Sunday, February 14, 2010

Slippin' Through My Fingers

With parent-teacher conferences Tuesday and Wednesday and the Speech Banquet Thursday, I moved up to Mountain Town for the week.

Tuesday morning I left a little earlier than usual so I could drop the beast off at the condo and turn on the power before school. There is a monster of a hill you have to drive up to get to the condo, and the road's dirt. It had also snowed on Sunday, so the "road" was snow-packed and ice-muddy. My car had made it most of the way up, but was struggling on the last steep little bit when another car appeared at the top.

The driver saw me and my spinning wheels, then backed up. Which was nice of her.

But then she kept backing up. And then her car slid backwards over the top of the hill, disappearing out of sight.

My tires finally caught some traction and I made it to the crest. I threw my car in park and jumped out to help. It turns out it was Jane, a teacher at my school. Apparently, she just panicked and backed up way too far. She was distraught and shaken up and couldn't really explain why she had backed up so unnecessarily.

Luckily, her car had caught on the side of the hill, so I could reach down and help her (awkwardly) up. Her husband was just heading out to walk the dogs, and was quickly on hand to help. He offered to call the tow truck while I offered to drive Jane to school. Which I did, as soon as I dropped the cat off.

It was a relief to stay at the condo all week, given the 7-minute commute and the extra time to sleep in. That hill was a battle, though. I came very close to giving up Tuesday night and parking at the bottom of it. I made it up in the end, after three running starts and one very long revving of the engine while my tires spun madly and I coaxed out loud, "Come on, car. Come on, car!" Then, when I suddenly lurched past the slickest part and made the turn, I burst out with "Oh, Good Car! Oh, Good Car!" while stroking the dashboard.

The hill thawed as the week went on, so Tuesday was by far the worst of it. It was not the end of my adventures with ice, though.

After rehearsal on Thursday I had about an hour before the speech banquet began. It was a pot luck dinner, but apparently it was my job to provide drinks and paper items. I had stocked up on sodas, plates, napkins, and so on at Wal-Mart before moving up the mountain, but I hopped in my car to buy some ice at the gas station in downtown Mountain Town (such as it is).

I walked back into the foyer outside the auditorium to find several panicking cheerleaders gathered around one of their own, seizing on the ground. The seizure ended very quickly, and the cheer coach knelt by the girl's head, told one of the girls to call 911, and asked "someone go get some ice".

I had stripped off my coat by this point, said, "Here you go," as I offered up an 8-pound bag of ice cubes, and began folding up my scarf to wrap the ice in.

I've never experienced people looking at me like I'm a miracle before.

I helped the coach administer some first aid, gave the flock of cheerleaders something to do to get them out of the room, and waited out the arrival of the EMTs. Turns out the girl had not eaten anything nor had much to drink all day, which caused her to pass out while dancing. She hit her head on the cement floor when she dropped, which caused the seizure.

Some of the cheerleaders stopped by my room on Friday to see if I wanted to sign a get-well card for the girl. "It was awesome," they said as I wrote a little note on the card. "You just, like, appeared out of nowhere. With ice! It was like you knew exactly what we needed and just, like, appeared."

I shrugged modestly. "Well, I'm good like that," I said, smiling as I handed the card back.

I figured it's a good opportunity to spread a little mystery - let them wonder about my magical abilities/god-like powers a little. Those are the kinds of rumors I cultivate as a teacher.

Conferences were a complete waste of time, by the way. 10 extra hours at school, for a total of five meetings with parents, each lasting no more than 10 minutes. Plus, I was too worn out from teaching all day to use the time there to plan or grade or anything. I made some cuttings for the drama class play, printed certificates for the speech banquet, and accomplished some other mindless tasks, but it was largely a waste of time. As spring conferences so often are.

The speech banquet went well, though. A lot of people turned out, I spent the dinner part of it talking set designs for the musical with two of the parents, a few kids performed, I handed out awards and letters, and we kept it to under 2 hours total. I'm thrilled to have the season over with finally, though. Oh, and the kids very sweetly got me a bouquet of flowers, which they presented at the end. That was nice of them. It almost made up for the article written by one of my speech kids for the local paper that led with the line "The [MTHS] speech team did it again, despite having a first-year speech coach who had never coached speech before."

1 comment:

  1. "Despite" . . . .Urgh!! Poor choice of words, VERY poor. But I'm with you on stroking the dashboard of the car, funny that we do that.