Feel like sitting around the table singing old spirituals. Freedom has a ring to it this morning. Although…I did wake up at 6:00 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. I’m sure I can fix that without too much trouble.
Graduation was an interesting play of emotions. I watched them all, the good, the bad, and the ugly, walk to the center of the stage and receive their diplomas. I teared up a few times for the good, sighed with relief to see the bad leaving our tutelage, and felt more than a small amount of anger about the ugly. Like “J”. A slutty little thing with long blond hair and a body that won’t quit. She cut and skipped school more than she attended this year and then tried to do a last minute run to fulfill graduation requirements. Caught her in the library where she was giggling and texting a friend while another girl was taking a quiz for her on her online algebra course. I reported it and, at the end of the day, J comes up to the library pitching a fit and accusing me of “trying to keep her from graduating”. “J’ took her practice final to the online course and failed it four times, and her mother called the board and demanded that J be allowed to take the final even though the requirements say she has to score at least 80% on the practice before she can take the actual final. The next morning she shows up to take her final exam and is to be monitored by one of her favorite teachers. I don’t know what went on when the teacher monitored her but she passed the final with flying colors. Another teacher told me she knew for a fact that J had “borrowed” some boy’s written synopsis of The Scarlet Letter and turned it in as her own. She reported it, too, but “J” was up there on the stage in her black stillettos grinning from ear to ear. After graduation, she came up to me and said, “See! I told you I was going to graduate!” I took the high road. I wanted to say something blistering but I didn’t want to ruin the day so I just said, “And?” and turned away. I know a lot of teachers, myself included, will bend over backwards to help a kid who’s messed up, waited till the last minute, and then is desperate. The kids are usually filled with remorse and trying desperately to do everything. I can deal with that. I have a difficult time with the “J’s” who lie and cheat their way through life and get away with it.
I was totally exhausted yesterday evening. I get that way for a couple of days after the school year ends and for the first couple of days of Christmas break. There’s so much to do to get everything finished up. I’ve never been one of those teachers who can walk out the door feeling jubilant and excited. I’m usually dragging my sorry butt out to the car loaded down like a packhorse well after everyone else is gone and the building is deserted. We have a checkout list with about 20 items that teachers have to get taken care of and you have to get every task initialed and turn it in before you leave the building for the summer. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I’m so busy checking computers and initialing everybody else’s list that I don’t have time to do my own. I knew the new principal was not a happy camper yesterday and I really wanted to do what I was supposed to but I found myself staring at the list at 4:00 and wondering who was still in the building to initial everything. The librarian was gone. The clerk who checks to see that we’ve posted our grades was gone. The bookeeper was gone. I initialed the item about all computers being checked in because I’m the one in charge of that little item and then handed in my sorry list to the principal’s secretary. She said, “Pat…you’ve got to check off more than that!” I picked it up, initialed all the other items and handed it back to her. She got all wide-eyed and said, “Are you going to initial them all yourself?” I said, “Well there’s no one else here! What do you expect me to do??? Anyway, I’m going to be back in a week!” She took my checkout sheet but didn’t look too happy. I don’t care. You don’t like it? Too bad! What are you going to do about it? Hunt me down?!
I was so tired, I didn’t feel like writing a lot yesterday evening and I was sad about “T” spending the summer in jail. It kind of put a damper on our anniversary. I walked in and said, “Happy Anniversary, Honey!” and gave DH a big hug and he got this shocked look and said, “Is it our anniversary?” It’s our 40th, dingbat. He was off yesterday and he’d started to prepare dinner. Fried fish, french fries, onion rings, and cole slaw and it made me half sick just to think about it so I said, “I really don’t want this for dinner.” He jumped on that, which is surprising and said, “Whatever you want, I’ll send DS to pick it up!” I missed out on lunch at school yesterday because I was too busy to eat but they had barbecued pork, potato salad, and baked beans and that’s what I wanted. He sent DS out to pick it up from a nearby restaurant and I grabbed a glass of wine and headed to the spa. I soaked for a while and decided I wanted another glass of wine so I came in the house and saw DS in the driveway unloading roses and stuff from the car. I went back out to the spa for a few more minutes and then came in the house. DH dished me up and brings me a plate down in the family room. Fifteen minutes later, he appears at the door bearing roses, a card, and a box of chocolates. “You thought I forgot, didn’t you?” I didn’t tell him I’d seen DS bringing the roses in so “Yes, you did forget.”
I’m still tired this morning and will probably spend the day taking it easy but I’m planning on getting back on track on Monday.