Apr 27 2008


Friday was a riot of a day.

This whole week I have been feeling my spring allergies descending on me. At home, especially in Santa Barbara, my allergies were much worse in the Fall. Eucalyptus is a major trigger for me, and the UCSB campus is covered with the beshitted trees. Out here Spring seems to give me the worst of it. One morning a few weeks ago I walked outside and discovered that my car was literally covered in a film of pollen. As I reached for the handle of the door yellow dust literally caked onto my hand. Not good, thought I.

Sure enough, this has been a bad week. Friday was especially bad. I couldn’t make it through a sentence of the notes without being interrupted by one of my trademark teeth clattering sneezes. Luckily, my students chose to find it funny instead of disgusting. Their ideas of cleanliness amuse me so much. I have students who don’t bathe for days on end and come to school greasy in stained and smelly clothes, but who will still step outside to blow their nose.

My second period was subscribing to the rule of three sneezes, but I seemed consistently to be running at two in a row.

Me: “A flapper is a term for…ACHOO…excuse me. A term for a young wo–ACHOO…excuse me.”

T: “Come on Ms. W! One more! One more!”

Me: “A flapper is a term for a young woman of the 1920s.”

T: “Aw.”

Repeat ad nauseum.

With all of this allergy induced suffering, then, it figured that Friday was our Field Day (“April Fest”) celebration, right? We have a Sports Marketing (or entertainment or management or some such) class and their teacher had apparently decided that a good project for them would be to put on a field day for the school. It sounded like a good idea, but unfortunately she scheduled it for the week of benchmark testing.

We have extended periods whenever we benchmark, which meant that I had 2 1/2 hours with my second period on Friday. They worked busily on their cumulative timeline and I only had to say “the yardstick is not a weapon”  three times, which must be some sort of record. Because of the anticipated Field Day the kids were cra-zy in the halls. I am extremely glad that I didn’t have to deal with my 4th period. They would have been, “off the chain,” as the kids say.

At 12:00 the whole school adjourned outside to the grass/ baseball field/ tennis courts (we have tennis courts!? I didn’t know that!) for 2 1/2 hours of fun in the sun. The faculty was selling burgers, hot dogs, drinks, and snow cones. They had dancing & free styling, musical chairs (surprisingly popular), egg races, three legged races (“I ain’t doin’ that, Ms. W. It’ll mess up my pants!”), kickball, and many, many picnic tables for the too-cool-for-school crowd to sit at. I was really surprised at how many of the kids participated in something. A bunch of students organized a game of touch football, some more played catch with a baseball.

My co-senior advisor (who, like me, has been roped into helping fundraise for the Prom), had decided that this would  a good opportunity to do a quick car wash preview–we’re having the full out event next Saturday–and wash teacher’s and student’s cars for a donation. We managed to corral two or three actual Juniors to help out and we dove right into washing cars. It was a hot day, about 85 degrees, and it was sort of fun to get a little wet.

There was, however, a brief standoff over possession of the hose. DH came over to help out (he is also a senior advisor) and immediately ascertained that we were “doing it all wrong” and decided that we were afraid of getting wet. He grabbed the hose from my hands and began rinsing off the next car in line, spraying anyone and everyone in sight. Now, I have no objection to getting wet at a car wash, but don’t spray me on purpose! I backed off to the sidelines and when I turned around I saw DH and my co-advisor physically wrestling over the still spraying hose. Now these are both very dignified, older professionals (DH is actually also a minister) so it was a hoot to see them (mock) squabbling over the hose. We gathered quite a crowd of kids before the issue was settled. For the rest of the afternoon DH was heard to mutter darkly under his breath, “Can’t wash a car without getting wet… you’ve gotta understand.”

I also spent some of my time stalking seniors to take their pictures for the (supposedly) secret slideshow I am putting together. Some of the kids are so determined not to be photographed, but I am equally determined to see every single senior represented in that damn slideshow. I don’t really like to have my picture taken either, but I also know how much it sucks to go to see a celebratory slideshow and not be in it at all (*cough TFAEndOfYearParty cough*) so I really want at least a few pictures of everyone. At one point I was actually reduced to hiding behind a truck to take pictures of one particularly elusive Senior. It strikes me that that could be seen as kind of creepy… (“No really! I’m his teacher! It’s for a slideshow! Why won’t you believe me!?”)

The whole time we were outside I was sneezing up a storm and rubbing my increasingly red and watery eyes. I had also neglected to put on sunscreen, so I knew I was getting burned. By the time 2:30 rolled around I looked a hot mess. I was so glad to go back inside the building. We have a work day on Monday (woo hoo!) so I felt justified in bolting out of their early. Freedom!

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