Friday, October 29, 2004


Two of Roomie's friends are coming to visit this weekend. I don't know them, have never even spoken to either of them on the phone, but in a town and social circle this small, visitors of any kind are welcome.

I got sent home sick today. I woke up this morning feeling pretty crappy, and puked once I got to school. I think it must have been something I ate last night, because I felt better afterwards. No, it's not morning sickness, and no, I'm not pregnant, unless there has been some kind of immaculate conception in which case puking is the least of my problems. I don't want that responsibility. Anyway, it turns out that there's some district policy that if you puke, you're too sick to work. Never mind that if I hadn't puked, if I'd held it in, I would have felt miserable and far less capaable of doing my job. Weird rule, huh?

Anyway, I've been feeling really run down and almost-sick-but-not-quite-sick lately, so I took the day and napped. Now I feel totally rejuvinated and am kind of disappointed that tomorrow is Friday because I feel like I'm finally rested enough to be ready for this week. Every Friday, students get out of school at noon. Don't think it's a great deal... they have school from 8:30 to 4 Monday through Thursday to make up for it. That means that in exchange for a Friday afternoon of student-free quiet work time, we have to put in an extra hour the other four days. Anyhoo, tomorrow is the pumpkin and costume judging contest in the morning, and because of the way my schedule works out with that whole deal, I only have one class! What a waste of my mental rejuvination.

Wait, that's what I do normally.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

If a Butterfly Flaps Its Wings in South Park

Not their most controversial or best work, but a good lesson nonetheless. The moral of the story: I'm not sure. Something about voting being important, even when your choices are a douchebag and a shit sandwich. Gee, I know there's a lesson in there somewhere... whatever could it be? Maybe something to do with the current presidential election? Go democracy.

Note: Sorry, Mom, Dad and other assorted folks who might be offended by the words douchebag and/or shit sandwich. It was on the show, I swear. Anyway, it's my blog and I'll cuss if I want to. Damn.

I feel like I'm ever so slightly on the verge of getting sick. Not enough to be miserable, but just enough to worry about what won't get done if I DO get sick. *Looks around for vitamin C and zinc tablets*

Abrupt Change of Subject

As I made my daily trip to the post office this afternoon, I looked around and had one of those really reflective moments. All the stuff, good and bad, that led to me ending up here, right now. How bizarre, if you think about it. Life can change on big things like having a terrible job that led me to look for and find a great job with Admission Possible, which led me to the post-bac M.Ed. program at the University of Minnesota. Those are the big life decisions that ought to change your life.

But life can turn on the little things, too. The first Minnesota job fair of the teacher hiring season took place the Monday after Trivia weekend in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. For those of you who don't know... basically, I was up all weekend hanging out with our team. The more I explain, the dumber it sounds to people who've never seen it. ANYWAY, I was feeling a little antisocial and a lot tired that morning, so I stayed away from the Wisconsin and Minnesota booths, which were naturally the busiest and most crowded. So I checked out other states, which were less visited and didn't involve so much crowd negotiation. And I ended up in a longer-than-scheduled interview with LKSD, and here I am. So I guess you could say that staying up all weekend one weekend last April resulted in me ending up in a place so far from Minneapolis, it might as well be a different country.

If I'd have been smart, I wouldn't have gone home for Trivia that weekend. I'd have stayed in Minnesota and prepared for the career fair. But would I have still ended up here? Would I have instead braved the busier districts closer to home? I guess it depends on whether you believe in fate or chaos. If I was destined to end up here, then it's all a moot point because I'm supposed to be here right now. If it's all random chaos and every action can result in who-knows-how-many consequences, then who knows what would have happened if I had not gone home that weekend, or missed the bus that morning, or tripped and fallen and made a bad impression? It boggles the mind. Then again, my brain boggles pretty easily. I don't really want to get into destiny vs. free will. But... I guess I just did.

*shrugs* Don't ask me. I just sit here and look pretty.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Some Algebra

End of Quarter + New Grading Computer System That Keeps Crashing = CRABBY NEW TEACHER!

Changing Weather + First Graders = Moderate to Severe Insanity

Thus concludes today's algebra lesson. There will be a test tomorrow.

