Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When They Call the Roll Up Yonder I'll Not Hear

I think I might have a legal case in the making. Not that I would file such an action, of course. I love my job. I would never bring monetary hardship on my employer. But perhaps the safety committee needs to review proper in-house procedures on noise abatement.

One would think that a teacher toils in a tranquil environment. Serene. Pastoral. You can almost see the fluffy sheep grazing on the hillside, cotton candy clouds drifting overhead, flies buzzing lazily around the sheep poop. But one would be wrong.

I'm not talking about student attendance days. The real nitty gritty. Where the rubber meets the road. The heavy lifting of basic knowledge. The vigorous stuffing of little noggins until their tight as sausages with book-smarts. A modicum of extraneous decibels is expected on those days. Learning does not take place in a vacuum.

No, I'm talking about the pre-learning workplace. Those days set aside...okay...REQUIRED per the teacher's contract...for readying the academic environment for their charges. No students. All teachers. I am not asking you to play the world's smallest violin for me. Egads! Some of you have had no musical training. Do you think I want to listen to the impromptu caterwauling of catgut under attack by horsehair? I assure you, I do not.

Is it too much to ask for a GaggleTube video about monkids, played through my ceiling-mounted projector, in the confines of my own classroom, to have sound that I can hear without maximum volume? I think not. Yet I could hardly discern the bloodcurdling screams of the capuchin in a diaper as he launched himself at his human daddy. Beethoven himself, in his latter years, could have heard the ruckus in the hallway through a set of jet-engine ear protectors. At first it sounded like an out-of-control cocktail party, which had progressed to a bullfight, and then morphed into the World Cup soccer championship.

Yes, the hall outside my room had been rented out as a rock concert venue. Rather than flicking their Bic lighters, my colleagues were shooting off gargantuan fireworks. Some waged an epic gun battle as others sped away in their dragsters. I guess they were in a hurry to see the space shuttle launch just past the fire doors. Luckily, the shuttle missed that meteor that struck the building, which set off a 5.0 earthquake, which caused a volcanic eruption, which detonated a 1-ton bomb. Oh, and some chickens must have gotten in, because I heard a lot of cackling.

Somebody really needs to simmer down. Now.


  1. Yes, there really needs to be some simmering down here. But you do make it all sound rather funny.

  2. Yes, teachers getting together--after the long, seemingly never-ending boredom of summer--DO get rowdy. I keep a firehose handy. A quick spray knocks the fun right out of them...

  3. Hi Val,
    I'm not a teacher, but I know how much of a gift quiet time is. But it should be your right as a teacher to have some quiet time to prepare yourself for teaching.
    And I don't mean to make light of your situation, but you put a smile on my face with the way you described your plight.

  4. Stephen,
    Thanks for the support. I had to let that out before I started simmering in my own juices.

    We all know you keep that firehose for other reasons. Mainly so you can call up the firemen and ask, "Say...did anybody there leave a hose when you pried my head out of the faculty restroom sink? Because I've got one right here. Come on back and get it."

    Thank goodness you didn't laugh out loud. That would only add to the decibels.

    What happens on teacher workdays stays on teacher workdays.