Monday, February 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Students... and some cat poop to round out the week

Friday was the last day of school for the week, and FOR a week. We, thankfully, have mid-winter break this week. Honestly, it's never come at a more appreciated time. No snow day last week as I had wished for, so other than last Tuesday off to move my dad from the Rehab center to his new "home," the Assisted Living place, I just slogged through the week with my head down and my mouth shut. I was "tested" on several occasions, but was able to bite my tongue. I WILL learn self-discipline if it KILLS me. And I fear it might.
The middle school kids (grades 5-8) had an activity day field trip Friday - Glow Bowling. Much anticipated by most of them, and only a few kids chose to stay home and not participate. Unfortunately, two who were not able to go bowling, and who did NOT stay at home were stuck at school all day. One of them, Z, has had a tough year. I don't know why. His parents don't know why. He has an appointment with a child psychologist in March, but in the meantime, he does no work, is frequently absent, is failing everything, and is a constant disruption in class. It's a good thing I feel concerned about him, because he is, in general, just a royal pain to deal with. I am constantly on eggshells waiting for the next explosion, hoping to get through my 40 minute class with him every day without having an ugly confrontation. He had to stay behind because of the amount of school work he owes. Apparently he came to school, thinking he was going bowling, because when he found out he wasn't, at first he cried. A lot. And when that didn't work, he pulled out the rage. He punched lockers, kicked things, ran down the hall screaming, threw huge, non-stop tantrums. Oh, did I mention that the two who did not go were supposed to stay with me for several periods that day? Yeah, I watched this unfold and thought, "Oh dear God, please, NO!" Well, his behavior landed him in the principal's office, thankfully, so he was NOT mine to babysit for the day.
The other student, N, was not able to go because his parents did not send in a permission slip for him. Not because they didn't want him to go, I'm sure, but simply because they NEVER return anything the kids need signed. Again, it is good that I can be sympathetic, because they are two people who are about the most ill-equipped to be parents that I have run across. They have three kids, and all three suffer learning and emotional disabilities. The kids, N particularly, are not especially likeable kids, but you simply cannot help knowing that much of it is not their fault. So, it really did break my heart that we were not able to contact ANYONE in the family by phone that day to get permission for N to go bowling. But, I also don't blame the school for not wanting to take the legal risk of allowing him to go without permission. So, at the last minute, he was not allowed to go either. Unlike Z, N just cried. It was SO sad. And to top it off, it was his birthday, and he, rather pathetically, with nose running and dripping and tears plopping off the end of his chin, kept telling me that he "wasn't having a very good birthday today." Come on parents. Step up. Be parents if you have given birth. Pay attention. Sign your kids darn field trip forms. It was his birthday, and you couldn't even give him bowling with his class? So, I did keep N in my room all day. I shared my valentines hearts with chocolate in them that two other students had given me, and fed him suckers from my jar, and let him play computer games all day, and let him eat lunch in our room instead of in the cafeteria by himself, and talked to him, and tried, in general, to make it not such a crappy day for him. I don't think we particularly succeeded in being as good as bowling, but all three of the adults in my room tried. Hard.
And then, after school, I had to take one of my cats, Dagda (the mighty hunter kitty boy) to the Vet for a big gaping wound on his neck I discovered two nights ago. Cat bite? Dog bite? Unable to find my cat carrier, I carried him in my arms, and he rode on my lap the 15 miles to the vet. He was calm, purring even, doing well.Halfway there, I started noticing a rather unpleasant smell. It was REALLY repulsive. Gagging me, actually. I wondered if it was the infection in his neck I was smelling. Until he stood up. As he moved to the passenger seat to lay down, I noticed that there was a rather large pile of cat poo now on my pant leg. Nice, Dag. Thanks SO much. So I did what anyone else would do in that situation. I opened the window, and flung the poo out. Then I found a small bottle of mouthwash in the console of my car, and poured some on a napkin to scrub the cat poop out of my pants. When I got the the Vet's and opened the door, I realised there was more on the floor between my seat and the door. I knocked that out, too. And went in. And came out, 20 minutes later, forgetting about the poop on the ground next to my car. And...of course, stepped directly in it. $182.00 was not punishment enough? I had to smell cat poop all the way home.
My week sucked, thank you. How was yours???


Allmycke said...

Good Grief!
You have my sympathy - as does your students whose parents breed and then can't take care of their children. Been there. Seen it. Cursed as much...

Callie said...

Whoa! What a week! As a teacher you have my utmost respect and admiration. Teachers have been angels in my life. The cat story must have been a major pain, but it is going to make a great funny story to haul out and make a lot of people laugh. Hope next week is better.

Preston Benjamin said...

An assisted living facility for your dad is a very good option. It will give him a conducive environment to live an vibrant life.

Preston Benjamin said...

An assisted living facility for your dad is a very good option. It will give him a conducive environment to live a vibrant life.