Monday, June 27, 2016

Jenners "Teaches"

Poor student teacher, unaffectionately named Bruce "You don't know how to say Genre correctly" Jenners has to work towards planning and then, (sharp inhale) execute an actual lesson in front of real live students.

It was time to begin lesson planning.  We were studying The Crucible, so naturally, that seemed a good place to start.  Let the record state that he had not read it.  How is that possible, you may ask?  And my answer is: who the hell knows?

I hand him a copy (since he didn't have the good sense to get a copy himself or even ask me for one) and suggest he finish reading it as soon as he can, so he can actively participate in class discussions, and can then (theoretically) take a portion to teach.

You would have thought I handed him ancient Greek texts to translate.

"Um, Mrs. I'm not sure how I will be able to do this with my schedule..." and then he rattles off classes, other obligations, and other shit.  I've stopped listening because I'm thinking of all the things I could be doing right now instead of this.  Clearly, the honeymoon phase is waring thin.

"Well, this is real life.  Suck it up." And I give him a soft scuff on his shoulder.

The robot-boy was not amused.

Jenners then awkwardly goes back to his sanctioned side of the room to actually read the play. At this point I need to mention that he has a specific way of walking where he rolls on balls of his feet so he almost does a sort of bob up-and-down.  Add hands in his pockets for the most accurate image--if you dare.

Days pass, and he's still in his corner reading.  Mind you--the play is under two hours.  But it's time for him to actually teach!  Yikes.  We hold the perhaps the most awkward conversation about what he could teach the students--since he has NO IDEA what this job really means--and come up with some ideas.  He's to have an engaging opener, that will lead into the bulk of the lesson--in this case the play and what's happening, and then move into the written piece, which I'd already prepared.

You would have thought he was delivering the State of the Union address to defend his mother f-ing life.

Jenners was on that Mac just typing his little fingers away.

But I thought he was poor!  

Me too!

Anyway, I'm still teaching the shit out of The Crucible.  Days later, he finally submits something that on some planet could resemble a lesson plan but without any logic or reason or purpose.  Now, this is not something I've encountered.  I have dealt with details left out, with activities in an illogical order, with transitions lacking.  But this?  This was another beast.

"Warm up:  Think about a time you had no idea what was happening.  (1 minute)"

I'm having that moment right now.

"Engagement: Then have students read in groups for thirty minutes and answer the questions.  Then they write about what they've read."

That's it.

I wish I was kidding.  What the hell was he doing back there all those hours?  This?

So, a thousand email exchanges later, it's time.  He has to stand in front of the children to teach something.  One would have hoped with such scaffolding from his professors and from me--the actual teacher, he would have made necessary improvements.

No.  That did not happen.

Jenners arrived early.  Three HOURS early.

He wore his little costume neatly pressed which almost made matters worse.  Picture a short male, perhaps 5 foot 3 inches wearing a suit and tie, with shiny black loafers, his black hair plastered down with gel,  and then a huge ass back-pack walking his special way--sort of rolling onto the balls of his feet--so he's bobbing down the hall.

This is Jenners.

It's one thing for the kids to witness him in the room making his little bird faces at them, but it's an entirely different scenario when he's the authority.

Cancer? Maybe. Pregnant? Yep.

Being a woman of a certain age, never having a pregnancy scare (thank you, Baby Jesus) and using birth control for what seems like decades, I was anxious about my ability to conceive. The hubs and I were on no schedule, but I had serious doubts. So, we agreed to lay off the bc and just see what happened. As a planner, I immediately began prenatal vitamins--go Girl Scouts! Wait—Girl Scouts doesn’t prepare you to get pregnant, just to be prepared. Ok, now that’s out of the way…

After a few months of being sans pill, I scheduled an appointment to begin the discussion of fertility at the gyno office. I’d done some “research” on what to expect by asking my friends, co-workers, and the pregnant teen working the HEB check-out. The internet provided more details than I cared about or understood. But ultimately I felt prepared about the way the discussions would go.

“Yes, irregular periods, etc. “

So, when the kind but random nurse practioner asked if I’d ever had these nodules on my throat checked, my stomach dropped.

“What nodules?”

And that’s when she dropped the c-word. Cancer. It could be thyroid cancer, but then she quickly added it was a very “treatable cancer.”


She said words. I have no idea what they were. At some point someone asked if I’d had a pregnancy test, to which I retorted: “Of course not. That’s why I’m here. I can’t get pregnant!” They still poked me and took a blood test. There was talking… I was to see some other doctor about how my body had betrayed me and made cancer. I made another appointment about baby-making, was told that if there were any major issues on my blood test they’d call and then left. Totally mf’ing shocked. This was why I hated going to the doctor. You go in for help, and you leave with cancer.

The next day I went through the teaching routine of kids, jokes, Englishy-stuff, and all the while, I think: I might have cancer, I’m a statistic, I’m going to lose my hair. Shit. And then I get a phone call from the gyno’s office that I should I call and ask to speak to someone “regarding my blood test.” That’s when you know shit ain’t good. Everyone knows that you get bad news from a humanoid, good news from an automated machine or some dashboard of numbers with your name at the top.

Naturally, with only five minutes between classes, I desperately attempted to seclude myself and call, got their voicemail and left a thoughtless message. I somehow made it through the next class and then locked myself in my room to try it again. I flipped through my phone for the office’s number, accidentally called a random relative by mistake, took a deep breath to get my shit together and dialed again.

“Oh, yes, we’re so glad you called. Let me connect you to someone immediately.”


“Yes, looking at your numbers ma’am, you are pregnant. Very pregnant.”

Wait. Whaaaaa...?

At the follow-up appointment the next day, the hubs and I had our first sonogram appointment where we heard a heartbeat. It was fucking amazing. We were also told I was quite far along—as in eleven weeks. I’d been pregnant for eleven weeks totally doubting my ability to even get pregnant. I remembered all my judgment bestowed upon the “Sixteen and Pregnant” girls who didn’t know they had a human life growing inside themselves. What idiots!


Yes, I’d been easily annoyed and unbelievably tired all the time. Huh. But that’s how you often feel as a high school English teacher.  And, yes, actually I had been nauseous in the morning. Huh. But I thought it was because of these spinach and banana shakes I’d been forcing down. And yes, my pants had been a little tighter. Huh.  But I’d also been eating a lot of cheese.

So, that’s the story.

I successfully completed tests concerning the nodules and cysts in my throat, but the annual checks done by my bad-ass endocrinologist confirm they are not a threat. Cancer? Nope.

Oh, and twenty-nine weeks later, I had my healthy and happy baby. Baby? Yep!