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Bulletin Board Blues

I am not tall. Even standing on a chair I am not tall. Therefore setting up and taking down my classroom can be a royal pain. Last year Mr. R. helped me. This year Mr. R is in Georgia helping someone else. Lucky someone else. Poor. short, me!

So, I am standing on my tippy-toes hot glueing stars and stripes material (and a goodly portion of my left hand) on the cinder block wall above my whiteboard. Nearby is Brandi, a nine year-old who has consented to help me. Brandi is in the process of putting the classroom library on the bookcases. Her step one in this process is stringing all 5000 books across the floor so she can see which ones she wants to put where.

So, once I get the wildly patriotic material glued to the wall, I begin to put the “antique map” motif border around it. About half way around the material I run out of border. Climbing from the table to the chair, the chair to the floor, getting the remaining border and climbing back up sounds like too much trouble to my lazy self. I say, “Brandi, there is more of this border in that red shopping bag. Would you bring it to me please?”

Brandi obediently goes to the red shopping bag. “There is no more border like that,” she tells me. I say, “Look again, Honey, I’m sure there were two rolls.” Brandi pulls a couple of rolls of border from the bag. “This is what’s in there. It doesn’t match,” she says.

Great. I can’t believe I was paying so little attention to my supplies! “Thank you,” I answer. Then I reach up and begin tearing the border down. After removing two pieces I stop. I know there was more of that border. I get down, go to the table and look in the red shopping bag. The border is not there. I look in the yellow shopping bag sitting right next to the red shopping bag. The border is there.

I make a sound of disgust, hold up the border and say, “I knew there was more!” Brandi says, “You didn’t tell me to look in the yellow bag.” Note to self: Take all supplies to work area at the same time.

I’ve only been teaching 10 years. In ten more I’ll get things right the first time.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. arrrrrrrrg……WELCOME back to school, huh. :):)

    We have just about completed the first week. So far so good. nick likes his homeroom teacher….ana is driving so she doesn’t have to worry about the freshmen on the bus. Things are looking up.

    Now if you just could had another Mr. R. or a really tall 9 year old student. hah.

    Have a good Friday…….I am feelin for ya……

  2. Back to school, I never thought about teachers having to go back early to set up class.

    You were lucky to have the help, some kids love to be with their teachers.

    Have a good friday, in twenty four hours you will have your weekend.

  3. Detailed instructions are always best.

    Kids: there is a dead bird outside the yard by the fence.

    Gordon: I’ll come out and move it after we’re done here. Don’t touch the bird. Don’t poke it with a stick. Don’t throw anything at the bird. Don’t take the dogs over there to see if they would eat it. Don’t bury the bird. Leave. It. Alone.

    Gordon, 5 minutes later coming in from outside, disgusted: They’ve been pouring water on it.

  4. The good side to this is that she listened to you. I am also short and remember the same problem. I had a student from the sixth grade come and help she was taller than I am.
    I liked the beginning of a new year.

  5. LOL! I’m soooooooo glad I don’t have THAT part of the job! Actually… there are sO many parts of your job I DON’T want! But then again… on RARE occassions… I do sometimes wish I had my own class. Usually I get over it as soon as I eat something though!

  6. I love the style with which you share your frustrations… it always makes me laugh. Gotta have a sense of humor, right? lol

    Michigan passed a law that says that school won’t start until after Labor Day – so my little sister doesn’t go back until about Sept 5th or 6th. The governor is hoping that this’ll allow families to enjoy the holiday more easily and boost tourism revenue. I wish they’d done it when I was in school!

    Anyway – I hope this year is a great one. Have a nice weekend, too!

  7. If you’ve been teaching for ten whole years, it’s a wonder your brains aren’t shredded completely. Don’t know how you do it.

  8. Yes, here in Illinois, school starts I think the week of the 28th. And we will also graduate before June 1st. Can’t wait for school to start, as it might cut down on the young kids hanging around uptown–up to no good no doubt.(you can tell we don’t have kids–or at least my sons are older–Stephen just got back from overseas)
    So I’m just dropping a line courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law, Dr. John and his wife Betty. Have you checked out my Little Orleans blog spot yet??
    I’ve been posting vacation tales here this last week–pictures too.
    Have fun getting ready for school, have a good day!!

  9. I am very ugly, Even if you wear ten sun glasses I would still look ugly.

    My cousin is 75 now, shortest in the family and the toughest. She retired as the Dean of the most unruly college here in Chennai India. All her students treated her with great respect. English Literature was her subject.

    Your page is so feminine and incredibly beautiful, one more bouquet (copied the spelling from your page)

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