Wednesday, December 14, 2005

All We Want for Christmas.....

Torrential rains blew through today. A veritable winter monsoon descended on the Houston metropolis. At 9:30, just as I ‘m explaining the STAR test to a group of 3 graders the lights go out. And stay out. It is very dark in the library which has only a few narrow windows.

No STAR testing will happen, no books will be checked out, no internet will be surfed, no stories will be read. I pull out my portable treasure box (a very fancy cigar box I got in a thrift store), drop a set of keys in them and we play “What’s in the Box”. The keys give way to a stapler, which gives way to my watch, which gives way to my cell phone.

It is still dark and in tromps a kindergarten teacher and her kids. It is their library time. Just what they thought I could accomplish is beyond me but it is her library time and she is going to have it. I resort to story telling and a from memory retelling of “The Polar Express”.

Lunch time rolls around. The first couple of grades get a hot lunch, since it was already cooked, the older grades get peanut butter sandwiches. I’d planned two Brownies and Ice Cream reading celebration lunches. We decide that brownies and ice cream taste better in the dark.

The lights come on at 12:30 but the rain is coming down harder, in fact it’s horizontal and we have open walkways ( a legacy of a building partly built in the pre air conditioning days). We also have thunder, lighting and a tornado warning. The sidewalks are flooded, the grounds are one massive puddle and the street in front of the school is hubcap deep in water.

Principal gets on the intercom and requests that all teachers keep their students in the classrooms. 10 minutes later a class shows up at the door. The kids are wet to the knees and their shoes are ruined.

“Didn’t you hear the announcement?”

“Yes, but it’s their library time.”

“But look how wet they are”

“Yes, they walked through rather than around the puddles”.

Of course they did, they are kids, all kids are genetically predisposed to plow through any body of standing water. The inmates appear to be running the asylum.

We proceed, at least we can check out books. They leave.

Another class shows up. ”Didn’t you hear the announcement? “

“Yes, but it’s not raining as hard as it was”

She’s right, we’re down to puppies & kittens as opposed to cats and dogs. However, from the looks of the sky, Tigers and Wolves are expected very shortly.

We suggest they go back before they arrive. We’ve turned all the computers off because the lights have begun to blink again.

Phone rings.

Teacher on the other end “Can we come to the library”.

“Didn’t you hear the announcement?”
Teacher “Oh I forgot”.

I check with the nurse who is across the hall. She’s having much of the same, complete with gashed chins and knees from kids who have slipped on the slick cement walks.

We e-mail the principal “Just what part of “wet” do they not understand?

Principal get back on the intercom. This time everyone finally gets it.

Forget the two front teeth, all we want for Christmas is some common sense!


MsAbcMom said...

You know, we teachers expect more out of our librarians than we expect out of ourselves sometimes. Sorry for the trying day.

Thanks for posting. I am going to share your blog with my school librarian!


H0kie Erin said...

I know 1st grade teachers that have P.E. the last half hour of the day and who demand they have their PE time after Field Day (which is PE ALLLL day).

Of course, when the kids return after a "fun" assembly, party, or a field trip they expect their end of the day recess as well. Oy!

Pigs said...

Yep, we teachers are OBNOXIOUS. It's terrible, I know. Sometimes it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission!

Janet said...

Oh I couldn't even imagine what my kids would be like in a situation like that. My students freak out if I get a phone call, much less such a huge disruption!

Julie said...

Gotta say, though, I wish I could have been there to hear your retelling of Polar Express. :)

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Hah. And I thought I worked with all the doofuses like that-- I guess some days it just seems that way....

Let me see if I can discern the thought pattern here of the teachers: I'm tired. She sits there all day with a bunch of quiet, non-sticky, potty-trained books! t's Houston! You can swim in the AIR here! What's a little rain, right?