The following bit of foolishness is fiction. It’s not about you. Or you. Or her. It’s not. And before you get all, “I swear this is about me / my teaching partner / my roommate in room 423 / the chick I share lunch duty with / the hairy guy who kicked the xerox machine last May / the smiley lady whose name I still don’t know…” Yeah…no. Just no. Why? Because I’m not really listening to you, or observing you that carefully, or paying attention to you at all. Keep up, buddy: it’s not about you, okay? Okay. It’s about the silliness always spinning along in my head.
It’s called fiction.
– Thanks for joining us, ladies and gentlemen. You’re listening to WEDU, Chicago’s station for all things ed-chu-mah-cay-shun. I’m BOE Bob and I’m here with my capable co-host, Spedder Vedder.
– Yeah, thanks, Bob, and hello to Chicago and our dedicated ed-chu-mah-cay-tors out there. May the PERA-Force be with you.
– And also with you, Sped. Folks, we’re here to give you the play-by-play on this morning’s Institute Day meeting in room 379.
– Yes, and I think we have a crowd here that will not disappoint. As they’re walking in, I see some serious faces.
– Yes, for sure, Sped. This is an “in it to win it” crowd.
– What’s on the docket for today?
– It’s still coming together, Sped. The curriculum director isn’t here yet and she’s got me wondering. I’m guessing that she’s making her first play of the day.
– Ah, yes. I’m seeing the “fifteen minutes late to her own meeting.” The “I’m worth waiting for” play. Good to see that we’re starting strong with some passive aggressive moves here.
– I’m not sure how strong it is yet, though, Sped. The Death Stare math teacher has just walked in with the largest cheese coffeecake I have ever seen. Folks are moving in quickly for a piece of that action.
– Ah, the cheese coffeecake icebreaker. Yes, yes, this is an intriguing start. And the plates have geometric proofs printed on them too. Nice. Looks like the Sly Pi math department has already scored a point with this pre-emptive strike. Nice, very nice.
– Wait – hold up – wait – I think Death Stare and Sly Pi are losing a bit of ground here.
– Uh oh – what’s going on out there, Bob?
– The Never Wears Makeup social worker has just announced that she’s lactose intolerant.
– Oh no…and this is a bummer for our Sly Pi team. Sigh…after such a promising start, too. I see some shoulders drooping out there, Bob.
– Right, right, Sped. They’re drooping, but you know, this should have been anticipated by the Sly Pi folks. Kind of a rookie move on their part.
– True, true. Contract language says that you can only bring vegan-non-lactose-gluten-free-soy-non-GMO-hypoallergenic treats to these meetings.
– And that was a hard fought item, if I recall. Things got ugly in negotiations.
– Expo markers were thrown. We don’t talk about it, but the scars are still there.
– Still, here it is: a cheese coffeecake. What’s Sly Pi thinking here? Do we have a countermove yet?
– Hard to say right now. Let’s hope that Sly Pi hasn’t lost their lead this early in the day.
– Yikes, Sped. Might be too late. I see folks moving away.
– Oh – and there we go: Plates are being discreetly tossed into the garbage. And…the plates are going in facedown. We’re hiding that shameful coffeecake from all.
– Wait – wait – I see something developing here. The other social worker, the Wet Eyed one, is closing in.
– Oh! So soon! Yes, our Wet Eyes social worker is moving in, she’s putting a consoling arm around Wears No Makeup. She’s leaning forward. We have meaningful eye contact.
– I’m feeling the waterproof power here. Yes, Wet Eyes, we’re feeling your Maybelline magic…
– Bob, is this really going to happen? Is Wet Eyes finally going to drop those tears?
– Wait – wait – Sped, I’m just not sure. She’s leaning in. Okay, good. Looks like we’re going for sincerity. I think there might be some words of consolation.
– Yes, Bob. Let’s lean in here ourselves. My stomach is in knots. Will this finally really happen?
– Lots of blinking from Wet Eyes. Will the tears fall?
