The Director

I was sick and missed three days of school last week. Normally I work when I’m sick, but the vertigo pretty much assured I had to stay still. I went into work briefly on Wednesday, but left for a doctor’s appointment. I went into work briefly on Thursday, but was sent home because I couldn’t walk without hanging onto the wall. Friday I didn’t bother to try. I spent the day at home in my jammies.

Yesterday I was back in the classroom. Pansy Petite is the first student I see every morning. She comes into the classroom at 7:45 a.m. to get a spoon and her breakfast, which she takes to the production room to eat. She is the Director of, Lincoln Live, the daily student news broadcast. Pansy just turned eleven on her last birthday. On her next birthday she will be thirty-five.

So, she opens the door, steps into the room and greets me with her customary, “Good-moring Ms. A.” That greeting is usually followed by the crisply formal question, “What important things are on our agenda this day?” She always tips her chin up just a bit and looks down her nose at me as she asks — an interesting fete since she is the shortest kid in class.

Monday morning her, “Good morning, Ms. A.” was followed by the same head tilt and look, but a different question emerged: “So, do you plan on staying with us for the entire day?” I just can’t help it. I laugh everytime she gets like this. And when I laugh her eyes roll up and to the side, her left hip juts out and she taps her right foot. It is not insolence. This is the way she gets when something is very important to her.

Grinning at her I answered drily, “Well, Pansy, I’m going to give it my best shot.”

She relaxed then and a big grin crossed her face. “Good,” she said, “We were very worried about you.” Then she grabbed her spoon, spun on the ball of her foot and left the room with a bounce in her step, eleven years old again.

23 thoughts on “The Director

  1. Brian — they weren’t all happy to see me.

    The story as it was presented to me by the class: One kid got in so much trouble with the sub, that he didn’t even bother to show up at school yesterday. It seems Mo refused to loan Jake an eraser, so Jake trashed Mo’s desk and took the eraser. Apparently it wasn’t “stealing” because 1.) he did it right in front of everybody, and 2.) he didn’t plan to keep the eraser. Okay, Jake was a brat, but these two boys sit across the room from each other, so I can’t help but think the sub holds some blame. If they were both in their seats where they belonged, it couldn’t have happened.

    And how is your vertigo?

  2. Awww that is so sweet. She must be adorable!

    I’m glad you’re feeling better; hope the day doesn’t prove too much today.

    LOL @the kids fighting over the eraser. I’m sure it’s not funny to you but this just reaffirms the entire reason why I am not a teacher. I’d either spend the day laughing at them or killing them, neither of which the parents, pricniple or other teachers would appreciate.

  3. Donna — Pansy is precious — and precocious.

    I laugh at the kids all the time — or laugh with them. And there are those few kids that nobody would mind if they disappeared. I will have to tell you the story of one such kid someday. It will curl your hair!

  4. Thanks Quill. My vertigo is part of my CFS, so it is always there. My infection is slowly clearing up, but the cold weather, down near freezing the last two days, has put a cough back in my chest. 🙁

  5. OC — Pansy father is a carpenter, and her mother is an executive administrative secretary.

    Jackie — everyone who knows “Pansy” and reads my blog can immediately identify her by her real name. Twenty years from now she plans to be in college. She is going to major in veteranary sciences. Here in Vegas we have Magnet Schools that specialize in Science, or Math or Language Arts. Pansy has already enrolled in a science based middle school program that has specialized classes in premed, and she has identified a magnet high school that has animal husbandry classes.

    Brian — sorry to hear that you’re getting worse instead of better. Stay inside where it’s warm!

  6. Quilly… is your seating chart up-to-date? Students don’t always sit where they are assigned when a sub is in the room. Students ALWAYS say “oh… she JUST changed our seats YESTERDAY…” and a gullible sub / young sub will actually BELIEVE these things! LOL!

    Pansy sounds like a sweety – and I would LOVE to be greated by her each and every morning! I think she and I would get along fabulously!

  7. I love reading about your students, your really great at conveying their personalities on to paper (or on this blog) and when you do write about them I try to get a mental image of what the students really are like. I think that it’s so great that you know your students so well that you are able to do that.

  8. I’m glad you are feeling better. It must be going around everywhere. I had it all last week, too.

    I am very upset that I am not listed on your BlogRoll.

  9. Polona — yes, they do.

    Brian — stay home? (Yeah, I know. Gotta pay the bills. Pft.)

    Melli — I called in sick and another teacher prepped my lesson plans (I love having partners) so I suspect my seating chart was absent.

    Dr. John — It wouldn’t surprise me. She could probably even do a dang good job now!

    Silver — I try hard. Some have so much personality that writing about them is a snap.

    Nessa — don’t know how I missed you in the transfer. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll put you in the blog roll tonight.

  10. Pansy sounds like a great kid- I admire the job you do with your students. Good, really good, teachers are remembered for life and I’m sure your students will always remember you for the wonderful impact you had on their lives.

  11. Cyn — hey, I haven’t been by your place in ages! What’s wrong with me?! (That’s a rhetorical question!) Thanks for stopping by and your kind words, even after I deserted you!

  12. I hate it when your body is tired and you can’t turn your mind off. I worked the night shift for 25 years so definitely can relate to sleep deprivation. Hope your mind and your body get together and that you can get some recuperative sleep. Singing you lullabyes from Virginia.

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