Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Karma - it's a b*&%#! (I Hope)

So, to begin this post, I actually have to begin with a story from January, one that I debated posting on my blog at the time. Not only do I regularly sub performing arts and fine arts classes, I also sub for several Spanish teachers throughout the South Bay.

In the middle of one of our days of torrential rain in January, I was subbing for eighth grade Spanish. Because Torrance Schools are broke, and we rarely have rain in Southern California, schools are not equipped for rainy weather. When it rains, the schools go on what is called "Rainy Day Schedule" to minimize students getting drenched. What this means for teachers is that instead of a full lunch break, you get HALF of your lunch, and get stuck with students for the other half of their lunch break. So imagine... it's pouring rain, and a bunch of soaked eighth graders are forced to come BACK to your classroom for a 30 minute "advisement period". You are unprepared for this, and because they were pretty great during class (before lunch) decide to let them chat as long as they're sitting down. After all, that's what they'd normally be doing outside at this point in their lunch.

This particular class has some young women (who are really very pretty girls - at least on the outside... their insides? That's a different story) who are so obsessed with themselves that they put mirrors inside their textbooks and will try to spend their entire class period STARING at themselves. If you ask them to please look at their text and not their own faces, they act like you told them to run around the school naked. No joke.

These stellar young ladies (let's call them 1 and 2) are sitting with their buddies (there's only a few of them... no one else is "good" enough to hang out with them) at a table near the teacher's desk. I keep my ears open for general rumblings of dissent and madness, especially because unusual things seem to happen around me quite often.

1 and 2 get up from the desks they were sitting at and take the longest possible route around to the front of the classroom. Once there, I see them drop something on a young man's desk. Immediately he leaps up, backs away and starts this male version of a shriek. "Eek! Eww. Ahhh!"

It was a condom. Out of its package and stretched out. Here's the rest of the conversation:

Me: "Did you just drop a CONDOM on his desk?"
1: "It's not mine. She did it."
2: "It's not mine, either! I found it!"
Me: "Wait. You FOUND a condom, picked it up, hid it in your hand and thought it was a great idea to drop it on someone's desk?"
1: "Well, it's not mine."
Me: "I just want to be clear. You FOUND an open condom and thought, I want to pick that up. That's disgusting. It would have been better if you had brought an unopened one into class deliberately, opened it, and thrown it on his desk. Instead, you're now the girls who pick up used condoms."
1: "Well, she did it anyway. I didn't touch it."

*Obviously, you can tell which one is the Queen Bee and which one is her little minion.

So... I report it to Administration. They yank those girls out of their classes for the rest of the day. 1 and 2 immediately roll on their friends, turning them in, blaming them. Two delinquent teenagers in the principal's office becomes six, and I am the hero of every teacher on campus who hates those girls and can't do a thing about it for fear of losing their jobs. Or at least, I provide them with something to genuinely chuckle about. I also have the Vice Principal tell me that I win the award for the craziest thing happening in a classroom all year long.

Fast forward two months. I am back in this classroom for the first time since this has happened. The first thing that 1 and 2 say to me is... "Wait, are you our sub today?" (they're obviously very bright since I'm IN THEIR CLASSROOM). I say "Yes", which is all I really can say, because inside I'm thinking - If I was you, and I had been busted for being an IDIOT, I would be too embarassed to say a word. Their response: "Cool."


Fifteen minutes into class, I see 1 grab all of her belongings and head for 2's desk. The conversation:

Me: "Hey. Where do you think you're going?"
1: "She lets us sit wherever we want."
Me: "Well, regardless of what your teacher lets you do, I know how you are, and you need to get back to your own seat."
1 huffs back to her seat like a spoiled child.

-Ten minutes later.

Me: "Class is not makeup time. Put the mirror away and get to work on some Spanish."
2 mopes and pitches a mini fit, throwing things around at her desk.

Some kids just never learn. I can only hope that someday, somehow, they get theirs. After all, Karma is a bitch.

I feel guilty for hoping that.


  1. Disgusting. Pregnant at 16 much? I hate to say it, but I can almost tag my students who will be caught in those situations. At age 9. I've heard from kindergarten teachers that they tag them at age 5 from the moment they meet them. Amazing, huh?

  2. I believe that you can tag some of them at 5. It's so sad, but a LOT of it is parenting.

    What's so funny is they thought that by lying about it not being theirs, that they were getting out of something. It would have been BETTER if they had deliberately brought one into the classroom in a package, opened it and dropped it on the desk than claiming to have found it.

  3. So, I may not have kids passing condoms in class, but it is not unheard of for my Egyptian 11th and 12th graders to ask another student (completely unphased), "Hey, can I borrow a rubber?" to which I cringe and respond, "Can you PLEASE call them erasers?" I don't know that I'll ever get over that. Apparently they call them rubbers in South Africa too. Ah, English-learner innocence ...

  4. Steph... I can only imagine. And they probably wonder why you're getting so worked up over a stinking eraser.

  5. Worst sub experience ever. Ewww! And Steph, I just watched the movie "Outsourced" which is set in India where they aparently also call erasers "rubbers." I think we're the only ones who call them erasers...but just like with the metric system I don't think we'll be able to convert :)

  6. Nope... we definitely won't be able to convert. At least not without lots of laughter. And some smirks. :)