– I’m hearing some murmurs. So sincere and empathic. And…almost…and…the Unnecessarily Loud Blower under the window has just kicked in.
– Ah, the blower. Classic interference.
– Wait – I think I just heard it. Yes, here it is: “some coffeecakes are more special than others.”
– Ah, yes, Sped. And there’s a true gem. Some of those coffeecakes ARE more special. Pearls of wisdom. But I need to know: Will the tears fall? Will Wet Eyes finally let it go?
– Will Wears No Makeup be able to bounce back?
– That lactose intolerance is a terrible burden.
– The tears. Folks, the tears.
– And it’s still Wet Eyes. We’re zooming in. They’re welling up.
– I think we’re close here.
– And….no. *audible groan from the crowd* Blast. The perpetual tears of sympathy were so close to making their break out there. Doggone it. I really thought Wet Eyes was finally going to spill for Wears No Makeup. Shoot.
– And that’s it. Wet Eyes has straightened up. Leaned back. The extra-close-to-the-edge tears are receding now. Ah, Wet Eyes.
– We were so close.
– This could have changed the whole course of the day.
– The science department looks disappointed too. And – hold up – I see that one of them has pulled a test tube out of her purse. What’s with that?
– Indeed, Sp — Oh! Wait! I think I just heard someone say they saw the curriculum director coming down the hall. Okay, folks, let’s settle in and –- Yes, everyone, I’m hearing the click-click-click of those power heels drawing near.
– Oh, wait – what was that?!
– Could it be? Are we in for the freshly-waxed-floor wipeout?
– And…yes! She’s down!
– Down and yelling, “I’m okay!”
– Dang it! Did we get it on tape?
– No, there was some interference from the sidelines.
– What? Who is that? Dang it!!!
– Crabby librarian. Determined Delivery.
– Ah, the Laminating Order interference.
– Move it, infernal plastic tube of posters! You’re blocking our view of the curriculum director! Is she still down?
– Yes – but wait, she’s back up! Back on the power heels, tossing her hair back, rebalancing her bag of important curricular materials.
– And…she’s in! She’s made it through the door. This is a full-speed power entry to 379. Make no mistake: girlfriend’s still got it.
– Yes, for sure, Sped. That was a little slip, but she recovered quickly. Chin up and tra-la-la.
– She’s busy. She’s important. She’s always in a hurry.
– A quick smile over to the social studies corner.
– Yes, I saw that too. Setting up allies so early?
– Time will tell, Sped. Time will tell.
– Logging into the computer right now. First the shoes, now her nails are clicking.
– This is a lot of clicking.
– And…she’s slowed down by the remote for the projector. So. Many. Buttons. The Coach First Then Teach social studies guy is coming for the assist.
– Ah, that was smooth. Nice. Very nice.
– The projector is firing up now.
– I see a two-column agenda coming into focus on the screen.
– Two columns. Okay. Another strong play. Expectation that notes will be taken in the second column.
– Yes, for sure. I might be premature here, but I’m still saying that she’s in it to win it. An agenda. And notes. Oh, snap – I just saw the foreign language teachers roll their eyes.
– While the projector is still warming up, let’s go back for the replay.
– Okay, while Coach First Then Teach social studies came up, I saw – yes! It’s there! – glances exchanged. The eyes rolling. And wait – did you see Dancing Croissant Scarf? That French teacher has got her style on. She flipped that bad boy over her shoulder like she was bracing for the El.
– Yes, those Croissants were dancing for sure. No doubt about it.
– Yes, but wait. It’s not just her. Sped, Sped…Do you see how all of the foreign language teachers are wearing scarves?
– Yes, indeed. It’s a colorful montage back there.
– Montage, Sped? Nice.
– Thanks. Do you know how to spell it?
– Only in French. Ha ha ha!
– Ah, Bob. What a card you are.
– Back to the scarves. Are our FL ladies the only ones representing today?
– Yes and no, Bob. I’m seeing a soulpatch trend with our male foreign language teachers.
