Monday, May 07, 2007
word of the day: nubes

Whenever I'm out of the classroom for any period of time longer than one day I tend to get nervous. See, I don't know if you've completely figured it out yet, but quite a few of my kids this year, a bit...*challenged* in the behavior, maturity and impulse control departments. And as bad as they are for me on any given day, I cringe at how they must behave for the poor schlub who signs up to be my sub. In fact, one of the teachers who I team with just had a guest teacher claim our kids are so bad that she will never sub for him or me or our other teammate again. (Which I think is a bit unfair; after all, she wasn't in my classroom. But still, I guess I get it. My kids can be scary, and I would never recommend them for the pregnant or those with preexisting heart conditions.) So, add all of this to the fact that Thursday, one of the days I was out, was a complete school-wide, 12 hour-long debacle and you can imagine my level of sweaty-palmed apprehension whilst opening up my sub report.

But, surprisingly, it turned out to be fine. In fact, he actually said my kids are good. And while this leads me to believe that he might have either been a) lying, but desperate for employment; b) blind and deaf; or c) insane; you know I'm going to request him as often as possible. And when I think about it, the stars have sort of been aligning for me recently so I'll just keep riding the train of good fortune for as long as it lasts.

All of this leads me, as always, to my 6th hour, aka - the monkey house. I am always particularly worried about them, and even more nervous about kids like RJ and Taylor, who tend to be the worst offenders.

So, I’m sitting at my desk during the passing time right before 6th hour when RJ, who has very little respect for personal space, pulls up a seat and sits down next to me. Giving me his best “poor little puppy” eyes, he starts with a whiny-voiced question, “You’re not going to be gone again on Thursday, are you?”

“Yes,” I reply. “I have another curriculum meeting.”

“But why? I hate it when you’re out and we have subs,” he says, slamming his hand down on my desk.

This throws me for a loop since kids historically love sub days, so I feel compelled to dive a bit deeper and ask him why he hates my absences.

“Because we get bad sub reports and I get in trouble," he matter-of-factly replies.

“But RJ,” I say in my best reassuring voice, “the sub said you were good.”

“Yeah, your sub said that, but I always get in trouble in all my other classes. I can’t behave for anyone other than you.”

Floored, I ask with raised eyebrows, “You behave for me?”

It seems that we had drawn a bit of a crowd now, with four or five of RJ’s minions circling around my desk to listen in, and their presence leads him to change the subject to – what else – boobs.

“So, are we watching Romeo and Juliet again today?”

I assure him that we are, to which he slyly asks, “Is today the day we get to see the naughty bits?”

“No, that’s in Act 3. But,” and I’m terrifically firm here, “you will absolutely NOT be watching any naughty bits in my classroom.”

“Besides, RJ,” Taylor now chimes in, “Juliet’s like, twelve. We don’t want to see that.”

Dismayed, RJ continues, “They’re Juliet’s naughty bits? Oh man, I was hoping it was some other lady. I don’t want to see no nubes!”

Sensing where this might be going, I try to interrupt but fail before Taylor asks, “what are nubes?”

“Okay! That’s enough!” I start, but my protests fall on deaf ears as RJ explains,

“Nubes are prepubescent boobs.”

“Oh.” Taylor ponders this for a minute before he counters, “Wouldn’t that be pub..”

And it’s here when I literally have to spring up and throw my hand over his mouth to keep the word in, saying in my best down-to-business voice, “Okay, and we’re done! That’s absolutely enough!”

Thankfully, there is a brief silence and I am relieved that this conversation appears to be over (at least for now), when RJ stands up, pats me on the top of my head, and says,

“See? With our other teachers that could have gone much worse. Really, we can only behave for you, Mrs. W.”

(Seriously. How many days left until June?)



Blogger Steve said...

Whenever I think that teaching sixty 18 yr-olds 2x/wk/semester is all too much sometimes, I get a gentle reminder from you (or Jame) that I work at a Club Fed amid so many Supermax facilities.

Good job, warden.

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