We interrupt this interminable faculty meeting for some comedy relief…

I suppose that people  in almost every profession could say, with at least some justification, that their jobs are unlike any other. That’s sort of by definition. But I think everyone here will know what I mean when I say that when you’re teaching junior high, every DAY is unlike any other.  Every hour.

There was a cartoon on the wall in our faculty lounge for years and years. It showed an elderly lady–the stereotypically old-school teacher–standing serenely smiling amid the flames of Hell. There were two devils, standing on either side of her and one was sort of poking her with his pitchfork, as I recall. The other one was saying, “Don’t bother. We can’t do anything to her; she was a junior high teacher.”

I don’t know that I would call it Hell, but as they used to say in the old cop shows:

In this job, you see all kinds.

Example: The Clicker Nightmare. As everyone here knows, I use CPS clickers almost daily in my classroom. And the kids sort of jones a bit when we don’t use them for a few days. (“You mean we have to write?”) They are also quite careless with them, and as my loyal regulars know, I charge them 10 cents for each time they drop their clicker. It goes into the Popple bank, along with the other fines for missing books and renting pencils. The money gets paid out at the end of the year in our 3-day Scrabble tourney.

Anyway…Every time sometime drops a clicker, the whole class shouts, “TEN CENTS!” (Isn’t it great when you can use peer pressure against them?) It’s sort of a thing now. So during our first period sharing, one kid says that he had a nightmare about his clicker. And we’re all…no way. And he’s all…way! He seemed sincere enough. He said that in his dream, he was sitting in his desk, but his hands were tied at his sides. Someone was in front of him, holding his clicker in his outstretched hand, right in front of the kid’s face. Then he would drop the clicker to the floor and shout, TEN CENTS!” and a huge electronic scoreboard behind the mysterious figure would increment another 10 cents. Then he would do it again. And again. Over and over and over, as the scoreboard started climbing. On and on and on, until he woke up.

Of course, the class is all…whoa. And he’s all…I know. But you know what the first question they asked him was?

“How high did the scoreboard get? How much did you owe”

To the boy’s credit (and credibility), he says he couldn’t see it well enough.

“I was kind of freaked out.”

And so all day it’s:

“I heard ‘Kevin’ had a dream about his clicker.”

“More like a nightmare.”

That’s cool. I wish I had a nightmare about my clicker.”

The doodle theme after the test today was, “Clicker Nightmare!” I haven’t looked at too many yet, but there are already some dandies.