Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spinning... Almost.

In teaching, you have to do a lot of turning around. Today was a day like that.

I woke up at 5. I could barely sleep because it was election day. I decided to get to the polls when they open by six, so I could still be early to work. I got to my polling site. There was a problem because my driver's license had my new address. It took a while to get that straightened out. I was starting to give in to an irrational fear that I wouldn't be able to vote. There were these two older women who were "helping" me, and making me feel like a complete idiot. Finally, another volunteer helped me actually get it straightened out. Although, I don't know if his motives were altruistic. He followed me out after I voted, and I think he was hitting on me. Finally, though, I got to fill in the arrow for "yes." It was anti-climactic.

The whole ordeal took about an hour, and I had driven in the opposite direction of work. I got in my car, turned it around. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmingly sad. I think it was the realization that filling in an arrow wasn't a very satisfying action with so much hanging over my head. I fought the tears, because I didn't want to ruin my mascara, and the feeling passed.

I got to work, and had planned a surprise for Math. The kids painted fractions using water on the sidewalk outside. I gave them a fraction and they either simplified with division or found an equivalent fraction using multiplication. "This is the greatest activity ever!" said my new friend (the one who supposedly has all the problems). While we were doing fractions that disappeared on the side walk, a steady stream of voters trickled into my school also a polling site, but I turned and faced the kids.

At the end of the day, I walked my class outside and stopped to talk to one of the parents before the after school ice cream social for parent volunteers. She told her son to go get his bike so she could talk to me. "This is kind of embarrassing, but Gabe's father packed up and left when he was at school today." Suddenly I became aware that her big sunglasses hid red eyes. "He doesn't know." We both looked at him playing happily by the bike rack. "I don't even know how to tell him." I don't know what I said, because I didn't know what to say, but behind me was another parent waiting to chat about the vote and the ice cream social. I watched that mother walk off, and I turned around to talk to the other parent.

I started to head towards the ice cream social, but I turned around and headed to the office to talk to Captain about this kid. I walked into the office a bustle with people wanting to make small talk. I talked to them and then dropped into Captain's office. I shut the door, and told him what was going on. We had a heavy discussion, and then, I turned around to make it to the ice cream social.

After the social, I stayed at school to work on Career Ladder. I focused hard on that work, and then I turned my car around and headed back home.

I waited impatiently for 8:00pm when election preliminary results would be released. I stared at the clock as the time turned from 7:59 to 8:00. At precisely 8:00, the results scrolled below the LOST episode I was watching. "Proposition 100 passed by voters."

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