Come Thanksgiving, Fairbanks ain't gonna know what hit it. Three very tired, stressed, tired-of-being-isolated, young-ish teachers will descend upon that town ready to do nothing but... well... nothing. They will gasp in awe of our slothfulness. Our sheer lack of desire to do anything will wow and amaze the masses.

We will also drink beer.

Monday, October 25, 2004


Wet, sloppy, good-snowman-making snow. Since my classroom doesn't have a window, and since the ground was dry as a bone when I entered the building this morning, imagine my surprise when my first class after lunch came in with their pants wet halfway up to their knees and bits of snow in their hair melting into little rivers of water onto their cheeks. I (quite stupidly, I might add) inquired "So is it snowing outside?" Duh.

Ten year-olds being ten year-olds they said "Yeah, you didn't know that?" really meaning "Like, duh, it's snowing." I explained that I have neither the luxury of a recess nor that of a window through which to view the outside world. I think they still think I'm something of an idiot.

This is awesome snowball snow. I just need a target.


I would just like to inform all present that in exactly ONE month I will be in FAIRBANKS for a long weekend. In exactly TWO months I will be home with my family and friends! Now the big question is... will I be able to drive safely and effectively in locations where there are wacky things like stoplights and centerlines and mandatory stopsigns and onramps and speed limits above 15 miles per hour?

I just purchased my tickets back to AK after Christmas and home again in May. By the way, what the hell is up with the whole airline-ticket-buying mess?! So here's the story of buying a ticket to Bethel, through Anchorage, from Minneapolis-St Paul: First, I thought I'd see if tickets through O'Hare were a lot cheaper. I figured if they were insanely cheap (O'Hare is a major airport for Alaska Airlines), I could either take the train/bus there and back or reimburse a family member and/or friend for the gas to come pick me up. The flight I found was, indeed, fairly inexpensive, and... it went through MSP. "Great," thought I, "I'll just see how much tickets are to MSP. I bet they'll just put me on that same plane and just not ticket me all the way through to O'Hare."

Now that would make sense, right? OK, maybe I wouldn't save any money because I'd have to pay for the same flight, but flying into MSP is more better because (a) I've got friends there and (b) It is not Chicago and (c) It's not as far to my ultimate desination, Stevens Point, WI. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, in order to get to MSP at that same time on that same day, I have to pay $100 more and fly through Salt Lake City. Whatever.

Long story short, I forked out the extra $100 and will now be returning to the lower 48 on my birthday (the real one, not the new, improved February 1st birthday), coming into MSP. The next question is... what should I do and where should I go this summer?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Mr. Aladdin Sir, What Will Your Pleasure Be?

I haven't seen Aladdin in FOREVER. Since we're here for a late night of work (entering in ALL of our assignments and grades for the quarter since the software wasn't available until last week), we decided to pop in a movie we'd all seen as background music. Of course, being me, I can't help but sing along. Brings back memories of singing and dancing in the family room with my younger sister. We weren't even that young... just immature. ;-)

My younger (middle, the same one with whom I danced around the living room singing Disney songs) sister is all settled in new job in Iowa. I haven't talked to her in a while... but from what I hear, things are going well.

Me? Just a little stressed. The weekend went too fast. The list of stuff to do this week is way too long for my personal tastes. I'll more than make up for having summer off by the end of the school year if I keep up my current schedule.

At least the taxpayers of the state of Alaska are getting their tax dollar's worth when it comes to my salary!

Friday, October 22, 2004


I am so damn gullible.

Not ten hours after I swore up and down I wasn't going to do any more extra school activities, a very pitiful student council member came to me saying they needed one more chaperone for a school dance or they couldn't hold it. It's totally easy to tell who the teachers who duck out as soon as Mr. Clock says it's OK are.


On a totally unrelated note, I'd love to know who exactly reads this stuff I write. Reply to this post and say hi! Some of you I know, some of you I don't know. 'sall good either way.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Totally Not My Calling

WARNING: Not entirely cohesive. Lacks organization and structure. After 36 hours and counting chaperoning four giggly junior high girls, my contract entitles me to a certain amount of unregulated insanity in the form of disjointed blogging.

