Monday, February 6, 2012

Big Men on Campus

Oh my goodness, where to begin? All it takes is one stray thought, one "I haven't had much to blog about lately" to unleash the fates of chaos on your life. It's happened before, so next time I run out of things to say I will be posting lots and lots of boring recipes.

Today the kids' school is closed so I had to take everyone with me to my school. This should not have been an issue, since we already have a wonderful babysitter in place who picks James up from my office twenty minutes before my class begins every day. But, like I said, fates of CHAOS.

It started on Saturday night, when my computer broke. The screen doesn't work, so I have to plug it into an external monitor if I want to use it. It is really cramping my style, as you might imagine. I was almost unable to make my lecture for today last night because I was forced to sit AT MY DESK and not lounge on the couch as is my custom.

And THEN, the printer at home broke Sunday night and I couldn't print my in-class assignment like I had planned. I would have printed it at school, but two other important things are also broken--my work computer, which won't log in ever since I rearranged the furniture, and my copier card, which has never worked (RAGE).

So to summarize, this morning I had three children in my office, a half-functioning computer, a totally defunct computer, an assignment still in electronic form, and no real idea how I would be giving my Powerpoint lecture given the current broke-ass state of the laptop I normally use. And it was thirty minutes to game time.

I took the (really, remarkably well-behaved, considering the last time we all came to school together) kids on a Really! Fun! Adventure up the elevator and into my classroom where I promised that if they just sat quietly for five minutes while I figured it out that I would take them to see the sucker fish in the biology department afterward. They sat nicely in two of the desks and asked me LOTS and LOTS of questions about the chalkboard, the projector, the computer, the lab tables, and what my students did while they were in class. I was able to finagle the computer and projector provided in the classroom and got my lecture up on the screen with no issues (YAY fabulous small-school IT department where everything works EVERY TIME and you never find the printer out of paper at two o'clock in the morning the day something is due. I heart you small school!!) and we spent five glorious minutes examining the sucker fish down the hall, as promised.

Then we went downstairs and asked around until someone was able to open a computer lab for me so I could print my assignment. Much easier than anticipated. Until Wes erased the bottom eight inches of a very complicated looking equation that took up the entire chalkboard. Yes it was marked "Please do not erase". Or at least it was until Wes erased part of that before I ripped the eraser out of his hand, grabbed my assignments off the printer, and got the heck out of Dodge.

After that we spent a happy fifteen minutes in my office, collating and stapling (me), weighing samples of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock on a triple beam balance (Charlie and Wes), and complaining wildly about being confined to the stroller (James). I reminded the kids forty-seven times to keep their coats on because the babysitter would be there any minute as I stole many, MANY glances out into the hall wondering where the heck she was.

At 9:57 I finally texted her. "Everything alright?"

"OMG MY ALARM DIDN'T GO OFF I AM SO SORRY!!! FIVE MINS!!!" was the response. So I texted her my room number and we ALL went back up to my classroom.

The boys froze when they saw all the students. I told them to find a seat and wait for Miss Kate while I got class started. Charlie chose a convenient seat all the way in the back and opposite the door. Wes sat closer to me and James stayed in the stroller next to the lectern. The brief rundown of my expectations for them to SIT QUIETLY AND LISTEN AND DON'T TALK TO ME WHILE I AM TALKING I had given them in the elevator was surprisingly effective.

"Good morning, everyone! There's been a bit of a mix-up so we have some guests today!" I smiled at them and took a deep breath. I introduced the boys to the students and then got started with my lecture about earthquakes.

I'm not gonna lie, I did like having them there, just a little bit.

Five minutes after class began, Miss Kate came running into the room, collected the kids, and took them back to her apartment.

The rest of the class was uneventful. I texted the babysitter when I got back to my office, "Please don't worry about it. I had fun and so did the kids." She responded "Charlie is STILL talking about earthquakes!" and also "SO SO SORRY!"

But in truth, I am a little bit glad it happened that way.


Brooke said...

I remember my economics professor bringing his son to class one day and having him color during the lecture. It's good for students to see the human side of their professors, I think. And good for your kids to see the important work their mom does every day!

AJU5's Mom said...

Sounds like it all turned out okay! And 5 minutes - that isn't bad. I know many teachers here that show up that late to class every day (although personally I feel that is a little rude). Maybe I will get up the nerve to take all three to campus again soon...

Jessica said...

I bet the students liked it, too. It's always fun to have something just a little bit out of the ordinary to wake everyone up.

Kim said...

I think it's great for the kids to "see you in action!" :)

Rima said...

I think it's so awesome that they got to see you in action! Go Mom!

Chiconky said...

That sounds fun! I love how your boys listen and behave when it really matters. And I agree, I always loved when my professors were a little more human.

Kyla said...

It sounds like it worked out well! I bet they really loved going to college for bit. I know my kids would LOVE that!

Phoenix Rising said...

...still laughing about how your office computer hasn't worked since you rearranged the furniture!!

sarah said...

OMG, that had to have been an epic experience for them to go to work w/ Mama & see all the stuff she does (and all those students AND a puffer fish?!)

So fun!