Monday, October 08, 2007

Turd Holes which I dodge from subject to subject like a chunk of ham in a pinball machine...

A couple of years ago, during my nausea-filled first trimester of pregnancy with Baby Fangs, I remember teaching a math lesson and making a mistake with a number. I wrote 65,980 on the overhead and then, several seconds later after realizing my error, I changed it to 65, 982. This was more than the uptight, super-organized girls in the class could take, and they moaned and howled for a while because I'd made their notes "messy."

As a super-non-uptight, super non-organized kind of person, I normally am able to deal with this sort of thing by laughing at kids like these, but nausea + hormonal changes + general feeling of "uugggghhhh, being dead would be better than being pregnant" had transformed me into a testy, bloodshot monster. I WASN'T IN THE MOOD, and I let these girls have it.

"Calm the hell down back there!" I snarled, "you'd think it was a freaking famine the way you people are carrying on!" Then, without stopping to think, I found myself plunging headfirst into a rambling and incoherent lecture about the siege of Leningrad. My speech included such inane sentences like: "They were completely surrounded, and it was cold out there!" "The Hermitage caretakers survived by eating art glue and roasted baby!" and (most importantly:) "How did uptight people like you survive such a chaotic time, anyway?? You can't handle ANYTHING without freaking out!" It's been a point of pride for me that, without even knowing I was pregnant, my students did not dismiss my little rant as that of a crazed lunatic but humbly took my point and never complained again when I made a mistake. Which of course, being with child and mentally incapacitated by dreams of meatball stew with whipped cream, I did again and again and again.

I have no clue why I just told you that story.

Oh yeah, uptight people. If there is anything more annoying than an uptight student, it's an uptight student's mom. Without giving too many details, (except that one scene involved the words "jerking off" and "banana cream pie" in the same sentence) my careless mouth, slave as it is to my incredibly stupid and unprofessional brain, has let out several verbal faux pas lately that might not sit too well with the moms of my school. I'm currently in a state of uneasy limbo, waiting for one to call. Actually, I'm waiting for several moms to call me right now. It's left me feeling tense and, uncharacteristically, I've found myself indulging in a little retail therapy to help me cope. I've bought a lot of crap that I'm too embarrassed to write about, but I will tell you about this priceless little mini-sculpture I picked up last week at an obscure little art shop in. OK, it was on sale for $12.99 at my local Pier 1 Imports.

Wow, what a fabulous piece of modern art, hey? We call it Swirly Turd with Hole, and I can't begin to tell you how classy it makes the place look. People say the West End is a working class, bordering on the slums kind of neighbourhood, but Swirly Turd with Hole proves that this just can't be true. Its presence brings such a sense of upper class refinement to my house. Honestly, it's more than just a stunning work of art. Whenever I've had a long day that's left me feeling frazzled and out of sorts, Swirly Turd with Hole's smooth and solid brown presence soothes and comforts me. It helps maintain my balance by reminding me of my place in this world and what it's all about. It's like a good friend filled with lots of friendly good sense, only, like, more swirly and of course, definitely way more turd-like.

Unfortunately, I am the only person in this house who likes it. When I die and everyone is fighting over my stuff, poor Swirly Turd with Hole will be totally ignored. It will probably end up in the hands of an autistic great-grandchild who will line the hole with raw liver and use it for self-abusive purposes. But that's OK. Art is for the people, and he can use it for whatever he wants to to help him cope.

OK, that's it, I'm obviously out of control. I've got to go prep a chemistry lesson.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Explanation, Briefly, And I'll See You Later This Week!

...woe eez me, wizout ze blog...

A few months ago I did a happiness quiz that they had in the Globe and Mail to see how, uh, happy I am. Out of a possible perfect score of "five", I got a "three point seven." According to the person who put the quiz together, this was very normal, and it indicated that, emotionally anyway, I was a pretty healthy person. In fact, a score higher than, say, "four point three" (I forget how high exactly) meant you were probably clinically insane and spent your days wandering around in some sort of Candide-like delusional candy floss fog. This didn't sound like a bad thing to me, but the paper assured me this wasn't true happiness, and therefore not something I should be striving for.

Although it is unpopular, perhaps even embarrassing to admit these kinds of things publicly, I will confess to you that when I filled out that happiness questionnaire, I was mildly discomforted by the fact that I was positively answering a lot of the questions with silent reference to my blog. In fact, the only reason I probably got a "normal" score on that stupid "Happiness Quiz" was because of how much I've enjoyed cranking out these posts over this last year. In other words, my blog... makes... me... happy.

You know why I write this. September saw me plunging back into work after sixteen months at home. The shock and intensity of being back in the school and working with kids again took up all my mental energy. Teaching is weird that way. It takes over your life and it doesn't give you too many breaks, even when you are only working part time. After a couple of weeks back I realized I had no option but to abandon my blog because I had no time for it anymore. Maybe next summer, I thought. Maybe when I retire...

But, no surprise to me, this decision has left me feeling pretty miserable. I slump through my days growling a lot. Cruelly, my school has given me my very own personal, state of the art laptop to lug around with me everywhere I go. It stares at me all day, during my classes, even at home, and when I'm not thinking about Johnny Q Asshole in the back row, third from the right, I'm thinking, gee, I'd sure like to be blogging right now...

Guess I have no choice but to stay.

PS: The floors turned out swell! Now for those crown mouldings...