Monday, February 28, 2011

The Monday from...not Heaven

I woke up with a chip on my shoulder and my hands in fists. I was dizzy and exhausted. The world was reeling. I put on a brave face and tromped into staff worship. Looking at my bespectacled, puffy eyes and dripping hair, the few staff on time for the meeting joked, "Well, hello, look like a cat who didn't want a bath!" So much for my brave face. My head still spun; I couldn't put my finger on the reason why.

I retreated to my apartment for some toast and water and to attempt to plan the afternoon's labs. I finally gave up and fell onto my bed after an hour and a half, wondering why the walls kept moving. 20 minutes later, I was headed to the library. The moment I stepped into the door, I was bombarded with questions of scheduling, supervising, and teaching. "Give me a moment," I growled. I wanted to stomp my feet and scream and leave. I wanted to be angry at someone, something, somewhere. I wanted to do everything I couldn't do.

I feverishly searched my computer and scoured the internet for lab ideas that seemed to fit the freshman biology class.
"Ms. Jessica, look at this," little Xander probed. I smiled - half-heartedly - and turned back to my computer.
"Hey Ms. Jessica, what does this look like?"
"Um, maybe a dog or something..." I muttered, not taking my eyes away from my screen.
"Ms. Jessica..."
"Give me a moment, ok Xander?"

The bell rang and in came the Boyz. The Boyz avoid studying at all costs, and this was their assigned study hall period for the day.
"Do I have to be here?" asks Martial.
"Are you su..."
"YES. Sit down."
I don't feel like dealing with this now. I don't feel like babysitting. I don't feel like pestering you to do your work. I don't feel like doing anything I'm doing right now.

"Ryan. RYAN. Why are you looking at books? Your homework is over here. Martial: give me the magazine. Please stop talking. Don't talk. Please be quiet." Please let me leave. The bell rang...Finally. Off to lunch.

My head is still swimming, but it's feeling a little better after the 2 liters of water I've drunk so far this morning. The cafe is serving meatloaf; one of my favorites. I sit down at the table; the cafeteria's too loud, I don't feel like talking, and people are asking me questions. I'm a sourpuss.

I head back to the apartment again to tackle the lab planning. I've decided to show a children's movie about woodland animals and to give the students a worksheet. I prepare the worksheet on my laptop...45 minutes until lab. I go to my browser and realize the internet is down, which means the printer connection is down, which means I can't email my worksheet to myself to print it from the school computer. Great. I head to the lab to print it directly from the science computer to the rickety old printer in the office. In order to do so, however, I have to reformat the entire document. Students are filing in loudly, and the student worker is waiting for the computer...I think. She's simply lingering just behind my right shoulder, watching my fingers furiously type and retype as I slam my way through the questions.

By the time I hit print, the second bell has rung and I'm supposed to be having prayer and beginning. "SHHHHH! Please!" I silently scream as I push my way through the laughing classroom. "I'll be back," I yelled over my shoulder. I frantically make copies of the worksheet in the ad building and hurry back to the science building. Alright! Now to set up the projector and movie. I grab my computer and plug it in to the VGA and audio, then pull out the remote to turn on the projector. Then pull out the remote to turn on the projector. Remote, turn on the projector. I replace the batteries in the remote. Remote, turn on the projector. TURN ON!!!!

"Class, let's begin with prayer." *laughter and talking* "Let's begin." "TIME FOR PRAYER, please." I explain that the projector isn't working and ask for their patience as I find a new lab. Lord, PLEASE give me patience! I feel like quitting. I don't want to deal with this. I find a worksheet about the heart (though the biology students aren't studying the heart) and transfer it to the science computer using my flash drive. Print! One page, two pages, JAM. I can't hear the printer over the chatter in the other room. I frantically pull the paper out of the front of the printer rather than throw the printer across the room. The printer takes approximately 42.6 minutes to reset itself, then commences printing. The printer "runs out" of paper: I manually feed each sheet page by page. I run out the door again; "Try to be productive!" I plead. Time to copy. 15 copies, double-sided, ENTER. 2 copies, 3 copies, 4 copies...out of paper. Really? I select the alternate paper tray to save time. Instead, the copies start printing sideways, cutting off the bottom half of the worksheet. I jab the STOP key 37 times in succession until the copying finally stops. I frantically rip open a ream of paper and try to shove it into the paper tray; in my zeal, half of the stack spills out of my hands. I take a breath and try again. Success! I reset the copier, praying fervently that there won't be a jam. There isn't (surprised?).

I check the clock; 20 minutes into the 1 hour biology lab period. Great. I head back to the classroom and bump into a junior (who is scheduled to come to the next lab period); "We shouldn't have lab." Not a wise thing to say, sir. I REALLY want to tackle you. "Haha! Funny joke." I side-step him into the classroom and give instructions, passing out the worksheets. The freshmen - bless their young hearts - are absolutely quiet while working on the worksheet. No talking, no goofing off; a welcome respite in (cue Uncle Dan & Aunt Sue music) THE MONDAY FROM...NOT-HEAVEN.

Now the juniors are brainstorming for their egg-drop in two weeks. We're joking about stuffing eggs inside apples inside coconuts inside pineapples inside watermelons inside Buicks inside elephants. They're working on what I asked them to work on. They seem excited about it. They're not complaining.
I think my order for patience was filled and delivered by winged messengers...better than FTD.

A Monday from not-Heaven....or was it?


kessia reyne said...


those days are from not-Heaven, but definitely prepare our hearts to be pure for heaven.

Glad you made it through!

Chloe Lewis said...

I have had so many days like this... I'm glad you could articulate it Jessica - maybe now, more of our SM group will feel less alone about these days when we all wanna pull our hair OUT...!