I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.
4:38 p.m. - 2005-01-21
Parent-Teacher conferences went swimmingly, and I am very pleased with myself.The key to success during these meetings is, as one of my coworkers put it, to "feed the parents a shit sandwich." In other words, you start out talking about how much progress little Jimmy has made so far this year, then smush in the fact that his conduct is horrible, he never turns his work in, and his attitude sucks, and finish it off with how much of an improvement he's made grade-wise, how smart he is, and the amazing potential that he shows. Adding that he's "such a pleasure to teach" never hurts, either, and it makes it far less painful on the teacher to not have to deal with a pissed off parent. As professionals we call this method of conferencing "beginning and ending with a positive." In truth, that's just sweet talk for a shit sandwich, and don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.
I'll stop with the snarkiness now, because I realize that it's very unbecoming and obnoxious of me.
It's astonishing how much stuff one gets sucked into purchasing at school. Maybe every job is like that, but I have my doubts. In a school setting, you're virtually guaranteed a much higher ratio of women to men, and since we're talking about teachers, these women are generally of the crafty sort. (With the exception of me, naturally, since I don't know how to do a damn thing except browse the internet and sleep.) So everyone's making and selling stuff throughout the year, and they peddle their wares at work like it's a goddamn flea market. Since August I've bought eight dozen hot tamales (they're delicious, so I'm really not complaining about them), a couple of embroidered shirts, five plate lunches (generally not worth the money), and six or so raffle tickets. I've donated towards four people's children's attempt to make homecoming queen, purchased a Valentine's basket for Alan, and will no doubt be suckered into at least three boxes of Girl Scout cookies. I'm sure there's been more, but those are the ones I can remember right offhand.
It's silly, I know, but I'm rendered defenseless when someone approaches me looking for money. These people back me into a corner ("It's for a Good Cause!")and my natural instinct is just to whip out the checkbook so that I don't end up feeling like a miser for the rest of the year. However, today I realized that I'm really going to have to grow a backbone and just scream no the next time someone comes walking up to me with a slip of paper in hand and that tell-tale look in their eye that says they're looking for a handout. Because today, my friends, I purchased a $45 bottle of juice. The woman who sold it to me should really drop the whole teacher's aide career and become an evangelist or a terribly successful telemarketer, because who the fuck is stupid enough to pay forty-five dollars for juice that tastes like ass? Me, apparently. But my god, she made it sound so good! This juice helps every ailment known to man, from AIDS to mumps to urinary tract infections. This juice will supposedly help me get pregnant, lose thirty pounds, gain better eyesight, and become drop-dead gorgeous and disgustingly rich. My bowels will run like clockwork, my hair will grow long and be free of split ends, my teeth will magically get whiter, and I'll never get sick again if only I drink the juice!
Upon further investigation, it seems that I got completely suckered. The shit I bought looks to be an updated version of "snake oil" from days of ole. I really should research before I make impulse purchases. Oh well, live and learn. Still, all in all, it was a pretty good day. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to enjoy my weekend.