I am most certainly not cut out to be a junior high teacher. I normally teach elementary (primary mostly) and one random high school elective (which also happens to be speech, but for high school students), and my instinct was correct... elementary and high school are just fine but I'm certainly not meant to teach the darlings who fall between the two ages. I've spent all day yesterday, all night last night, all day today, and will spend tonight and tomorrow morning with a group of four junior high students for the district speech conetst (so far I've coached every extra-curricular we've offered... which has been cross country and speech).

Oh, to teach in a place where going to an extra-curricular event doesn't involve plane rides and nights spent on a stranger's classroom floor. Next thing you know I'll be wishing for a house with a flush toilet. Eh, I jokes (to use the local vernacular). Sure, having a road that connected our village to another would be convenient. But would it really be as interesting? Would my life be as entertaining if I didn't have daily discussions with Roomie about the contents of our honey bucket and whether it needs to be emptied and whose turn it is?

My students are wonderful and have been well-behaved. But they are also junior high students, which says a lot in and of itself. Oh, let me tell you about the drama of who likes who and who is dating who and who asked out whom and who will give whom an answer in January. And the "can we go shopping?" constantly. You'd think that our travel request form said "shopping trip" rather than "speech contest." They actually got upset when I said no to their request to go shopping instead of watching the finals. I know, the sheer audacity. How could I?

If asked to repeat a time in my life, I certainly wouldn't pick junior high. I'm not sure I'd want to repeat any of my life. I mean, it was OK the first time around, and I guess I turned out just fine. Assuming I couldn't change anything, what fun would repeating the same mistakes all over again be? And if I didn't make any dumb mistakes, wouldn't that take all the mystery out of it? Kinda like reading a good book for the second time... enjoyable, but not the same rush you get the first time around.

I just really want to be back at my house, sleeping in my bed instead of on the floor of a high school classroom. Cooking my own meals rather than eating an endless barrage of school food and pizza. Not having the opportunity to spend my hard-earned money on stuff I really don't need. Having to wonder whether my sub could make any sense of my lesson plans. Yargh. One advantage to a Bethel trip... produce. Yeah, it's hella-expensive compared to the lower 48, but I got AVOCADOS (!) and onions. Had to get stuff that doesn't need to be refrigerated because we had to just stash all our stuff in the lobby of the district office during school hours today. But AVOCADOS! JUST THINK!

Congratulations to my youngest (Can't say littlest anymore because she has long since passed up the middle sibling and is my height if not a wee bit taller) sister, who set a personal best time in the 50 Freestyle, meeting a goal time, and also acheived the distinction of having competed in every event on the line-up this season.

That is all. It's midnight and I think all four are finally asleep. Carry on. I will *sniff* sleep here on this hard floor.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

It's 11pm, do you know where your friends are?

I know where mine are. Or were at 11pm, anyway. It was 2am in Minnesota... BAR TIME, and they were on the phone with me. I really receive far too few drunken phone calls, and I do so love them. I had just fallen into a blissful sleep on the living room couch when the phone startled me. I had taken my glasses off and totally went into that panicky just-woke-up-where-the-hell's-that-ringing-coming-from mode. Answered phone.

Friends were drunk. Friends were drunk and giggly. Friends were drunk, giggly and passing the phone around. Once I woke up, it was great to talk to them. Until I woke up, however, I'm sure I sounded like a zombie... "Huh? Wait, who is this?"

Now I seem to be awake. Time to read a little, hoping I fall asleep. Tomorrow I have sub plans to write (I'm going to Bethel for the Jr High speech contest... great... five giggly junior high girls on a plane, followed by two overnights sleeping on the floor of someone's classroom at the high school...) and my classroom to straighten up. Maybe I'll finally get the last of the cross country stuff put away. I might just recruit a few students to help me lug it all up the stairs into the storage room.

Buenas noches a todos que lean mis palabras.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Happy Birfday Katie!

It's Katie's birthday. If you see her, tell her happy birthday.

I'm in Bethel for new teacher inservice. They made us make a mask in a somewhat traditional manner. I hate that I have a cool picture of what I want in my mind but I can't make the stupid thing looks like it. Curse my artisticlessness! Can I just write a paper about masks instead?

