Leaping off the wheel?

Black Boxes on Wednesdays at “Dundler Mifflin”

Wednesdays are these humungous humps that I try to plow through.  It never works.  I have no choice but to begrudgingly walk, huff and puff until I get to the top of the hump.  Then, inertia drags me unwillingly down the other side. 

I’m a teacher. I teach all day.  The fact that I also have a mountain of paperwork with due dates is so inane to me.  When in the hell am I supposed to complete all this paper work?  Do you see a cubicle in this classroom? Do you see Michael Scott hanging by the water cooler, or Dundler Mifflin embossed letter head?  No? So, when am I supposed to do this?  During the 45 minutes when my class is at PE at the same time I’m supposed to prepare for several hours of teaching?  You know that isn’t possible so you’re basically telling me to work at home. I earn a small fraction of the salary I require to work hours that should be reserved for corporate attorneys.  They get paid six times as much as I do.  What?  If I really care about my students I would do what is necessary to make sure they learn?  So, you are suggesting that I should be happy to work for free?  Well then.  Since you equate long-term free labor with a successful career why don’t you work for free and give me a cut of your check.  That will solve everyone’s problem.  I’m done with that rant. 

For those of you that don’t know it is impossible for teachers to complete all the work required of them within contracted hours.  You may not know, but Kaitlyn is well aware.  She was a classroom teacher for nine years before she became the Special Education Coordinator.  For that reason, when she asked me for the myriad of questionnaires she emails me every day I jumped on her desk and kicked her laptop to the floor in one upwards swoop.  Then I commenced my tongue lashing rant.  Ok…I’m just kidding.  I didn’t do that.

My Wednesday meeting is the tippy top of the hump.  By that time at least one kid has tried to stab another with a pencil, the pelting rain prevented recess, and I have gotten fifty emails which are all jack in the boxes that spring nagging parent questions on me. 

Kaitlyn’s “friendly reminder” to get my paperwork in pulled me over the pinnacle of this shitty day.  The next thing I knew my Wednesday faculty meeting was rolling down an almost vertical slope like a runaway train.  My boss, John, was pointing to a black box on a Power Point.

“What goes into the box is just as important as what comes out of the box. If you put 2 in the box your get 4.  But, if you put 6 in the box you get 36.  There are many ways to do it.  The box is the courier of change.  Change for the better.  Change for the brighter. Change to higher.  How are you going to change?  Who are you before you step into the box?  Who are you in the box?  Who are you after transitioning from the box?  There are going to be changes.  In order for us to grow and better service children we have to change.  I didn’t want to blindside you…” 

Dude…what the fuck are you talking about?  I shifted in my seat.  It felt like nipping bugs were marching from my plastic chair, through the fibers of my cotton pants, to gnaw microscopic pieces of me.  I tried to lumber from left to right, left to right but the seat of my pants remained extremely itchy.  I looked to my left.  Someone was actually taking notes about John’s black box.  I tried standing up.  That felt a little better.  I put my hair into a pony tail.  Nope, my head starting throbbing so I let my hair loose again.  Still banging pain right near my temples.  Just then, I’m sure I couldn’t hide the elation in my face after I remembered that I had stowed yarn and a crochet needle in my bag for that exact moment.  I kept my needlework under the conference table as I whizzed through several rows of double crochets.  The tiny bugs halted their invasion and the throbs in my head slowed to calm. 

After many Wednesdays this is what I ended up making. 

Maybe I’ll try to sell it.  If I could I would spend days alone crocheting instead of faking it until I make it as a teacher. 


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