A day filled with extra students in different classes and teachers coping with multiple absences on our staff as we gathered our collective wits to put together a day just like any other day in elementary education. Without letting on that missing four of seventeen teachers puts a strain on any institution, we moved our larger than average groups of kids from one activity to the next. Lunch recess gave us all a sense that there was no hiding the reality of the situation. But we showed no fear. Even though we were hopelessly outnumbered, we couldn't let on that at any moment, if the children had chosen to storm the gates, all would be lost. All of this came in the midst of the furor over the killer clown invasion that, thanks to social media and older siblings, was the talk of the town during the first half hour before the bell rang. And it lingered well into the day.
Before all the little darlings arrived at school, it was quiet, and I took in each little shred of news with the notion that we could adapt and overcome most any obstacle. We are trained professionals, and we probably wouldn't know what to do if a day presented itself that was perfect in any way. Adversity is a way of life in public education. We are in the lemonade business, after all.
Getting to the the squeezing of those lemons started early, when I turned on my phone before the sun came up, as I rushed about having fallen asleep only half an hour before I was going to get out of bed and missed getting the jump start a day like this could have used.
Instead, I was just a few minutes behind and never quite felt caught up in the midst of flat tires and terrified children and crowded classrooms and chores that needed to be done with a hole in my pants. I'm glad I made it to the part where I got to write about it.

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