New Semester, Old Complications

Student 1: “What do we need to keep from last semester?”

Miss Red: “Probably the material from the last two chapters, since it has a direct connection with this chapter.”

Student 1: “Oh, too bad. I already threw everything away.”  Several other students nod with energetic agreement.

Miss Red (while biting tongue, at least metaphorically speaking): “Then make note of the chapters in the book that covered the material.”

A little later . . .

Miss Red: “Be aware we will probably have a goodly number of snow days . . .”

Entire class perks up and looks toward the window.

Miss Red: “Sigh.”


Three hours later, a stream of confused older students wanders in during what had been my off period with an empty classroom.

Miss Red: “Can I help y’all?”

Student 2: “We’re supposed to have study hall in here.”

Miss Red: “No problem.” That’s not what I was thinking, but it’s not their fault I just lost my work/meeting space. Technically I was done for the day, and the room wasn’t being used, so now it is.

Five minutes later, without teacher . . .

Miss Red: “Who’s supposed to be the teacher?”

Student 3: “Mrs. Kramer.” The councilor, who I had not yet seen that day. Which is nothing new, because she has an office but works all over the building.

Student 4: “Can I go look for her?”

Miss Red: “Yes.”

A minute later Mrs. Kramer returns with the student. “Sorry, My schedule said room 103 and I was there all on my own.”

Miss Red: “No problem.” This time I did roll my eyes, thinking Just like last semester. I had class in “my” room, but the student schedules put them in the band room.


Two teachers are watching incoming traffic, having survived the walk-like-a-penguin trip across the faculty lot.

Mrs. L: “This should be interesting.”

Mr. R. :”Yup”  Sips his coffee.

Enter little grey sports car, stage left, zipping across parking lot, or trying to.

Mrs. L. :”Three sixty or light pole?”

Mr. R.: “Three sixty.”

Car slides across lot, driver’s eyes and white knuckles clearly visible. Does a two-seventy, over corrects, and ends up facing ninety degrees from original direction of travel.

Mr. R. (sounding disappointed): “Dang. I thought he had more momentum.”


Miss Red (observes coworker in break-room perspiring, fanning tongue, holding bagel sandwich): “Buffalo chicken?”

Miss D. (in squeaky voice): “Yes!”  She sniffs hard, wipes eyes and nose, takes another bite. More fanning and weeping ensue.

Miss Red: “Ah, I didn’t think it was that hot.”

Miss D. : “It isn’t, so I got one with the spicy mustard as well, to see if it would clear my sinuses. It works.”

Miss Red: “You could have tried some of Mr. C’s wife’s home-made chutney.” The Cs are from Madras.

Miss D. : “No way! That stuff’s too hot!”


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