Monday, November 23, 2009

adventures in sub land

I am a substitute teacher.

That's what I do now to make ends meet.

(Unrelated tangent: Until sometime fairly late in life - late enough for me not to disclose the time/date - I thought the expression was "make ends meat," and had convinced myself that "ends meat" was a colloquialism for the meat/food/sustenance that you have when you're really poor or when the pantry's almost empty. End tangent.)

My first adventure in substituting was 5th grade. Also to note: 5th graders are tall. They are also scary when they are "bowing up" to you. What does the term "bowed up" mean, you ask? I didn't know either, until one of my students "bowed up" to me as I was telling him that his partner - who had just previously hurled an eraser at the back of my head - was going to have to sit outside for the rest of the class. Upon hearing that he would have to be working alone, this young hoodlum "bowed up" straight to my face. This meant, that he jerked his shoulders and elbows ("bows") back to feign as if he was going to hit/attack me bodily. If he hadn't been just barely at my shoulder height, I might have been more alarmed than I was.

But, I was ok. My demeanor changed/morphed/matured instantly as I became not a fairly controlled, kind substitute that they had never met, but was now an angry, mean, scary old lady who would punish them until their grandchildren felt it, who heard herself say with a constricted throat and a hoarse whisper, "GET. OUT. SIDE."

It was only after I called the ISS teacher that I learned the expression "bowed up" when I demonstrated what he did.


I guess I should start wearing heels and scary spectacles to make myself look older/more menacing.

Sigh. Two days of work and I'm ready for Thanksgiving already.