Yesterday morning I was out walking with my dog when I saw a truck with lights flashing all over the place. I thought, oh my gosh, someone is really sick and getting taken away in an ambulance. I’ve been taken away in ambulances once or twice, and I recall it being no fun at all. As I approached, I noticed it was not an ambulance, but rather a flatbed truck, and as I got closer I saw they were taking away someone’s Lexus.
This, I thought, is really bad. Someone who couldn’t afford to do so went out and bought a Lexus. Obviously, this person was concerned about appearances. I guess you look well-to-do if you have a Lexus, and I guess once you park it in your driveway, all your neighbors will say, “Hey look. They have a Lexus.”
But then you miss a few payments, and they come and haul your Lexus away. They have lights flashing everywhere, and all the neighbors see. They say, “Hey, did you see them hauling that Lexus away?” Then all the neighbors, who you’d worked so hard to impress, find out that you couldn’t afford a Lexus after all. You lose the down payment, you probably owe money, and you have to borrow your sister’s 1990 Corolla just to get to work. The neighbors either gloat or politely pretend they didn’t notice
I felt bad about that, but on the brighter side it was Tuesday. This was good, because I wouldn’t have to pack anything to eat after first period. We have this cafe at our school, and they sell breakfast burritos in the AM after 7:45 Tuesday through Thursday. This is an offshoot of our culinary program. Our principal went out and bought furniture that makes it look like a cafe. This was pretty impressive, as most school cafeterias are pretty much indistinguishable from a typical prison mess.
So it was a good place to hang out. You could sit in a booth with a buddy, and you were pretty much socially distanced from most everyone else. At first I wasn’t really impressed with the culinary aspect, because all they had were Pop-tarts, all sorts of other sugar-laden garbage, and bagels, not precisely the sort of empty calories I want before I start teaching.
However, they won me over with their coffee. I really don’t expect coffee to be good anywhere. When I’m on the road, I buy hazelnut coffee. I don’t really like it, but it always tastes like hazelnut. For my money, hazelnut is better than crap. Anyway, the coffee at our school is actually very good. That’s remarkable, because I distinctly recall getting the worst coffee on God’s green earth from our traditional cafeteria. Being desperate for caffeine back then, I’d hold my nose, swallow it quickly, and hope for the best.
But at 8:50 yesterday, they had only bagels and Pop-tarts. That meant I had to walk out in the rain to the grease truck near the school, where they would actually put things like eggs and cheese on a wrap, if you’d only pay them money. I trudged back to the cafe and bought coffee, but I’m not gonna chance coming in without my own food anymore. There’s enough stress in this job without wondering what it is you actually ate from the grease truck.
Toward the afternoon, I was pretty concerned because I had to run to a dentist appointment. That never puts me in a good mood. But then, there was an announcement, All teachers should check their email for missing report card grades. I did, and all my grades were missing. This was odd, because I’d submitted them all on Sunday.
And it was doubly inconvenient because we don’t have a grading program. I was pressed for time, and rather than go from my saved Excel file, checking 150 times back and forth, I looked up my grades on Google classroom and recalculated. Before I could finish, I had to run to the dentist. My dentist is in Jackson Heights, so before I get a huge needle inserted somewhere in my mouth, I get to go up and down the streets and see a fire hydrant or driveway where every space should be.
This morning I was giving a test, so I had very little prep to do. I was able to print out my Excel sheet, I checked most of my grades against it. They seemed okay. But then I found that report cards had already been printed, so I ran around like a chicken without a head for no reason whatsoever.
However, I’d brought my own food, so no Pop-tarts or grease trucks for me.
And Warnock won in Georgia.
I feel better times coming.