Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Beast: Part 10

I came into school on a Monday morning in late February as I did every Monday. I had cried from the time my alarm went off until the moment before I had to leave the house and put my make-up on. I had wiped away the tears, but my eyes were still red, lids still puffy, and my spirit was crushed before the week had even started.

I opened an e-mail from The Beast that said: "End of Course conference is March 3rd. You WILL attend. It is at CMSU in Warrensburg at 8:00 AM. Ms. Fatbelly will also be going as you two give the EOCs."  Ms. Idiocy also gave the EOCs, but maybe by that point The Beast knew she was too stupid to be of any contribution. I don't know. I replied with an agreeable tone and got the information on the conference myself.

I went ahead and printed out directions that morning and got registered. I was a little worried, because I was without a vehicle at that time. I had been riding to work with my mom, and Chloe's dad was driving himself to work in his vehicle. I talked to him to see what we could do, and however it worked out, I made plans to drive his vehicle to the conference. I had to leave at 6:30 am to make it on time, so I wanted to be sure I was covered.

Later that day The Beast asked me to come sign my latest evaluation. It had been one of those "surprise" ones, and It came to my largest class in the middle of research papers. That's a time when the room is usually somewhat chaotic. Everyone is working on the same project but at different speeds, and everyone needs the teacher's attention. I had been sick when It entered the room, worried about what It would find out of place.

The students were very good. They were silent the whole time, and I only had to correct behavior once. I felt so good about the hour.

However, when I got to Its office and read my evaluation I was confused. I read through it, and It had listed the environment as chaotic, said that students were not engaged, and wrote that a student got up and walked out of the room without permission. I had always signed the evaluations quickly just to get away from It, but after talking with my MSTA person I knew I didn't HAVE to sign it if I didn't agree with what It wrote.

"I'm not signing that," I said quietly.

"WHY?" It roared.

"That isn't true," I argued.

It went on to explain that just because the class was quiet didn't mean it was under control. It heard two students whispering about baseball behind it, and heard one student ask another what Mrs. Lastname's problem was today. As if I can control what teenagers whisper to each other at the back of the room.

"Fine. If that's your perspective of that, I'll sign that, but George did NOT walk out of class without permission," I said with finality.

"I SAW HIM," It argued.

"Go get his planner," I challenged. "I give the kids three passes a quarter. They know when they are allowed to use them, and during independent practice is an acceptable time. He asked to use the bathroom and I signed his planner for a hall pass," I said.

"Oh," It became flustered. "Well. I can change that, then," It agreed. I was still PISSED about the rest of it, but I knew I would have to do what I always did. Write my own version of the situation and attach. It reprinted the evaluation with the comment about George erased, and I signed it begrudgingly.

The days passed, and it was time for the conference. I was up and around, got itty bitty Baby Chloe ready for her day, and headed to the University.

I arrived with about ten minutes to spare [as is typical of me], and decided to go on in to the room. I followed the herd, and found the room quickly. I signed the attendance sheet and noticed Ms. Fatbelly wasn't there. I was glad I didn't ride with her.  I collected the literature and looked for a place to sit.

I immediately saw a principal from a neighboring district who I went to church with, and he was seated with a principal from a district where I'd done a maternity leave a couple years earlier. I sat with them and took notes as the conference began.

At about 8:20 there was a ruckus at the door, which was at the back of the room. There was giggling and whispering as a group of women entered the room. The speaker stopped. Everyone turned around. I was appalled as I saw the group enter the room. The posse? Ms. Fatbelly, Ms. Business, Ms. Math, and Ms. Careerplanning...followed by....THE BEAST.

Mr. Principal leaned over, "Isn't that your group?" he asked with a grin.
"Yeah," I said, embarrassed that these were children adults from my school. I was kind of irritated that I hadn't known all these people were coming, and that they all rode together, something that would have made my home situation much easier had I known. On the other hand, I was glad I had been on time and didn't have to associate with their junior-high-esque behavior.

Ms. Business caught my eye about half-way through the conversation and waved at me. I smiled and waved back discreetly. I didn't want to be associated with their rude behavior.

The conference was short. The state hadn't got the test ready in time for this conference (IMAGINE!), so the lady answered some questions, and we were out of there before ten. I stayed in the conference room for about fifteen minutes and visited with the principals at my table, then talked to a counselor by the door. The ridiculous group from my school was in the corner whispering and giggling. I collected my things and headed home, glad to have some time to decompress.

I was about ten minutes from home (so combined with the 15 minutes I stayed after, and the five minutes in the drive-through, it was an hour and forty five minutes after the conference had ended) when I had a call on my cell. It was an odd number, so I answered. I didn't know who it was, but my gut seemed to know, beecause it was churning.

"Hi, this is The Beast," it greeted coldly.
"Hello," I responded.
"I didn't even know you were AT the conference today," It said. I wanted to tell It if It had been on time It might have known, but I kept my mouth shut. "We are all going to the Country Kitchen to discuss what we learned. Will you join us?" It asked. I also wanted to tell It they couldn't have learned much since they missed the first twenty minutes of a two hour conference and the test wasn't even ready yet, but I simply told the basic truth.
"I'm already to Lincoln," I said, "I can't turn around and come back now." There was NO WAY.

I was fuming. I couldn't beliebe It had the nerve to say It didn't know I was there. It MADE me go. I know It made sure I WAS there, because It would like nothing more than for me to have missed it so It could tattle on me.

I went to my friend's house and bawled my eyes out. I told her the whole situation this time, and she let me wallow on her couch. We started a movie and I had just about cried myself to sleep when my phone rang. It was the school. I hoped it was my mom.

"Hello?" I answered.
"Hey this is The Beast. I need you to come out to my office right away," It demanded.
"OK," I agreed. My gut was in knots. I knew it wasn't going to be good. I was sick to my stomach and just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I was past the point of being able to handle the constant harassment and bullying. I was tired of doing the right thing all the time only to be punished for it. I was broken before I even got to the school.

I went into the office where the secretary greeted me.

"Whatcha need, Andrea?" She asked.
"The Beast wanted to see me?" I questioned. It was nowhere in sight. I sat outside the office for about ten minutes when It finally arrived.

"Go on in," It said with cold death in Its eyes. "I'm waiting on Mr. Assistant to join us," It said. It then went on acting like a pre-teen, bragging to one of Its spawn that It could wear Little Its clothes, and was sporting Little Its shoes, giggling like a school-girl.

Finally Mr. Assistant arrived, and what would transpire in that meeting would blind-side me and change my life forever...

1 comment:

  1. OH goodness I can hardly wait to hear what happened next! This Beast is appropriately named in my opinion. I feel so bad you had to deal with it.