Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Suspension of Disbelief

Every once in awhile, when life is getting you down, the universe will throw you a day that's even shittier than the one's you've been having, just to kind of rub your face in it. Kind of the cosmos's way of saying, "There is a God, and he's a massive dick."

I've been gimping along for months now, not getting any relief from that. We're still floating miserably through our fertility problems. And then this morning, my principal says, "I need to meet with you for few minutes this morning." Which is never what you want to hear. Because you never show up at the meeting and hear the principal say something like, "I made you this cheesecake! Enjoy!"

So I was not taken aback by the absence of cheesecake when I limped into his office this morning. I took a seat while he finished his phone call. Sitting there, I ran through my year so far and I knew that I hadn't done anything that would merit a "calling on the carpet" moment, so I wasn't nervous or anything, just wishing that I could be in my office, sipping a delicious cappuccino while composing a tune on my grand piano. I have neither a grand piano nor access to espresso drinks, but let's leave that complaint for later.

The reason my principal wanted to see me is our Suspension Room. This is the purgatory to which we consign our problem kids for brief periods of time. They go there for a few days to do their work away from their classmates and to reflect on the behaviors that landed them there. My principal wants to scrap my theater program and have me run the suspension room instead.

So what this tells me right off the bat is that, to my principal, my program is sort of the appendix of the middle school. It fits in with everything else and it's okay, but everything is just fine without it. I've never labored under the illusion that he gave a teaspoon full of rat turds about what I do, and this just puts a nice shiny bow on that fact.

And he gave me all sorts of "We want you to do this because we know you can handle it" type of bullshit. Which made me want to ask him if he'd ever, in fact, seen me trying to get a line full of eighth-graders to shut the fuck up as we walk through the halls. He also told me that this would only be for the next ten week session and then some other cluster teacher would take over. See, this is a straight-up lie. I do this, I'm going to be stuck in that miserable fucking room until the end of the year. And the fact that I'd still be allowed to do a drama club for free after school just doesn't balance that out.

What, then, am I to do here? I could throw myself on this grenade and do this job so none of my colleagues has to. This would cement my reputation as a Team Player and elevate me to Really Super Guy status in the eyes of my administration. Never mind that it would make me want to down a gallon of Drano on a daily fucking basis.

On the other hand, I could politely, but firmly, decline, letting him know that I'm willing to go to the union if he forces the issue. This gets me out of prison guard duty, but earns me his eternal enmity. This is just a lame fucking situation.

I already know what my choice is, of course. On Saturday, I took the first of the two tests I'll need to become a certified theater teacher, which means I can look for a job in any high school. I did not sign up to sit in one room all day with the kids other teacher's didn't want. I deal with most of them already in the classroom and, I can tell you, fifty minutes of their company is plenty, thanks all the same. I'm sure this will go over well.