Out of Context

A certain middle school teacher (no names will be used to protect the mortified)  was free of any size, type, smell, sound or threat of children for approximately 48 minutes this past Saturday morning.

Due to the record breaking attendance and heat that blessed our community for Friday evening’s “Hula Hoops for Houses” , the dedicated educator literally tripped into bed at 1:09 a.m. (those tiny little brown flip flops that blend into her wood floors will be THE DEATH OF HER) dirty sweat streaks staining her shirt, left back portion of hair seems to be sticking directly out to the left as if sprayed thoroughly with hair spray.

She arose the following morning at roughly 7:22 and blindly pulled back on those comfy, knee-length, school-appropriate light blue shorts from the “Hula Hoops for Houses” event and added some type of t-shirt (of which she still can not identify it’s original owner-likely a college roommate).

She felt haphazardly through the top of her nightstand drawer (filled with Starbursts-can’t figure out why her name is basically embroidered  on her dentist’s chair-complete with a pink whale, natch) for her glasses (horrendously nearsighted) and set out to conquer the Kroger’s Food Store before attending the “not quite mandatory but highly suggested attendance” Middle School Car Wash to raise money for the 8th grade graduation field trip. She sure would love for someone to raise money for her while washing cars.

She attempted to back out of her driveway and was forced to stab the brake, as there seemed to be a gang of 13 year old girls cruising past her driveway, seemingly oblivious to the rather clunky black stay-wag waiting to exit the pebbles.

Ladies, if you didn’t text and bike, you’d probably get to where you are going much more quickly. No, she wouldn’t like to say hello to Jackson and Max on their I-phones, thanks. No, she doesn’t  have her grade book up on her home computer….She’d just like to exit the premises.

Teacher will try to remember to tell  husband about that terribly rude red check engine light that has returned on her dashboard. Her air conditioning blows out tepid, moist, gently harvested dead- mosquito-air partnered with  those obnoxious long pine needles whose origin also remain a mystery.

Mmmmm. Nothing quite like concerning amounts of bright purple bird excrement so thoughtfully adorned on her driver side window.  The entire back portion of back door also so magnanimously enhanced complete with a crust on the door handle.

She sits idling next to a really really really good looking blonde family (triple take out of peripheral  to make sure it’s not ex boyfriend Matt from college) who pulled up next to her at the stoplight (which she’s missed going through TWICE due to a slow garbage truck convoy) in their shining, white, brand-spankin-new mile high Range Rover.

That’s not actually a USED baby diaper, folks, she actually grabbed it to help soak up some of the Capri Sun Splashfest that occurred between last Thursday and this morning.  So, yea, there’s LOTS of uses for baby diapers, mm-hm.

Finally through the intersection only to stop for the EXACT SAME GROUP OF THE 8th GRADE PINK LADIES THAT JUST DELAYED HER from leaving her hood to once again, take. their. time- all on adorable beach cruisers, no helmets (huh?) crossing the crosswalk on their way to apparently, somewhere close to where she herself was heading.

Teacher wonders why this particular parking lot always smells like freshly dunked onion rings and steak sammies. Seagulls aggressively bombard what seems to be an entire loaf of  cinnamon balls two spaces over. Quickly, quickly!!!  She sees the gaggle of bikers heading straight for her, and quickly calculates out the side of her eyes that there are 2 additions to the Pink Ladies, ugh. Jackson and Max. Woooonnnddderfulll. Quick, go, go. Ignore hoots. Assume (hope) they aren’t coming from the bikers and directed at her.

Nine aisles later, paper plates, terribly expensive reader-eye-glasses (can’t ever have enough, she’s turned into her parents, reading glasses stuck in every crevice and side-table drawers) plastic cups, frozen pizza, toilet paper, and that large box of Immodium if you don’t mind-wow, that , WHOOPSIE DAISY, slip-a-rooney, basically just did the splits! OUCHI! What the heck, people, “CLEAN UP IN AISLE 8, HERB!” reference Mr. Mom. Someone may want to clean up this slushy-grape-like substance that has developed on the floor here.groceryfail

She heard them before she saw them. As if in slow-motion, the Pink Ladies and Kenickie,  Doody by his side, turn the corner toward the ice-cream aisle in which teacher almost bit it. A stand-off occurs. The Pink Ladies and the Boys halt as if they are confused-very, very confused. Hmmm…Just HOW do they know her? WHERE do they know her from? She SEEMS familiar.  For a moment, the teacher thought, I just may keep on rolling past them, as they clearly are having trouble connecting the dots.

Not a chance. Ms. Wise? AHHH YEEAA!!! She quickly acknowledges the gaggle with a “Hey, guys, how’s it going?” and keeps on rolling. Silence. Deadly Silent. She feels the fear rise up in her throat. Something is wrong. Something is VERY wrong. Silent middle schoolers represent some type of T.R.O.U.B.L.E  Keeeep rolling, she thinks.  “Ms. Wise, something is on the back of  your pants.”

Oh, Jesus, keep rolling. Duck into the corner by the pretend seafood, take a quick, again, mandatory screening of my teacher shorts from yesterday. There, in the condensation-covered refrigerator door  leading to a sea-world reflection, she makes out a rather large spot of, well, she’s not quite sure what the hay it is or where it came from. Yikes. Wait for it…

DISGUSTING. Somehow Teacher not only managed to plop her hiney right down onto

First Aid Kit

Actual Size of Band Aid

some type of brownish-gray substance the night before, she also seems to have been the chosen one, for one, extremely large, dirty USED BAND AID was hanging off the back of her shorts. Holy grossness. Bile. Chills. She tore that offensive tape off and flung it down, where it landed on her flip flop- kicky-kick, ugh. She has to touch it again, as the meat man seems to be eyeing her. He wonders if she wasn’t going to dispose of the large bandage in the proper receptacle. As if.Rizzo then turns the corner, giggling (more like bowling over in laughter), as the gang witnessed all of what teacher just went through.