*Yawn* Stayed up way too late doing something for work (grrrrrrrrrrr) and now here I sit. Making a mask out of a cardboard box when what I really want to do is take a nap.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Friends Make All the Difference

I've now figured out why most people who leave the bush after a year or two do so. It's not the weather (although that's a factor). It's not the people (again, also a factor, but not the whole thing). It's the fact that your social group is severely limited. If you're a person (like myself) who values a few close friends and doesn't necessarily go for huge gatherings of relatively unknown people, you're OK here as long as you can find a few people to be with. However, if you need that constant variation in who you hang out with, or you don't find anyone in your village with whom you just "click," I can see this place getting very, very lonely.

Luckily, I've got three great fellow teachers that I really feel like I can hang out with. Helps that we're all 20-something women, but that's not all. Each of them is very different from the others, but all three posess different qualities that I value in my friends.

I think I really lucked out. :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Welcome to...

"Welcome to...
Something like elation when you first open your eyes,
because it means that you must have finally got to sleep last night."
-Ani DiFranco

Why is it that all the shit I have to do that sits in quiet orderly rows (or stuffed behind couches, out of sight) in my brain all day long starts running around when it's time to go to bed? One of the other teachers and I are going to start medidating to relieve stress. Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............

Things are going well, despite my high stress level. I've always had trouble saying "no" when someone asks if I'll do something, and at a bush school, there's no shortage of people asking you to do things. I really enjoy all the stuff I'm doing (working on the reading improvement committee, coaching cross country and now speech, maybe teaching a small portion of the GED class we might be offering... OK, yeah. I know.

Mom (believe it or not, people, my mom reads this. HI MOM!), remember in kindergarten when I helped everyone else with their art project and then had to take my own work home with me? Um, yeah. So now I'm 25 and still making the same mistakes. Call me a slow learner.

And with that, I'm going to go to sleep. I have a gigantic cramp in my foot (the kind that reminds me of my competitive swimming, fin-wearing days) and I think that's a signal that it's time to call this day to a close.

Good night.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Darkness Descends

And thus, darkness descended on poor Smacca...

Well, it's not so bad, I guess. Sure, it's dark when I leave for work in the morning. But it's still light when I leave at night, and that's nice. I can't say I'm really dreading the famed Alaskan darkness... but I might think different once it arrives. We'll see, huh?

Roomie is home. That's good. Hopefully she comes bearing goodies from Fairbanks and/or Anchorage (where she got marooned for a day).

Sunday, October 10, 2004

So nice...

...To not have to be at school on Sunday. Well, I'm here, but I'm not here to do lesson planning or grading or photocopying (Godess forbid we have enough books or workbooks for each student) or rearranging my room because they finally found me (nearly) enough chairs for all of my students. I'm here... doing laundry. We don't have a washing machine at our house, and the district is kind enough to realize that the washeteria (Alaskanese for a building with a laundromat, showers and steams, ours also has some meeting rooms for village business stuff) charges an arm and a leg to do laundry. So.... we get laundry days at the school. Teachers make more money, and yet we get this advantage over the rest of the community. Hmmmmmm...

Makes me wonder, though. If I had to do laundry at the washeteria, I'd have a whole different concept of what "clean" was. I see that in a lot of kids. They're not unhealthy-dirty, but if it's a three-way choice between paying $3.00 a load, washing clothes by hand, and wearing a pair of marginally clean pants, I'd think twice about insisting on clean clothes. I know people "in the real world" who won't wear the same shirt or pair of pants without washing them. Lighten up, sez I. Underwear, socks, undershirts, sure. Maybe T-shirts, if you sweat a lot. Those should be cleaned with every use. But jeans and sweatshirts? Hell no! Febreeze, my friends. Febreeze. 'Tis a magical potion, 'tis.

ADD Topic shift: My little sister got her first college acceptance letter! Awww, our little baby's growing up. Is she really that old? I changed her damn diapers! And she has the audacity to grow up and go to college!


Congrats to Pasha and Therese, who got good knews and were kind enough to share it with their friends! Seems that Pasha's Russian degree translated into both a BS and MS (yay Pasha) and Therese got a job for after she graduates (yay Therese).

Awwww, my friends is growing up and getting real jobs.

And now on to the randomness...

