Monday, March 29, 2010

Supply In Demand

What is it about e-mails and tone? Not too long ago a teacher asked if anyone was interested in adopting a stray kitten she found. If she couldn’t find anyone to take the cat off her hands then she was going to have to put it to sleep. Inexplicably she ended the message with the ;) emoticon.

Um, there’s nothing like a cheerful wink to hit home some baby animal execution talk? I mean I myself put a :-P in my grandmother’s obituary just the other day.

And this morning the school nurse punctuated the news of a shipment of adhesive bandages arriving with six exclamation marks. Though I can understand that because she had sent us a previous e-mail five weeks ago that she was still waiting on this shipment. I’d certainly be excited too if I finally got some fresh supplies.

If I had a choice of what I'd like to replenish then it would be my classroom set of textbooks. They’re in a world of hurt. Over the last few years they’ve been put through the ringer with jack-a-ninnies trying to punch through them like they were in some sort of karate demonstration or standing on them like stilts until the spines cracked.

If you think that makes them difficult to teach from, then try asking kids to turn to page 436 only to discover that it has been ripped out by a previous jack-a-ninny. The same usually goes for pages 437-452 as well. Plus, the stories that don’t get torn out get edited, particularly the titles. It turns out that my syllabus is wrong. We’ll be learning about such great works as Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Cock Veil and Willa Cather’s Paul’s Case of Herpes.

Why do we even give them pens?

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