Pretty Awesome. Pretty, pretty awesome.

“Ladies! Hey, if this is the worse thing that happens to me in the Krogers, that’s ok by me. Ya’ll just wait, for you too, one day, will not have a CLUE what’s been goin’ on BEHIND YOU, but you’ll feel okey dokey with it because you’ll be IN YOUR 40’s, and hopefully an inspiration to someone- and it’ll be ALL GOOD . I’ve found if I  just keep on looking FORWARD it’s much more rewarding. ”

That, ladies and gentleman, is ALL that occurred that day in the Krogers. Nobody and nothin is  gonna break her stride-

Now. Beat it. She’ll see ya at the car wash.

What’s in YOUR pencil case?


Hemingway’s secret to great writing ? Use a pencil.

A single pencil is said to hold enough graphite to draw a line 35 miles long, or write 45,000 words. If that’s true, Ernest Hemingway could have written The Old Man And The Sea(27,000 words) in a single stroke—and for all we know, he did. “If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to,” Hemingway wrote in a 1935 Esquire article, “First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333 which is a damned good average for a hitter.” http://www.rd.com/culture/pencils-history/

Dear Future Hemingways,

I once took a writing class where the teacher told us to write about WHATEVER WE WANTED, it had to be one page long, and no other instruction was given. Wow. Whhhaaaaa? Where do I begin with this type of assignment? I then recalled another course I took that introduced the book, The Dot. In this amazing little nugget of inspiration, a student claims she has absolutely no, ability, no ideas, no nuthin’- when it comes to her talent (this happened to be her art class). The student gives up before she even begins. Her first and only mark on her paper for a good 8 minutes was a simple, dark, dot. She then used that dot as her starting point. And, boy, did she turn that dot into something wonderful. Where will YOUR dot lead you, today?


Again, your pencils should ALREADY have been sharpened, people. Ugh. I dislike the pencil sharpener. A lot. So much so that it wouldn’t be beyond me to snap that dang thing right off that sheet rock of a wall and violently fling it to the ground out back on the corroding, concrete-like playground entry way at 7: 13 a.m., daringly close to a janitor’s office (do not, I repeat, do not mess with a janitor- that’s for another entry). And then plant it back in the classroom as if I never even touched it. Sorry, folks, looks like no pencil sharpener today. Borrow a pencil. Or pen. Or highlighter. Or crayon, come on people,use your brain power. FIND SOMETHING TO WRITE WITH (at this point i just should  have left that offensive piece of metal alone). Ugh.

Pencil Sharpner.jpg

“Dear Math, Please stop asking me to find your X. He’s not coming back.”

So, this is happening…Sweet Jesus, give me the strength to find out just how many more gallons of lemonade Maggie sold than Jackson. And if I just cannot seem to flawlessly execute such a lesson in front of 17 Friends with ants in their pants, and perhaps an administrator or observer or 2, forgive me.

For, Lord, you’ll remember the younger, easily frustrated and excitable, Mrs. Wise of days gone by. Hours of crying and quitting, furrowed angry eyebrows, lost in every math class from 9th grade and beyond. Heck, throw in one summer school class, with about 36 other younger, extremely frustrated and excitable high school students and, well, you get the picture (I mean, jeez, you ARE the Lord, of course you get the picture, no disrespect intended ). I want a better math experience for these Friends. I want a better math experience for me. I’m trying, Lord, won’t you help me? So, now that I have officially procrastinated for 46 plus, minutes, lead me, gracious Jesus, to the shining algorithm, that will lead me and 17 Friends to Math Testing Glory.MathAssessment


Dear Room 45 B:

Thanks for waiting so patiently outside the classroom door, so respectfully! What’s gotten into you 23 angst-ridden young adults to encourage you to act just so? Well, whatever it is, I’m loving it, you can head on in and begin your warm up-  continuing our unit on writing to Entertain and Inform.  (Who’s dealing with the flatulence??? and GROSS!!!!)

Brainstorm 10 ideas that you can use to begin building a written piece to Entertain and Inform-

So, let’s see here, what have we got on some of these lists:

Teachers and Students Switch for a Day: Nice! I like this idea- seems logical and probably can somehow turn the story into an entertaining piece of all the craziness that would ensue around here!

My Hot Lunch: Hmmm. Sounds dangerous.

Soda and Me: Sounds manic.

Clowns in the Courtyard– NEVER. I REPEAT. NEVER.

Dating on the Down-Low: Not even going to ask. And, no, I don’t believe you when you say you mean dating trends in Australia.

Hurling in Class: Sport or Sickness?

World Religions: Too broad.

Athlete’s Foot and the 12 Year Old: Too narrow.

The Lion, The Witch, and my Family’s Street Storage Pod: I’m sold.

Toilet Paper and the Middle School Mentality: Huh? No, thank you. Remove that hot mess from that tree immediately.

My Career as a Violinist: Should be interesting considering your instruments never actually seem to make it off that back radiator in our classroom to any music room or home…

Why Seating Arrangements Don’t Work in the Middle School Classroom:  Sounds like a personal problem-not a chance.

Chrome Books and Me: Seeing as how most of the keyboards have been manipulated and the letters are all switched up- “again, not a chance” and welcome to the pencil. You write with it. On paper. Buh Bye, 198 lb rotating Chrome Book Carts…

Why Middle School Is Dum: Well, I don’t think we need to wonder why on this suggestion…