I’m not gonna lie, I almost miss this.
I’m not gonna lie, I almost miss this.
That moment 10 minutes into your FaceTime tutoring session with a 4th grader when you realize the backdrop he’s curiously staring at behind you is no less than 13 bottles of liquor, plus a spoon holding a wine opener hostage with a gun.
“Wait– you DID? When!?”
— Parent of a student I had last year (whose kid still attends the school), when I ran into her on the street and, after she asked me how I like my class this year, I told her I had left the school.
So you can see I made an impact.
Everyone I know, to me: “It’s June! You’re, like, DONE! You must be so happy!”
Fucking, just, no. No, no, no.
I’m sure this is very difficult for non-teachers to understand, but June is actually one of the worst months of the year in our profession. June carries with it a very specific, very potent, very excruciating kind of misery that is like the 3rd cousin of, but not directly related to, the general misery that permeates months September through May.
The kids are OUT. OF. CONTROL. The end-of-year housekeeping tasks are never ending and mind-numbingly dull. Administration is in a state of perpetual pissed-off. The building is 972 degrees, whether it’s a cool or hot day outside. Makes no difference. Heat and humidity of any kind gets trapped, it rises, the air conditioner breaks (if it even worked in the first place), and suddenly you feel as though you are trapped on the E-train platform in the dead of August. Surrounded by other people’s sweaty, prepubescent children. For 8 hours straight.
It’s not good.
So please. I know you all mean well, but save the “You’re done! You must be so happy!” for June 28th, 3:01pm, and not a moment before (or 3:10pm if you want a particularly animated response, as I’ll be 7 shots deep by then).
Because here’s what’s happening now:
(15 minutes later….)
My 4th grade student told me about her slightly older brother having a sleepover with his friends at their apartment.
Kid: “So I knew he was having a sleepover with all boys so OBVIOUSLY I made plans to sleep at my friend’s house.”
Me: “Oh, yeah. Wise move.”
Kid: “But then my friend got sick and I couldn’t go! So I had to be there with all the boys. AND IT WAS CHAOS.”
Me: “Oh, I can imagine! Boys can be wild.”
Kid: “Yeah but you don’t even understand. Before they went to bed…they did the grossest thing…”
Me: “I’m scared….”
Kid: “They ALL TOOK OFF THEIR SHIRTS.”
Me (relieved but feigning drama): “What?! NO! Their SHIRTS?!”
Kid: “I know. It. Was. DISGUSTING! Boys are soooo gross!!!”
Oh, girlfriend. Just you wait.
When I was a 4th grader, I dressed up as Michael Jackson for Halloween by putting on a wig, a glove, and covering my entire face in white face paint.
Fifteen years later, it is just now occurring to me how horribly offensive that was. I somehow managed, at age 9, to unknowingly create a more awkward and offensive scenario than going in blackface. I even remember one neighbor hesitating to give me candy. I figured he just wasn’t a Michael fan.
The year before that, in 3rd grade, I went as a hobo. I wore a sign around my neck that said “Buddy, can you spare a dime?” In the town of Potomac, Maryland, where there is now a Real Housewives series (inexplicably devoid of any Jews or white people, but that’s a subject for another post) being filmed. Enough said. We had a school Halloween parade (this was back in the days when schools let children have fun), and I marched through the halls and recess yard wearing my dirty t-shirt, disheveled hair, and “hilarious” sign. The other Potomac parents loved it. The other students didn’t get it (they had never seen a poor person). The teachers, who could not afford to live in Potomac, looked away. I figured maybe they felt bad that they didn’t have a dime to give me.
“Don’t worry!” I told my teacher, laughing. “You don’t REALLY have to give me money!”
She did not smile.
Finally, at age 16, I decided to be something normal for Halloween. A friend was throwing a big Halloween dance party, and I went as Cinderella. Full-blown floor length ball gown, crown, the works.
“Finally!” my mom cried as she dropped me off at the party, “I’ve tried for years to get you wear something like this for Halloween!”
I rolled my eyes, slid the mini-van door closed, and walked into the party, fluffing my skirt upon entrance.
I was the only one in costume.
It’s a wonder I ever leave the apartment.
Me: “Make sure you are answering THE QUESTION BEING ASKED.”
Kid (extremely confident): “Oh, I did. I double checked. TRIPLE checked!”
The test question provided two fractions, one for the amount of purple marbles in a bag of 24, one for the amount of red marbles in a bag of 24. It then asked, “Are there more purple marbles or more red marbles in the bag?”
Kid’s answer: 1/4
And with that, testing season comes to a close.
Miss Emily, out.
“It’s halfway out.” — Kid, when he requested to use the bathroom mid test and I asked if it’s an emergency.
Moments ago in CVS, I ran into a former student of mine who is now in 5th grade…
Me: “Hey there, kiddo!”
Kid: “Oh hi, Miss Emily! You know, it’s funny that I’m running into you because I was actually just thinking about how I behaved as your student in Kindergaretn, 1st, and 3rd grade, and boy was I a terror! I’m so sorry about that. Now that I’m in 5th grade and about to go to middle school, I realize that my behavior was very unfair to you, and to the other kids in the class. So I just want to say thank you. I really appreciate all the time and energy you took to get me through those years, and I promise all your hard work really paid off, because look at me now!”
Then I snapped out of my delusion and saw that rather than return my greeting, the kid had run away and hidden behind a rack of gum.