Today I got a little done on a lot of things. Classroom preparation things. Not writing. Let's be real. I gotta dance with the one what pays me. It was a sporadic dance. Too many suitors cutting in, bidding for my attention.
My classroom is a hub. Folks flit in and out with no discernible schedule. It's not due to my sparkling personality and witty repartee. I'm no effervescent cheerleader or sweet-as-pie homecoming queen. But neither am I an ogre, or the quirky kid wearing a trench coat. I am not BFF to all. I do, however, have the ability to two-face my way through conversations with those of whom I am not fond. In other words, nobody's throwing me a surprise birthday party...but I don't need a food taster in the cafeteria.
I am the milquetoastiest milquetoast of any milquetoast who ever milquetoasted. Hobnobbers pop in at all hours of the day. And I hobnob with them. They pretend they are really there to associate with me, and I pretend that I can tolerate them. I'm not above slapping on some Chapstick and smooching a posterior or two. No harm, no foul. That's what makes the world go round. But we both know that it's a hobnob born of necessity.
Yes, the basis of my mediocre popularity is the fact that my tiny portion of public school real estate sits inside the double fire doors. The ones that slam shut automatically when the alarm sounds. I am near the offices, restrooms, cafeteria, and teacher workroom. I am a way station. A place to hang out while waiting for someone more desirable to pass along the route. A place to borrow educational implements forgotten way down at either end of the hall. To take an unplanned sojourn before reapplying one's nose to the grindstone.
Some colleagues see my little workstead as the last outpost before embarkation on the Educational Trail. A place to load up on staples (both literal and figurative) that are in short supply. And they don't want to barter with their grubstake. They have sadly mistaken me for a mission. But I offer neither handouts nor religious tracts. So they take. Steal me blind without even pulling the wool over my eyes. Steal while I am watching.
Tonight at open house, for instance, I lost a desk. But I knew the wily sidewinder who absconded with it. Because he sent a young apprentice to do his dirty work. Don't you worry none about Val's classroom furniture.
I stole it back one minute before go-home time. It's safely locked away in my hub.