Skip to content

Week #9 (2023): Teacher Trouble

March 6, 2023

Write a story about a day where everything seems to go wrong.

I know you’re curious, so here’s how it all went down.

“Where’s my black cardigan?” I screamed from the top of the stairs at my roommate. All I got back were mumbles. I couldn’t believe I overslept my alarm, but Sasha kept me up all night wanting to go outside. I made a quick reminder in my phone to schedule a vet appointment while I shuffled through clothes in my closet. A red cardigan would have to do.

I made it to work in time to do the walk of shame into our monthly faculty meeting. Of course the only open seats were in the front. I reminded myself that this happens to everyone. Of course it doesn’t happen to everyone when the superintendent of schools comes for a visit.

Sure enough, my principal cornered me before I could escape the meeting. I was stuck in the front after all.

“Leslie Malone, please tell me someone died and that’s why you’re late,” my principal whispered while she threw furtive glances across the lecture hall toward the superintendent.

“How about I just don’t tell you anything and you can claim plausible deniability?” It was worth a shot.

“Leslie, you know I’m going to have to put something in your file for this one.”

“Yeah I know. Sorry.”

Saved by the bell, well sort of. She let me go, but of course the bell meant that I was already late for my first class of the day. I wondered if it was too late to get a sub for the day, or pawn some of my classes off on a colleague in exchange for future favors. Fat chance, so I headed across campus to my classroom, running through the activity I had planned as I walked.

But of course, once I got settled – I took my time because the kids certainly didn’t care about starting class on time – I couldn’t find the worksheets I printed out the day before. I started to think that I’d wronged someone unknowingly and this was karma trying to destroy me. I managed to modify the activity so my students didn’t need a worksheet.

You’d think that after the morning I’d had, that things would start to calm down a bit. Well you’d be wrong.

During my second period class, some girls approached me afterward to let me know that I had my shirt on inside out.

During my third period class, a student spilled a bottle of paint on my inside-out shirt. Of course I hadn’t had time to change it yet. Luckily I had an extra shirt in my office. Unluckily, it said “Don’t be so Na Cl”, and I got to hear the groans of my students and colleagues for the rest of the day. My school is lacking in all humor, which is why the shirt found its way into a bottom drawer in my office about ten years ago.

During my fourth period class, a student had a complete breakdown over a 76 on a test I handed back. I had to pause the entire class while I walked her over to the counselors office.

I didn’t even get to eat lunch because my principal called me in to sign paperwork for a formal reprimand from the morning. I thought about refusing to sign it, but what would that have gotten me? Likely more trouble.

My fifth period class passed without incident. Thank God.

My sixth period class spilled fish fertilizer while we were setting up plant growth experiments. Yeah, no one was happy with me after that because the whole science building is on the same ventilation system. I’m pretty sure I’ll be known as Dr. Manure Malone from now on.

I had a free seventh period and managed to get something to eat finally.

I took some time after school to just sit quietly. Sometimes it helps, but I had a feeling the magnitude of the day overwhelmed any semblance of relaxation that just sitting could confer.

I remember thanking every deity I could think of as I walked out to the parking lot. I was thankful the day was over, until I saw my car. I groaned and sat down on the curb to examine the flat tire from afar. When I worked up the energy to call AAA I accidentally dropped my phone and cracked the screen to all hell.

Now I know you’re laughing because you don’t think this many horrible things could happen to a person in one day. Well let me tell you, this is all real.

After the phone decided it had enough of the day, and I inwardly screamed all the profane things I could think of, I heaved myself up off the pavement and went into the front office to use the phone.

“Hey Leslie, what can I do for you?” It was Derek, the front office manager and one of my few friends at work. He quirked an eyebrow at my shirt, but didn’t say anything. I was thankful.

“I just need to use the phone.” I showed him my cracked phone as some kind of explanation and he immediately handed over the office phone. I dialed AAA and talked to the operator.

“You need a number to reach me?” I’d already told the operator that my phone was busted. Derek quickly jotted down a number on a post-it and showed it to me. I read the numbers out to the operator.

After a promised 2 hour wait for someone to help, I hung up and pointed at the post-it. “Is that your cell number?”

Derek smiled. “Yep. I heard some rumors today that make me think you might want to go across the street to Houston’s and have a drink at their bar while you wait for AAA.”

I felt my whole body deflate. “Yeah, I really could use a drink.”

Derek swiped up his coat from the chair and gestured me to the door. “After you Malone.”

As I passed him I said, “At least you didn’t call me what the kids were calling me earlier.”

“Believe me, it took all my self control not to,” Derek said with a big grin. When my forward momentum stopped he said, “Come on, let’s go get you taken care of,” and practically pushed me out the door.

Yep, so that’s how I ended up shit-faced in the afternoon on a weekday. Derek took care of AAA for me and then drove me home and tucked me into bed at 6PM. I guess it was the only way the day would end, if someone physically forced it. All I can hope is that the universe got all its kicks in at once, and that when I wake up tomorrow I won’t be in a Groundhog Day situation. Wish me luck.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: