It's no secret that I have control issues.
My close colleagues don't hesitate to mention it. Remind me that it's the school's laptop, not mine, and if I'm absent, there's no harm in one of them popping in to borrow it for the day. I beg to differ. But according to our technology minder, my colleagues are right. It doesn't seem fair. I baby my equipment. Who knows what indignities it may suffer while I'm away? The thought of a substitute fondling it is bad enough. Let the record show that I am rarely absent.
Any card-carrying member of The American Association of Handwriting Analysts could walk into my classroom and peg me write away (heh, heh, that's probably a joke those handwriting analysts use all the time) for the control freak that I am. My writing on the white board, all evenly-spaced and chalk-line-straight enough to please a master carpenter, would be a dead giveaway. I print in all caps, for cryin' out loud!
Earlier this week, my room was not swept. It's nobody's fault. We only have two-and-a-half custodians for a regular full-sized high school. And they have to double as bus drivers as the need arises. Much in the way you can't get blood from a turnip, you can't squeeze extra hours of work out of staff for no pay. It's not right. If they only have time to dump the wastebasket when they get back from an emergency route, so be it. I totally understand.
At the lunch table, I asked if Custodian had been absent that day. Because, you see, it is very unlike Custodian to leave my room unswept. Custodian is ultra efficient, terribly thorough, and takes pride in a job well done every day. So I was simply checking to see if something was amiss. To illustrate why I inquired as to the whereabouts/health issues of Custodian, I gave an example.
"I came in this morning, and it looked like my room had not been swept. I found a broken mechanical pencil and a sticky note on the floor. Of course I picked them up. It's not that big a deal. Luckily I have my seventh hour students line up their desks and chairs every day. You know, the only thing that was messy was the pencil and sticky note. Because, ha ha, I'm such a master teacher that nothing else gets messed up."
A colleague to my right agreed. "Val runs a tight ship. The sticky note probably had a message on it: "Sorry about the pencil."