Friday I had lunch in Crazy Town. I realize that it was Halloween. But still.
Normally, my first grade team and I work through lunch on Friday, then eat together in someone’s room during our Fine Arts period. Our schedule is such that some of us finish lunch before the rest of us even get there. Friday is our day to eat together and catch up on the latest in everyone’s lives.
This week was off, though. One of us is out on maternity leave until after the holidays. Witty was away on a cruise, but we don’t hate her. Much. Miz O Postrophe had to get her class ready for the costume parade. As so it was that the rest of us roughed it for the day.
Our school was built in the sixties when someone’s idea of educational utopia was the open classroom, wherein walls were flexible and allowed classrooms to expand, the better to expand young minds. I’d imagine that vinyl accordion walls were cheaper to build than cinder block ones so it probably saved someone a butt-load of money, too.
Our ‘Teachers’ Dining Room’ is but a former classroom located off to the side of the cafeteria. It shares a flexible wall with one of our three EBD units. That’s Emotional/Behavioral Disorder. Imagine the sounds that travel through the wall between that classroom and the TDR, that gastronomic oasis for instructional warriors. Rare is the day I don’t think to myself, upon hearing all the ruckus, There is not enough money in this blue-eyed world…
On Friday, it wasn’t merely the feral screams and moans from the Classroom Beyond the Wall (suddenly I’m hearing the theme music from Game of Thrones), there was mayhem within the room as well. Lunchtime usually brings together people from various departments who might not otherwise have reason or opportunity to interact. Often when I arrive at lunch, there is a woman finishing her own meal and chatting on the phone. And by chatting, I mean talking very loudly. This is not a new phenomenon. But for whatever reason, on Friday her conversation was unusually loud. Enter another colleague or two and we all engage in conversation. The woman on the phone gets louder. In order to continue our conversation, we have to talk louder and suddenly Chatty Cathy is practically shouting into her phone.
As annoying as it was, we didn’t have much time to address it because at that moment a strange man came stumbling out of the closet that connects the TDR with the Classroom Beyond the Wall. I assumed that he was a substitute of some sort. He was very tall, very thin, and apparently very old. He came shuffling into the room not unlike the walking dead, carrying what appeared to be his lunch. I stared in amazement, figuring that with his general gait, it would take him about three days to make his way across the room to the microwave. He wanted to know if the microwave was industrial. Is that a thing?
I took the opportunity to make my escape back to my class, more stressed out than I had been before lunch. No more Crazy Town for me, thank you very much.
You see? This is why the first grade team normally skips lunch on Friday.