On the bright side, games don't need too much prep time, so I can sneak in some studying at work. On the downside...have you ever hosted or attended a 12-year-old's birthday party? Crazy, right? Well, today, I'm the one in charge of that party.
Let me back up. My after-school tutoring job isn't all that difficult. Sometimes. I prepare some work, the kids come in late and only one of them doesn't have homework. Most of my prep work is wasted, and my main job is maintaining order. When you have six to ten sixth- and seventh-graders who just got out of school and want nothing more than to talk to one another, that can be difficult.
You know what's worse? Having a party for them.
My workplace, on certain days, takes it easy on the kids. Valentine's Day, Halloween, the last day of school. Today is the last day we meet before a week-long Thanksgiving break, and I'm almost dreading it.
At first, we thought, "Today's going to be business as usual. We help the kids with their homework, give them some worksheets, and that's it." But heck, even I'm feeling lazy today. I didn't even bother to put my contacts in. Besides, I've talked with some of the other teachers, and the general consensus is that we're going to take it easy on the schoolwork. And, when that happens, the kids with homework don't really get that done, either.
I just don't want today to turn out like Halloween. Halloween was on a Thursday, and since we don't have tutoring on Fridays, everyone was in a good mood anyway. I was wearing a costume, one of the volunteers came in wearing a historically accurate Civil War uniform, and everything was set to be great. I'd make the kids do one worksheet, then I decided they could watch clean Vine compilations the rest of the day.
That didn't happen.
I forgot a drink for the classroom. I stepped away for two minutes to borrow some from another classroom. I turned around, and there was yogurt on the ceiling. I kid you not.
I ended up accepting my defeat, sitting down, and reading a book. Cleaning is therapeutic, anyway.
It's 2:19. The majority of my kids should be here in two hours. In the time between now and then, I need to pick up a pizza, read half a chapter of a textbook, and contemplate my life choices. I've already helped the food pantry stock a metric ton of cereal someone donated (thank you, someone!).
Anyway, I guess I just need to be thankful that no one's died. We've seen some pretty crazy stuff go on here. Any day that no one throws up, there are no roasting sessions, and one child learns something, it's a good day. And hey--maybe we'll get some more leaves on our classroom Thankful Tree today. It looks a little like this, but it's taller and flimsier:
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.