– The soulpatch. Okay. We’ll have to keep an eye on this. That’s one that can spring up over a weekend. Tricky, tricky.
– The projector is now making an alarmingly loud hum. Helpful and Untenured health teacher has just run for Reluctant and Slow tech guy. Let’s go back and watch the tape again. I think we’ve got more going on here.
– Yes, Coach First Then Teach comes up for the projector assist, Dancing Croissant Scarf flips her thang and – wait! – yes! – there it is! Quijote’s Windmill Scarf is eating some…yes! I thought so! Bob, the foreign language teachers are eating something!
– Not the illegal cheese coffeecake???
– No, they wouldn’t dare. I’m seeing something light, but so heavy…
– No! Wait! Yes, Bob! Quijote’s Windmills is partially blocking them, but I’m sure we’ve got tamales over there. The scarves and soulpatches are chowing down.
– Quijote’s Windmills is a formidable blocker. Small in intellect, mighty in curly hair volume. Such an effective distractor. And – hey – when is she going to cut that hot mess?
– Later, Bob. Stay focused. Maybe it’s the FL team we need to be watching more closely here.
– Indeed. Speaking of “in it to win it.”
– Watching, watching…and..I see a bottle of Valentina.
– Sped, this is outrageous. Who brought the Valentina? For the love of God, who brought it???!!!!
– The spiciness…I don’t think this spiciness was negotiated. We might have a problem here.
– Let me flip through the contract. We need to know.
– Let’s see if Wet Eyes has noticed.
– Wet Eyes….And, no, she hasn’t. But wait – Bleeker Beaker science teacher has knocked her test tube off the table and – no! – it has shattered all over the floor!
– Ooh, that’s a rough one for Bleeker Beaker. I just saw the curriculum director flash her eyes in that direction. Points deducted.
– Yes, and…oh wait. Major interference here. The Blue Screen of Doom is setting in for the Curriculum Director. Yep, that computer is in Death Mode.
– Ah, Blue Screen of Doom. Yes. We see you and we universally hate you.
– The curriculum director might be stepping out soon to go sit somewhere quiet and have a full freak out.
– All we need is a couch in a quiet room. Is that too much to ask?
– The glass is everywhere. Bleeker Beaker is trying to sweep it up with a protractor and ruler. Apologetic and with the so-embarrassed-red-rash-thing all over her neck. Never fails.
– Quick move to this region by Wet Eyes.
– Let’s lean in a bit again for Wet Eyes. She always brings us special moments.
– Ah, and we’re blocked again. Interference from the PA.
– Yes, but good thing the principal announced that we’ll be able to get CPDUs for today’s work.
– I saw the PE teachers nod at that one too.
– Wet Eyes is in. Bleeker Beaker is looking up…full view of the neck rash….tilt that mess down, girl…and…
– I see a hand on the shoulder. Come on, Wet Eyes. Feel the pain of that broken test tube. Let your raindrops fall.
– And…here’s our soundbite, Bob: “The test tube is in a better place now.”
– Ah, a better place. And there’s really nothing better than that now is there? Such sweet words of consolation, Sped.
– Let’s pause a moment for the test tube.
– And…we’re back. And just in time: the curriculum director has just slapped the side of the computer monitor. Coach First Then Teach is moving in for the assist again.
– What’s with that guy anyway? Is he up for evaluation?
– Must be. No one cares that much about getting this meeting going.
– I see on the computer screen that we’re now in the process of downloading thirteen updates.
– Oh, this is an unanticipated delay. Yes, this is a heartbreaker. We’re twenty minutes behind schedule now.
– The curriculum director is standing up. And…she’s leaving.
– Click, click, click.
– Let’s put five bucks on it.
– She’s going for a smoke.
– She’s going to go post something snarky on that fake Twitter handle we all know is hers.
– She’s going to the FACS wing to binge-eat some frozen cookie dough.
– No and no. I’m putting my hard-earned lettuce on the science storerooms. She’s going to go inhale some old ditto fluid. That stuff will never be thrown away.
– You’re on, brother.
To be continued…