Already four weeks into the school year, and I have a couple juicy tidbits to share with you, Dear Readers, about Principal Man and his Merry Band of Idiots.
First off, under a new schoolwide policy decreed by PM, our faculty has been ordered to "Wag more, and bark less!" I think he even included a smiley face in his back-to-school memo. Along the lines of the Ladybug Inservice, which was so juvenile and embarrassing to all concerned that I've only touched on it once in this space.
The new attitude infusing the halls of Our Humble High School really fit into my lesson plans until I was jumped (only in the figurative sense of the word, praise the Lord!) by our new Director of Student Services (that would be the person who bosses the guidance counselors around) for, in her words, "attempting to determine student schedules."
Rehashing the whole sordid tale, which thankfully only took place via e-mail, would bore you to tears, but here's the freeze-dried version. My yearbook editor wanted to switch into my AP Lang class. I said, basically, "Fine with me. I've got 32 cherubs already crammed into 2nd period, which is a tad overwhelming for 7:30 in the a.m., but if you can find a seat, I don't mind."
You see? I was trying to go along with the program. I'd say my response to the child definitely smacked of wagging, and not one little ol' bit of barking, correctamundo?
Well, little Miss I'm in Charge of Student Schedules pretty much busted a gut when she found out how pleasant I'd been. She basically staged a technological meltdown. I could see steam (figuratively, Dear Readers) coming out of my laptop when I clicked on her electronic missive to moi. Which she copied Principal Man on, natch.
I'm in charge, you're not, how dare you. That kinda thing. After attempting four drafts of a civil response, I settled on a polite but firm reply. In my 16+ years in charge of Room 215, I've never attempted to change a student's schedule. Nor could you pay me big bucks to be a guidance counselor. No sir, missy. Not goin' there in a heartbeat.
Of course, our Principal is a Man who often finds himself drowning in a flood of fools, so I guess I should have expected what happened the following week. I had no sooner put out one brush fire than I had to man the water canons once again.
PM decided this year to locate his four minions ~ known to the school population as Assistant Principals ~ in more visible office space throughout the building. Makes sense, I guess; more visibility from those in charge equals fewer disruptions to "instructional time." Fewer fights, less theft, quieter hallways. I'm all in favor of that.
Well, in all his ultimate wisdom, The Man with the Plan located one of the APs, as they're known, in a space across the hall from my Journalistas. As in the cherubs who attend Camp Kumbaya each year about this time.
The shot above shows my new neighbor's door, with its officious sign and its happy fall door dec (she previously supervised smelly 13-year-olds in a middle school), along with the reflection of my journalism computers. Yup, we're that close.
In my defense, I tried to make friends. She's new to our school, and she's older, and I figured I'd get on her good side by getting to know her. Well, a certain level of detente did exist, until she started questioning my cherubs and their motives, for goodness' sake.
A newspaper editor stepped out in the hallway ~ it's about a 5-second journey, I assure you ~ to get a drink from the water fountain.
"Where's your pass?"
Yours truly scurried down the hall (about 50 feet) between lunches to nuke her Chinese carry-out in the faculty microwave. Our new AP buddy sticks her nose into my classroom.
"Where's your teacher?" (Yes, I leave them alone sometimes for short stretches, like lunch or when I gotta go. It's not like they're playing with power tools, although they have been known to crawl out the window, on occasion.)
Then, my cherubs ~ at 3:45 in the afternoon, mind you, almost two hours after the final bell ~ were having a little fun while cobbling together the first deadline of the year. General guffawing, music blaring and all that jazz.
"Guys, could you please keep it down! This is a school!" Oh, sorry...we hadn't noticed.
In the meantime, miscreants in other quarters of the campus have vandalized both the baseball field and the football stadium; backpacks are disappearing from the gym locker rooms and there was a near-riot at a recent home football game when someone from the visitor's side deigned to walk through our senior section. OK, I'm exaggerating on the last one, but I think you get my drift.
Sounds like PM and his BOIs should wag their little bee-hinds over to the communal hydrant of bad behavior in our school, and stop peeing all over the good folks. I know one little doggy, though, whom I'd like to muzzle.