Wednesday, September 25, 2013

After 25 Years, Pretty Much Anything Goes

Just in case you've ever wondered how teachers hold onto their sanity, how they keep stoking that fire in their belly to help people year after year...I'll fill you in with a vignette. Okay, I wanted to say a short vignette. But I controlled myself. I wouldn't want to decimate my credibility. I think somebody will really appreciate that.

I stood by my door this morning after first bell, during that passing period students have to dash to class and relinquish their social ties for 50 minutes. On an ordinary day, the speckled industrial tile of the hallway virtually sparkles from being polished within an inch of its life. But this morning, there was a blemish. A brown mark upon the beauty that is a public school in that golden hour before students invade and pillage like Vikings in a Capitol One commercial.

A colleague, schooled in the mysteries of science, as is Val herself, strode down that besmirched path. She stepped over the offending mud clump. Stopped. Released a bellow of outrage. I joined in. "I know! It's only first hour, and they've already trashed the place!"

CollyG bend down and picked it up. I never knew cleanliness was next to chemistry-teacherness. No way would I have picked up a chunk of hall-mud. No way would I have bent over. CollyG held her treasure aloft. Like a hard-luck Sad Sack brandishing a four-leaf clover.


Indeed. It was a tiny frog. Quite dead. Dessicated. A regular amphibian mummy. It could not even have passed for jerky, so dry was the tissue. I recognized it forthwith. Had I not walked past it just outside the back door to the parking lot for two days in a row? CollyG grasped that well-preserved specimen like I was going to leg-wrestle her for the rights. Just because it was discovered along my classroom frontage did not mean that I wanted to lay claim.

Silly me. I thought CollyG would throw the expired overgrown tadpole in the trash. But no. She set off merrily down the hall, to a cluster of our cronies. They gathered 'round, thinking, perhaps, that CollyG had brought them a tasty morsel from the breakfast line. Can you believe they screamed when they realized there was not enough to go was not food...CollyG was waving a dead flat frog in their faces?

I am certainly glad she was not around when Hick found that mummified cat in the attic over my grandma's garage.


  1. Well, I suppose, as most of you know, I am a West Virginia Hillbilly. My dad would go frog gigging in the creeks and streams around here with his drinking buddies wearing waders and carrying little trident harpoons to stab the frogs. Then he would bring them home all gussied up on little metal clips through their lips/mouths until he could skin them in order to have frog legs for dinner. Now, as a child, I would watch this cleaning of the frogs. It was horrendous! They would still be jumping around even after he beaned them in the head! Many years later, I was in a very nice restaurant and a co-eater ordered frog legs and I had to leave the table for a few minutes! I also ran over a frog on my bicycle once, but it had already been smashed in the middle by a car and it was still moving all of its arms and legs. Frogs freak me out to no end.

  2. Oh my! What away to start your day. I thought you had found fodder, but a FROG!?

  3. Rest assured; your credibility has not been decimated, at least not with me.

  4. That is one of the many perks of being a teacher---along with the fame and fortune...being able to play with dead frogs during your work day...

  5. knancy,
    Then I suggest you do not apply for a teaching position just down the hall. In an effort to reduce your anxiety, let the record show that the hallfrog was not pierced by a trident harpoon, nor did he have a metal clip in his lips, his skin was intact, his legs were most definitely not jumping, and nobody beaned him on the head. The Backroads HS cafeteria would never be mistaken for a nice restaurant, and any eater of the hallfrog's legs would surely die of malnutrition. I can't speak for the running over business, because that hallfrog was incredibly flat.

    Next time, we'll try to nab a scorpion from the home ec room.

    I never know which ornate thread life's rich tapestry will unravel before me.

    I was hoping you would understand.

    In other news of the impending handbasketopocalypse...I read that a spurned blogger drew too much attention to her breakup-by-texting, and was criticized because the two books she claimed to have written were merely...wait for it..."self-published TOMBS of her own autobiography."

    I know it's true. I read it in the UK Daily Mail.

    And...fling ellipses---and dashes---with impunity! Don't try this at home, laypeople. It is only safe for professionals.

  6. TOMBS! Ha, ha.,ha,,,, -----lait me down - please.............