Decoration Celebration

Jenna and Kat gave up their afternoon to help set up my classroom yesterday, for which I am eternally grateful. If anyone has ever seen my style of decorating, you'll know that Martha Stewart I am not - except for my excessive use of doilies. A fellow teacher asked if I was using them for their "feminine touch," but the truth of the matter was I needed these two gals for their brute strength. I've been put in an art classroom and have tables and stools rather than desks, so I required an extra set of arms to lift and move the furniture around. Altogether, we spent an hour and a half pushing the tables around trying to find the exact right way to organize the classroom. At the end, my whiteboard was covered with all sorts of odd diagrams that came to look like elaborate football plays. Finally, we found a seating arrangement that added elements from all three of our ideas and we declared it "done." Perhaps we were just tired by that point, but it seemed nearly perfect.

It was exhilarating to have my friends come to visit my classroom. Like, that's my classroom. And my friends get to come and see it if they want. So I'm a real teacher with a real classroom at a real school where my friends are adult friends of the teacher all looking to better the education of our nation's youth. It's freaking surreal. Just when I was starting to feel mature, I found that Jenna made her way into the band room and took the liberty of banging on the drums for a while. And you know what? That's awesome, too. I would have done the same had I found them first. Because we may be (gulp) adults, but we'll never be those stiff lame adults that resist the urge to pound on an unattended drum set.

Jenna rocked the palindromes. After mounting the sheets on construction paper, she attached them to my walls in a patterned fashion, just the way palindromes should be. (I worry that I describe this task like I am commending a third grader, but I really am impressed and very thankful.) Meanwhile, Kat and I were like monkeys, climbing atop the art cubbies nine feet off the ground to hang my cheesy posters. I needed her eye for detail because y'all know I wouldn't spend any time centering or straightening anything I hang. At one point, a custodian came in while we were both lying just below the ceiling and seemed confused.

Before we left for the day, danger occurred. I could hear footsteps coming from the floor above us, then suddenly, the Plexiglass panel covering one of my lights came crashing down from the ceiling with Jenna sitting directly underneath it. In that split second, I feared for Jenna's life and wondered whether the school's insurance policy would cover my guests' injuries. Fortunately, part of the Plexiglass was attached to hinges, so it stopped dropping and merely swung repeatedly above Jenna's terrified hand-covered head. The three of us all panted in shock; as we would say in C2, my classroom is NOT SAFE!

At night, the three of us and a dozen more went to some random shabby bar for RJ's birthday where we drank beer, shot pool, and cut a rug on the tiny dance floor to Latin music as Hispanic men stared at us/asked to cut in with our womenfolk. It was bizarre, but I need bizarre experiences like that to counteract the bizarre realities of being a teacher.

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