The pre-season, er, annual start-of-school inservice training is underway via computer. I’m listening to Fr. Martial, our new headmaster, explaining some of the new procedures. He stops abruptly.
An animated dark grey hairball appears on one of the secondary screens and resolves into a Persian-something cat.
Mrs. Noun: No, Fido, stop that. Get down from there.
The grey visitor is removed. The meeting resumes.
Fr. Martial: And in concl— Woof Woof!
Voice from off-camera: I’m sorry Father! Dog, come back here! We’re fostering him for the service-dog program. I’m sorry.
A German shepherd-looking not-quite-puppy pops his head into view before being escorted out of the office.
Fr. Martial: Time for a break. We’ll resume in ten minutes.
Me: [peering at student in student desk] Who are you?
Puzzled Sophomore [blinking up at me from behind generic blue medical mask]: Don’t you remember, Miss Red? I’m [name.]
Me: Sorry. Too much mask, not enough memory.
Students: [much laughter]
I needed to make one more copy of an assignment, so I ventured to dare the workroom and the New Copier. It glowered at me. I tapped the magic screen. Options appeared. I hit “copy.” Once I entered my access code, the most complicated mess of icons, numbers, and froo-froo appeared. I tried to sort out what to do, hit four wrong commands, couldn’t get it to stop, and bailed out completely (three cheers for the “reset all” function.)
I had to have a copy. Failure was not an option. I tried again. This time I saw something saying “classic screen.” I poked that. Olde Faithful display came to life and I happily made my copy and fled the lair of the beast.
Sr. Verbum: They hate me.
Mrs. Strings: It’s not personal, they hate all of us.
I walked into the main workroom to rescue a soda from the fridge and beheld several teachers busily “not congregating,” all carefully spaced at least six feet apart as they check mail, make copies, and fetch lunches from the fridge. The subject of the conversation proves to be Gizmo #2.
Sr. Verbum: During the first class, the students only heard Br. Bass. During the second class, they heard Sr. Mary Grammatica.
Me: Yesterday, Mr. Fizz came through on mine.
Other teachers [aghast]: Mr. Fizz?
Me: I’d almost think he’s been tinkering, except that’s not his thing.
Mrs. Strings: [waving fork as she gets her salad out of the fridge] No, that would be Mr. Dvorak.
Dark murmurs of “I can totally see him doing that” and “yes, he would.”
(Mr. Fizz teaches chemistry, which is very far away from my end of the school building. I thought.)