Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The longest short week of my life

We only had two and a half days this week. What could possibly go wrong in two and a half days? Oh, sweet Lord.

Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it had it's moments. Monday went well, but I had 4 kids absent. That, for this year's group, is unusual. I thought that would be an indication of an easy week. I had decided last week that I wanted to make homemade butter with the kids on Tuesday - kind of a nod to the Pilgrims. I originally thought I'd bring Saltines to go with our butter, until I remembered that my mother has a bread machine. So now my plan also included homemade white bread. (It's a little known fact, but the more resourceful Pilgrim women used a BreadMaster Plus for the first Thanksgiving meal. True story.)

At first, all went according to plan. Bread was cooking, kids were working, I was enjoying a rare moment of peace to grade some tests. Just before computer class, one of my boys started crying because his stomach hurt. He hadn't eaten breakfast, so I sent him down to the cafeteria to get some cereal. He ate and went to computer and said he felt fine. Minutes before our juice & pretzel snack, he got out of his seat and hugged me. "How sweet," I thought. Then he turned around and puked. And I mean PUKED. Four times in quick succession, all over the floor, before I even had a chance to grab the trashcan. One by one, my kids started putting their snack money away. "Um... I'm not really hungry anymore, Miss M," they said.

So the janitor was summoned and saw-dust was spread. All the kids in the back of the room took their chairs to the front to share a desk with the other kids, and they all worked together on a worksheet. I give them credit - their behavior during this whole thing was amazing. Meanwhile, the bread, oblivious to everything, continued to bake in the back of the room.

Jump to lunch - my sick boy had gone home, the room was clean(er), and I was ready to make butter. Then one of the other teachers mentioned the 1:30 assembly. Shit! I forgot about that! So we had an hour to hang up coats, take a bathroom break, make butter (which takes at least 20 minutes), copy the butter recipe in our notebooks, cut and butter bread, clean up and pack up before the assembly. We made it with two minutes to spare. Whew.

Thank God today was a half day. And we had Mass in the morning, which meant I only had to teach from 9:30 - 12:00. I am so glad to be on break.

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