Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Friday, May 11, 2007


My Life Doesn't Live Up to a Mark Harmon Movie

Okay, let me start off by begging everyone's forgiveness for yesterday's horrific wank-session of a post. I should realize that, when I'm feeling as whiny as that, I should avoid writing and do something more constructive with my time. Like spreading butter on my cat or something.

I spent some time in the interim trying to figure out just what the living fuck was wrong with me and I think it boils down to this: Yesterday, I took the necessary steps to secure a position teaching summer school. *shudder*

On some levels, summer school doesn't sound all that bad, does it? You're working with a greatly reduced class size. You're only working about four hours a day. You're not working on Fridays. You're allowed to show up to work in a Speedo. (I'll have to double-check that last one, but I'm pretty sure that's what my principal said.)

Then there's the possibility that summer school could be like Summer School. I mean, it's every teacher's dream to inspire a group of lovable slackers while simultaneously wooing a still-svelte Kirstie Alley and fending off the advances of a young Courtney Thorne-Smith.

The problem is that real summer school is never like this. There are no special-effects-creating underachievers who look up to you. The kids never hatch any grand schemes to save your job when you run afoul of the villainous Vice Principal. And the learning never happens in a wonderful time-saving montage.

The reality is that you're stuck day after day with a bunch of behavior problems who want to be there just about as much as you do and who are so goddamn bored by your attempts to teach them the shit they didn't want to pay attention to the first time around that they find all sorts of awesome ways to liven things up, most of which have to do with making your already miserable life even more so.

Add to this the fact that I'm a cluster teacher and I'm used to being in the enviable position of having my kids in sanity-saving forty minute doses. In summer school, you're only there for four hours, but your with the kids for the whole goddamn time. Which means if they're insane when the day begins, you're gonna deal with four soul-crushing hours of the insanity. I was stuck teaching summer school the year I started my training for this lifetime of masochism and I can tell you, it is not fucking pretty.

Now, having said all this, I must state for the record that I'm doing this of my own free will, even if I'm doing it as goddamn grudgingly as I can. My wife and I are buried at the moment under a mountain of debt and this really is the easiest way of giving us a little breathing room. I considered, for a short period of time, trying to pimp, but I just look too retarded in purple. It's not my color. So summer school was really the only option I had left.

I ask this of you: as you begin your long, carefree days of sipping a cold beer while you dip your feet in the cool, clear water of a lake, take a moment. Take a moment to think of poor old Joe, stuck in a classroom in the Bronx, futilely attempting to teach long division to a kid who just set fire to his shoes.

I suppose it doesn't soften the blow much to tell you that Mark Harmon is literally my, like, 4th cousin?

I've never met him at a family reunion, but my dad's mom was a Harmon, and my mom, in her rampant genealogy searches...oh, fuck it, you don't give a shit, do you?

Sadly, from what I've heard, there ain't no cure for the summertime blues, so you're screwed.

The only thing that can save you is Frisbee. And lots of it.
Your misery is perfectly understandable. I promise to have an extra fruity frozen cocktail (because, you know, they're good for you now) on your behalf the next time I'm at the lake.

My mom is a teacher. I totally get it.
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