I haven’t taken off  three days of instruction since I don’t know when. Sure, I did bolt for three days once (also to Vegas...for the boy’s fourth birthday) while the kids were in the library “researching.” That time I figured that between the sub, the librarian, and her hard-a**ed (in a good way) aide, things would be fine. I mean, help them find books, show them how to do a search or two, do some shushing, go one-on-one with a few to get them taking notes without copying; how hard could it be to cope without me and the stick for three days?

I never heard the end of it.

They were not on task, and the guest teacher wasn’t any help, and some of them still didn’t know what their topics were, and…”

Welcome to my world.

Anyway, this time the sub had to do some actual teaching. We’re just getting started on Tom Sawyer (thank goodness for the wiki/Moodle), and we’re getting mighty close (two more weeks! and then two weeks!) to spring break, so I can’t afford to “roll a movie” or whatever. The routine must be maintained. I was gone Monday through Wednesday, and I needed them ready for the weekly Friday test.

She done good. Kicked a** and took names. (Named offenders paid when I got back with the traditional writing 50 times thing.) Didn’t award any 10’s. (Then I would have to pay the reward to the kids in that class. And you know how I don’t like to reward.) Didn’t punish the whole class by awarding anything less than 8, and instead named the offenders. (Even the completely chaotic video class got 8, 8, 8.5. I think it was wishful thinking, and the desire to seem like things were under control. That’s OK; sometimes that class is like that for me too.) Left a good note. (Mostly. By day three, she was fading.) And best of all, she covered everything, and the kids did pretty well on the test. Yeah sub lady! Sorry… guest teacher woman.

“She was kinda strict.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

“She went reeeeaaaalllllly slow reading out loud.”


“She had to explain every word. She even stopped to explain what trousers were.”

“It’s 45 degrees, and you’re wearing shorts. Maybe she thought you didn’t know what trousers, or “pants,” are.”

In Vegas we drove heavy equipment, and it was a blast. Highly recommended. Teeter-tottering a 20,000 pound bulldozer at the top of a hill you just made is realllly fun. I played pinball. I almost broke even at robo-craps. (They have these giant dice in a sort of a Pop-o-Matic cylinder, and they bounce around until you launch them with a button. You don’t have to tip them.) Saw a foul-mouthed insult comic (“That guy’s thinking, ‘Dilemma? I know what one of dem is, but I ain’t got one because I dint gradeeate.” Only substitute racial and other epithets for “that guy.”) I got to skate past Flavor Flav’s House of Flavor. But it wasn’t open yet. I thought it was fake until I looked it up on the net. I did eat at my fave Vegas restaurant… twice. Both times with somebody else buying. Vegas, baby.

And things didn’t fall apart while I was gone. Phew.

I did sleep for two days after I got back. See you Monday.