1. Learned (or re-learned, as I kinda learned a long time ago) how to chrochet today. It sure goes faster than knitting.

2. It is windy as hell here. Well, I don't know specifically how windy it is in hell, but you get my drift. I guess it's like this all winter, only colder. In some parts of our house it sounds like constant, quiet thunder. In my room I just get a little whistling. Anywhere you are the house shakes. Fun!

3. My neighbors/coworkers made cranberry jelly from cranberries they picked, then were kind enough to share with me. Yummmmm.

4. "America: The Book" by Jon Stewart and the Cast of the Daily Show arrived today. I haven't had much of a chance to read it yet, but just the layout amuses me. It's set up to mock a high school civics/government textbook, only with a whole lot of sarcasm and swearing. Inside the front cover is stamped the usual thing for textbooks, where you put name, year, and the condition of the book... except at the bottom, in the same stamped print, it says "IP Freely and Heywood Jabolome are not acceptable names." They include mock homework assignments and teacher lessons. The few pages I've read have been pretty good. I'll post more as I have time to read more... so expect it within the next ten years or so. ;-)

5. Roomie's dog is sleeping in my bed since Roomie is gone. He just tooted. I'm debating kicking him out of the room because dog toots are noxious and I'm not sure I want to gamble that that was his last one.

6. It's officially past my bedtime.

Friday, October 08, 2004

When No One's Home

OK, so I love having a roommate. Roomie is awesome. That doesn't mean, however, that having the house to myself isn't fun. Last night, I turned off the TV, cranked the tunes, sang at the top of my lungs and cleaned the house like a madwoman. I think the dog thought I was nuts, but it was actually fairly enjoyable.

One of my coworkers and I were going to go to Bethel this weekend for a coachng conference, but decided against it at the last minute. I have to say I'm relieved. Not that I don't like traveling, but I really want to have this weekend at home to get my life in line. I'm feeling a little out-of-control and need a few days to just straighten stuff out.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

So Much Geeky, So Little Time

You know you're a geeky girl in the middle of nowhere when (a) the postmaster is your best friend because she is the person from whom you receive or book orders, (b) the fact that planes aren't flying out to your village doesn't bother you except that said book orders can't arrive if the planes don't fly, (c) you realize that there's not a single fiction book coming in aforementioned book orders, and (d) you still insist on borrowing a book from a high school student because she says that it is, in her opinion, the best book written by a Native Alaskan (it's called Raising Ourselves, I'll post a report).

My parents should have known I'd grow into a nerd when they had to ground me from reading (in addition to the whole going-outside-watching-TV-playing-with-friends thing) when I got in trouble as a kid...

It's been a rough week for everyone at school. This things seems to come and go in waves. Last week, Friday came and we all commented on how it couldn't possibly be Friday already. Today it's Wednesday and I feel totally deserving of a weekend. The kids haven't been any better or worse-behaved. I'm not sure what it is. One of the older ladies (I think she might qualify as an "elder," but I'm not sure) at the school commented that when the weather changes, it messes with us. We're animals after all. Much as we try to separate ourselves from the other beasts, we're still under the influence of Ma Nature.

And now, with my roommate's dog snoring happily on my bed (he won't sleep in her empty bed for some reason), I bid thee goodnight. I'm tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Again With the Randomness

Once again, I'm just going to go through my day, random snapshot by random snapshot. They are certainly not in chronological (or any other -logical) order.

1. I was escorted home (or about 20 yards down the road towards home) this afternoon by five swashbuckling pirates wielding swords and wearing eyepatches. Or maybe they were just kindergarteners who got pirate stuff at a birthday party. It was hard to tell. Anyway, they abandoned me when they decided to wage battle on the new youth center.

2. Power in half of our house is off again. It's the half with the kitchen. For some reason, our fridge and furnace (also located at the front of the house) are still running. I'm not going to question it lest they realize they're supposed to be not working and quit on me. The TV is off, so I got a bunch of grading and pleasure reading done. Hmm... methinks I should practice what I preach and turn the damn tube off (or go in my room while roomie watches) more often.

3. Roomie flew to Fairbanks today. Part of me is kinda jealous, part of me just finds it easier to stay put. Traveling is wonderful, but a hassle.

4. I'm thinking about attempting to grow tomatoes or some other edible thing indoors. Anyone have any experience with this? I have a bedroom cabinet that's not being used for anything... I could easily take the door off and turn it into a little mini-garden. If you know anything about this, let me know.

