Monday, December 28, 2009

Bah Humbug

This was my Christmas Present, I THINK I wrote about it. It is SO Beautiful!! This photo doesn't do it justice, but I wanted to try!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday, whatever it is you celebrated. My husband and I are both from Pennsylvania so we flew back home last Tuesday. Needless to say I am NEVER coming home for the holidays again. I hate coming home. My mom, who I love, dis invited us to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Needless to say things were a little bit tense around here. We spent the holidays with his family instead. Maybe someday I'll write more about that here, but I'm over it and am not in the mood to revisit it anytime soon.

My knee WAS doing better. I was doing stairs, I was bending it, it was feeling 80% better.... THEN smart one (me) hit it off of a chair. I honestly thought I was going to throw up. It hurt so bad!

Denali's good I guess, lol. I haven't seen her since the 19th. Her trainer called to tell me she cut her nose, but she was fine. I swear that horse can hurt herself on a dandelion.

We fly back to Seattle on Wednesday. I wish we had more time off before work started up again. I'm not ready to deal with munchkins yet. I know, I know, at least I have time off. I went to a Christmas party yesterday and the first thing everyone asked me was for some work stories. I told my favorite story from when I taught middle school EBD (Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities.) I thought that I'd share a trip down "Memory Lane"

Once upon a time I had a student. I got him as an 8th grader and needless to say I thought he'd be the most difficult student I've ever worked with. I even went as far to say, "I'll never have another student as difficult as ........ " FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

One year to the day I got a phone call that I'd be getting a new student who was having a difficult time at his current school. My supervisor told me that he thought he'd do well in my program. I normally have an intake meeting, but downtown gave me some story about him needing to be in a school and that we didn't have time for a meeting. (Mistake Number 1.)

His first day in our classroom (picture 5 feet tall, 280 pounds - I kid you not) he started out well. Cognitively he was really low and I suspect (still) a genetic disorder. I'm not a Doctor and keep my comments to myself on this. ANYWAY, he was sitting at his desk, I was helping another student when he took off ruaddling (running/waddling.) My assistant went out after him, and I assumed that he would get him back. After about a minute I got nervous, put my one student in charge and walked out into the hall. I didn't see them, so I peeked out the door to see this new student yelling every swearword he knew at my assistant. I got frustrated with my assistant for allowing him to get out of the building (seriously, he was huge and he couldn't really run.) I sent him back in and I walked up towards the student who took off down the street. It was raining out (December) and I had left my coat in the classroom. He crossed the busy city street and started to tear off fence posts and throwing them at me, followed by rocks, bird houses, mail boxes (I wish I could say I was exaggerating, but I'm sure I'm forgetting some things.) He was still ruaddling and I reached in my pocket for my cell phone an realized that it was back in my classroom. At this point I was waiting for the cops to show up for his property damage (our school was in a nice neighborhood) and I was PISSED. My supervisor didn't give me any heads up and just gave me this kid with no indication that he was capable of this kind of language/destruction. I didn't want to restrain him because at this point we were 10 blocks from school and I knew he'd put on an amazing show once I touched him.

I decided I needed help. I saw a house with some lights on and decided that I'd run up and ask to borrow the phone. He stopped ruaddling (like how I make up words?) when I went up to the house. He continued to scream and swear at me while I was knocking on the door. My conversation went something like this...

Me: "Hi, I'm really sorry for bothering you. I am a teacher at (such a such a middle school) and I got a new student who isn't doing very well. I was wondering if I could borrow a phone?

Woman (peering over my shoulder at her rose garden being destroyed by my student who was tearing them up and throwing them at me.) : "Oh, of course you can borrow my phone (peering back over my shoulder) Do you want me to call some help? (referring to the cops."

Me (who at this point started crying) : "No, I'll be fine, I'm really sorry about your yard, you can contact the school for reimbursement."

Woman (handing me a jacket: "Tell you what, don't worry about the yard. Take the phone with you and you can keep this jacket (which said Microsoft Executive on it.) Just bring back the phone when you are done with it."


I took the phone, threw the coat on and walked towards the student. He started swearing at me and continued to ruaddle down the street. The first person I called was our schools Jack Ass Security guard who told me he couldn't help me because I was off school grounds. Jerk.

The next person I called was my supervisor. That conversation went like this

Me: "Hi, is this Scott?" (Not his real name)

Scott: "Yes, Hey, How's it going with Gary (not the students new name and apparently my fake name for all my students.)

Me: "I quit."

Scott: "What? Wait, What?"

Me: "I quit, Gary is currently at the corner of such a such street and just climbed up onto a garage roof. "

Scott: "I'll be right there." (Seriously 5 minutes later he was there.)

At this point my student did climb up onto a garage roof. I was waiting for the cops to come, I was waiting for him to fall through the roof (the garage was built into the hill side so that's how he got up on the roof for those who were wondering.)

Guess what he did next? Think about it? What could he possibly do next? He stripped...Naked!

I'm standing on the street with clothes flying towards me. It was about that time that my supervisor showed up.

Scott: "Oh, wow."

Me: (at this point I had been in the rain for almost two hours and was PISSED): "Good Luck, I am going back to write my letter of resignation."

Scott: "Wait, please wait. Don't quit!"

Me: "Ugh, okay, but stop screwing me over and cutting corners."

Scott: "How do we get him down?"

We finally got Gary off the roof of the garage, I think he got cold standing there in his socks. We got him into my supervisors car and back to school. We took him to the nurse's office and stood around taking his verbal and attempts at physical abuse.

It was at this point he peed on me. I kid you not.

Fast forward a few weeks. I put behavior supports in place and got Gary "under control." I'm going to be conceded here since no one knows who I am. I am very good at what I do (which is why my supervisors screw me all the time.)

It was raining outside and I forgot my sneakers at home. I had my rain boots on, and was talking to Gary about the weather. I asked him about my shoes, wanting him to generalize.

Me: "Gary, why do you think I have rain boots on today."

Gary (who got a super intense look on his face. He was looking from my shoes to me, and from me to my shoes): "I know!," He said with a super excited tone of voice, "So when I pee on you your feet don't get wet."

Me: Sigh, "Yes, that's exactly why."

So, if you haven't figured out by now I have a VERY exciting job. I am never bored, and I am always busy with something crazy. I have a MILLION stories and haven't written any of them down, but often play with the idea of writing a book....someday.


SprinklerBandit said...

Wow... I'm sorry Christmas sucked, but at least you're a pretty amazing teacher. I wouldn't have just threatened to quit at that point, I would have been DONE. FOR EVER.

Kudos to you. You're an asset to the school system, and there need to be more people like you.

Mrs Mom said...

Dude- the next time I think my "Irish Twins" (4 and 5 yr old boys) are going to drive me insane, I will refer back to this post.

Thank God there are teachers out there like you!

And YES!! Write the book!! I'd love an autographed copy someday, when you get it done!

(Still praying for the other Lil Gary too... and you and your sainted husband!)

Becky said...

Write it! & pick up a copy of ANY of Torey Hayden's books. She worked with children with emotional/behavioral disorders & wrote a number of WONDERFUL books. I couldn't put them down.