So anyway, the janitor in charge of the English pod shows up yesterday morning, nosing around Sherlock Holmes-ishly in a way that’s just not like him. He’s looking for evidence, he says, seeking trash--balled-up paper or stub pencils, little bits of detritus people leave behind and mostly don’t pick up. It’s not like him to scour our corners, so I ask him what on earth he’s up to.
He tells me he found the same gum-wrapper in a classroom several nights running. He’s a janitor, but he’s also a boss, so he left it there because one of his angelic student-help squad was telling him he WAS doing the vacuuming when Juicy Fruit made it clear that he wasn’t and nobody likes being lied to.
“Dang kids,” he said. “What on earth is wrong with them this year?”
“What?” I said, “you too?”
“Can’t get a thing out of ‘em,” he told me. "Half the time they don't show up, and when they do they don't get a thing done."
I told him I honestly thought my students were the only ones infected with terminal sloth. The moment I walk into a classroom they look up at the clock to see how long they’re going to have to suffer. It’s awful. They’re zombies. I can’t get a thing out of them.
Old friend of mine used to say the only way to be a good high school teacher is to be so insanely unpredictable that your students honestly believe that at any moment you’re more than capable of dropping your pants. I swear that nothing would wake up my students, and I was starting to think it was just me. Kids look up front and see anachronism—even though they don’t know the word. All they know is, thank goodness the clock is ticking—his.
But Doug the janitor claims his students too are nigh-unto-impossible to move. “What is it with them this year anyway?”
"What is it with them this year anyway?" I love it. At least I’m not alone. Me and Doug, we’ve got problems. I should have guessed that if they really didn’t feel like filling classrooms, they wouldn’t get up for vacuuming ‘em either.
Want to hear something biblical? I’ve got just seven days left. I can keep my pants on.
This morning, that’s something to be thankful for.
Praise the Lord, the rapture is 'a'comin'. Poor Doug’ll be left behind, all by his lonesome, pickin' up gum wrappers.