Today was my first day back at school after being out since March 6. While I was looking forward to seeing my kids, I was not eager to return to the routine of being up before daylight, living according to bells, and the general mess that awaits a teacher who's had a substitute for this long.
Some significant numbers with which to document my day:
115: The number of pages I left my students to read during class.
35: The number of books I left for my students to read during class.
33: The average number of pages that were actually read.
27: The number of students who unabashedly told me they did nothing in my absence because they didn't like the sub.
17: The number of days I was absent because of my husband's heart surgery.
16: The number of days my sub apparently entertained my classes by performing magic tricks.
15: The number of feet a hawk was sitting from my window as he ate a pigeon, neck first.
12: The number of students who actually completed the work I'd left.
11: The number of days until spring break.
9: The number of hours I spent at school today trying to clean up my sub's mess.
9: The number of hours I'll spend tomorrow at school trying to clean up my sub's mess.
8: The number of the "mod" or period where this exchange occurred.*
4: The number of books that I found this morning upon my return.
3: The number of classes I alternately lectured, ranted at and made feel guilty today. I'll do the other class tomorrow. And I'll probably go back and do the same to the other classes as well.
3: The number of dry erase markers that disappeared.
2: The number of hours I'll spend tonight trying to clean up my sub's mess.
1: The number of lamp chops I will make for dinner (it's a big one).
1/2: The amount of a bottle of wine I will consume as I try not to think too much about my students.
*Kathy: Miss! Did you read about me in the paper last week? I was stabbed in the butt!
Me: Um, what?
Kathy: Yeah! So I was at a party . . .
Me (interrupting): Kathy, I'll let you tell this story if you can do it in under 3 minutes.
Kathy proceeds to tell the story in 2 minutes and 47 seconds.
Me (realizing I had, in fact, read this story in the paper): O, lord, Kathy. That was you?!
Kathy: Yeah, and that's why I can't sit still today, even though they gave me a shot of amnesia.
(Later, as they're writing and some tiny discussion pops up)
Me: Hey! Hush now, and keep writing! You took the last three weeks off, and you have no business talking now.
Guy, Cheryl, Sherelle, et. al.: Okay! Okay! We're writing!
Me (sarcastic): Because if the writing is too much, I suppose I could grade you for breathing . . .
Kathy: It would help.