Don’t you hate those know-it-all people who just have to always make you wrong and them right? I had a conversation with a student last week that went like this:
Girl: Are we in the computer lab tomorrow too?
Me: Yup, we’re in here all week.
Boy: Well, no we’re not.
Me: Today’s Wednesday; we’ll be in here Thursday and Friday. All week.
Boy: But we weren’t in here Monday or Tuesday. So we’re in here the rest of the week, but not ALL week.
Today a different young man shared this conversation with me:
Me: Good morning, my sixth period darlings! Do you know what today is? (Pause) The LAST Monday of your sophomore year!
Boy: No, it’s not. We’re off next Monday, but we’ll still be sophomores. So it’s really the second to last Monday of sophomore year, since next week still has Monday.
Ohmigoodness. The worst part is, I hear students get even pickier about semantics when one teaches AP students and not the grade level kids who often have an aversion to detail. I can deal with my husband’s constant reminders that we run the dishwasher, we don’t wash the dishwasher. I’m not sure I can handle it from sixteen-year-olds.
My goal for the weekend was to grade the websites so far. Unfortunately, it turns out that one of these sites takes me about 20 minutes to grade. Multiply that by 132, and that means I got about…15 done. In lieu of finishing the websites, I cleaned our new house so I can actually see no boxes and most of the floor (yay), and adopted my new roommate the gecko (I know he was still alive as of Saturday because I found gecko poop on my counter – I think he’s living in my pantry). Saturday had its own excitement. I agreed to help one of my friends study for the GRE, and as we were walking into my house, she shuts our storm door and squeals. I whip around to see the most ENORMOUS spider I have ever seen lurking in the corner under the siding, about five feet from my front door. It was facing inward and seemed to be staring at us, his pincers snipping menacingly. I suddenly understood how Ron Weasley always feels:
Anyway, I first try to problem solve. I put on my husband’s big cowboy boots, as I didn’t want anything crawling up my foot in case of an attack. I hand my friend a broom, handily still out from gecko-chasing, in case she needed a weapon, while I grab my can of Raid. It’s technically ant and roach, but I’ve used it on everything from wasps to spiders, so I know it’s a good kill-all go-to weapon. Then we stood on the inside of my glass storm door and freaked out, watching the nastiest piece of suburban humanity I’ve ever encountered. After about three minutes of this, the spider winning the staring contest, I have a bright idea. In our new neighborhood, our various neighbors often leave their garage doors open and are in and out doing lawn work, especially on a beautiful Saturday. I go out through my garage door, and what luck! A neighbor is coming out at that moment. I march over with my can of Raid, wearing shorts and clearly male cowboy boots, and introduce myself in the following manner:
“Hi, I’m Lizzy. My husband is in the field, and I have a really big spider I need to kill. You’re a man – will you kill my spider?”
|It looked something like this – even a little bigger – I think my fear was justified.|
Those of you who know me well know that this is a pretty typical introduction for me; I don’t tend to deal in pleasantries but instead cut right to the chase. He was awesome; another soldier, he introduced himself and his wife and young son. It was great to meet them; they only moved here a few months ago too. Anyway, he took my can of Raid, and his wife and son came over to watch the fun. He agreed that it WAS a huge spider (always nice to get validation). I stood by my front door watching, which was not a good idea, because when that first spray hit, the spider came straight at me. Because my front door is a little offset into the house, it sort of has a little hallway where the porch light shines. It happens to be the perfect distance apart that if one leaps into the air and spreads legs and arms, one can effectively Spiderman crawl up the walls to escape a nemesis. I looked something like this (change the hair to blond and add cowboy boots, but keep the same facial expression):
|(Thanks to http://one0two5one9eight5.xanga.com/photos/7a75197840630/)|
Anyway, my new neighbors and scardycat friend watching from behind the glass door thought this was HILARIOUS, and now I have new friends. And a very dead spider. And the need for a new can of Raid.
I told my sophomores the gecko and spiders stories to explain why I hadn’t looked at every single website this weekend. Their reactions ranged from attempting to top it (“I saw a spider with legs as long as my FINGERS!”) to eye rolls (“Just grab a gecko behind the head, like a snake.”). Mostly the reactions were of pity, as in “You poor city girl Yankee who knows nothing about the South. This is only the beginning.” Thank goodness it’s the last Monday of the year (goshdarnit!) and I can spend three solid months locked up in the sealed, air-conditioned comfort of my little ranch, armed with a can of Raid and visits from a rather expensive monthly bug guy.