That is all. I bid you good day and/or night.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What a weird, messed-up, strange, great movie. Gotta admit, Jim Carrey's come far since his Ace Ventura days. He's um like a real actor and stuff.

Don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but if you like romantic comedies, and you like movies that mess with your head, and you think people with tangerine, blue, or other colored hair are kind of intriguing, watch this movie. Not the fastest moving flick I've ever seen, actually it's quite slow, but the end is sweet in its way.

Now it's 12:30 AM. Great.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Riddle me this...

What does a young, single, professional woman look forward to for days, only to find it to be way too short and over way too quickly?

A. The weekend.

What were you sickos thinking?! Honestly.

I have a new birthday

Apparently, I wasn't born on May 24th, 1979. I was actually born on February 1st. Sorry, mom. Your painful memories of birthing me at the end of May are totally and completely erroneous.

Actually, one of the other teachers and I are the only two staff members who have birthdays while school is not in session. It has been decided that since kids mix us up already, that we're twins and our joint birthday is the 1st of February. Why that date, you ask? Because we decided we'll probably be in a slump by then... Christmas will be a month-old memory, and spring break still a month off. So why not have a big hoopty-do birfday dinner? We'll need something fun at that time. Nothing like planning for those dark-of-winter days.

And now for a random change of subject. I saw the movie Supersize Me last night. Very interesting. Makes you think twice about stopping at Mickeydees... especially if you watch the special features. During one of them, they put food in a jar and see how long it takes to decompose... the fries were still there after a month! Everything else had long since molded away (like food ought to if you leave it out for a month), but the fries looked exactly like the did the day he bought them. That's even more disgusting than the mold that the rest of them produced.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Happy Happy Joy Joy

This past week, I got to talk to four wonderful friends from back in the real world: Two phone calls and two e-mails. One's getting ready to have her baby and buy a house (!), one's struggling with a job she thought she wanted but really doesn't like, one just e-mailed to say hey (and to give me the author of the poem... HI SHIBBY!), and one (my cooperating teacher from last year) just gave me an all-around quick update on her life. I've been feeling a little homesick (just a little, and less than I expected), so all this came at the perfect time. It's funny how sometimes you get what you need right when you need it, even when you don't even know to ask for it. The universe works in funny ways, and sometimes a lesson or two sink in:

Now that I don't see my friends and family, I guess I realize how great they are. **Checks that item off of "Lessons to Learn While on Planet Earth" list.**

More so than when I left for college, or worked other jobs, or went back to college, I realize just how great my little ragtag group of friends, family and acquaintances is. It's great to add to that quirky bunch a few equally quirky characters from Quinhagak and the surrounding area. You really never can have too many quirky friends.

So, um, like, hot water hurts and stuff

I am so smooth. having just nuked a bowl of water to make myself a little snack (Easy Mac - YUCK, but it was left here by my classroom's previous inhabitant), I managed to spill hot water on the soft tender underside of my wrist. You know the part of your body that you test a baby's bottle's temperature on because it's so sensitive? Yeah, that's the one. Feels great.

BUT... It's Friday! What's a little scalding when you've got a weekend of delightful nothingness to look forward to? Deeeeeeliiiiiiightfuuuuuuul Noooooooothingnesssssssssssssssss

Dat Dere Poem...

According to The Amazing Shibby and the power of his Mystical Google Search (which I could have done had I been at all not lazy), the author of the poem I posted the other day is Veronica A. Shoffstall. Yes, if it's Google-able it's probably only a 5 pointer (That made sense to Point trivia nerds. Everyone else, if I explained, you'd roll your eyes and ask "So what's fun about it?" so I'm not going to even go there).

Thank you Shibby. I owe you a beer... or you can have a mixed drink and I'll drink the beer.


Someone in the second grade class that comes into my room (never did find out who) broke my thermos yesterday. It was nice and new and I bought it in Bethel. They also broke one of the tape decks on my classroom's stereo. It was like someone slipped speed into their class's morning snack.

Today went much better, though. They were little angels. Didn't have to raise my voice once. They must have replaced the speed with some kind of soothing agent. Or maybe the fact that I finally hunted down enough chairs for all of them to actually have a place to sit had something to do with it.