The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers .
Monday morning begins as Monday mornings usually do – teetering between chaos and pretend-control. I leave late, which means I run into traffic, which means I enter the building along with a few hundred loud and boisterous middle schoolers. This was not the morning to schlep the extra books and plants I have been setting aside to bring to school, along with my two book bags and a case of water…but it is. Somehow I waddle up the staircase, down the hallway, and through my classroom door without losing anything or tripping over my unwound scarf.
By the time I have unlocked the door to my classroom, and dragged all of the above in, I can feel the onset of the worst thing that can happen on a Monday morning – a migraine. If it starts on Monday – it will stay till Friday. That’s just the way it goes. I dose myself with enough Advil to make it to lunch, and start to get ready for the day. But…
the printer is not working, the copy machine is jammed, and I have left the “Trail of Tears” movie I had planned to share with my kids at home. Sitting down in our rocking chair, I survey the classroom, which is now beginning to spin, slowly.
J. bounds in, loudly, as he always does, and pauses to take in the scene.
“So, hey Mrs. Smith. I wanted to print out my feature article with all the cool pictures I’ve been saving but you told us not to for the peer edits so I didn’t but I wish I had and any way when is the writing celebration cause I really want to share my article…so, what’s wrong?” he asks, catching sight of my face, and pausing to take a breath.
But the bell rings, and we are off to the races.
J. doesn’t see me until the afternoon block, but he’s back to check in periods 2, 3, and 4. I’m in a migraine haze and barely holding it together: more Advil, washed down with strong coffee.
“Ummm…so I’m thinking that I’ll be done with the book I’m reading and thought I should check out Endymion Spring like you recommended…so, what’s wrong?” he asks again, for the same reason, period 4.
Before I can formulate an answer, he’s gone.
Lunchtime. I have forgotten my lunch. But there is a little ziplock bag sitting on my desk filled with two Hamentashen pastries that my colleague Fran had gifted me on Friday…and they make a perfect lunch:
The coffee, the Advil, the Hamentashen, the 25 minutes of kid free/noise free time, has a soothing effect. I feel the migraine receding. And then the study lunch group is back. J. among them. As I clean my desk, comment on a few slices, sip on what’s left of my coffee, I feel J. watching me.
This makes me uneasy.
Has he not completed his Wonderopolis assignment? Did he forget his reading journal? what’s he plotting for this afternoon? You never know with J. And then I feel bad for having these uncharitable thoughts. He’s a great kid, really he is. I shouldn’t be so suspicious…
Suddenly, he’s by my desk.
“Ummm, so I was thinking that the reason you didn’t look right was ’cause you weren’t wearing one of these today….so here…it’s a Rolex, made of solid gold and everything. It’s worth a LOT…I mean, a LOT.”
Which is how I came to own a “Rolex” halfway through the school day…which is also how I suddenly felt better and made it through the rest of the school day….