Skip to main content


I wondered in and tried to scope out the seating arrangements. I am new. I don’t know anyone. It’s been 5 years since I have been the new girl. Usually, a seat has already been saved for me at a crowded table full of coffee, candy and crosswords. We giggle and write notes and try to be quiet ( it is a struggle). But today I am searching for a seat near someone else sitting alone that looks friendly. Preferably near the back. I leave the customary empty seat between us and get comfortable. This is my first inservice of the year and an unwelcome reminder that my summer is almost over. I am not looking forward to my day of powerpoints and forced discussion. I am, however, on time. I brought a pen and paper and left my phone in the car. I was in the minority on all of those. Teachers, as a group, tend to be horrible students. I witnessed lots of text messaging, magazine reading and lesson planning. Some one in the back was rumored to be watching a movie on their laptop. The two girls ( ok, women) in front of me chatted so much and loudly that I could hardly hear the speaker. The teacher in me was tempted to shush them, but I suppressed this urge. Back when I had friends I was one of those girls.

The speaker isn’t so bad. She has a good sense of humor, gives lots of breaks and tells good stories. There are no powerpoints, and only a few forced interactions. We did not get out early. The bathrooms did not have toiletpaper. It is a good thing I can’t pee with a crowd anyways. After lunch I started having nap withdrawls. My chair got really uncomfortable and that teacher that kept asking a question about that one freak student was about to be taken out by me. If you have never been to an inservice the people that speak up to the entire group fit into a few categories:
1. I am the best teacher here, and this is how I already implement this.
2. Weirdo-Beirdo. Let me tell you about the cool robots my kids make ( did I mention this wasn’t a science workshop!)
3. The let me give you ever special case or exception girl. She interrupts every story or strategy to talk about this one kid she had 10 years ago. Finally by the end of the day the speaker starts to ignore this person or at least cut them short.
4. The teacher that needs help or counseling of her own. He/She has a comment so off no one is quite sure how to respond. Like now is suddenly the time to discuss her marriage problems or the likes.
5. Devil’s advocate. No one wants you to argue. Please shut up, even if you are right….we just want to get out of here.
Mostly I just sit there. Occasionally I will offer my 2 cents ( usually more in science than general sessions ) or ask a question if I truly think it is a legitimate and will apply to people besides just me. If only I had that attitude all the time. I came back from lunch with a cross word. Yes I know it is rude, but I mostly only did it during all those dumb out there questions and breaks because remember I didn’t have any friends and I wasn’t going to the restroom. The afternoon moved in super slow motion. She was still interesting, but my brain needs to be eased back into this kind of schedule. I drew little tally marks on my paper to mark off the minutes. By 3:15 I was catatonic and feeling a bit of sympathy for what my students will be going through in a few weeks.


spaghettipie said…
bummer. i can promise much more fun than inservices if you just quit your job...i'm going to be so bored when you go back.

Popular posts from this blog

preachers and parades.

Months ago, I sat in a pew and tried to not think about the fact that you could count on one hand the number of white congregants in the room.
And I was one of them.
 I did not want to draw attention to myself, but despite the fact that I have been to church most Sundays of my life, I had no idea what to do. When to sit, stand, pray or the lyrics to any of the songs. The rules here seemed so different than my own church, just a few miles away. Filled with people who mostly looked like me.
 A few elderly African American women were seated next to me and were kind enough to attempt to make me feel welcome and tell me what to do. At some point Eunice, in a bright purple dress, slid her arthritic hand on top of mine, squeezed and tugged me to the front to pray.
 I let her lead me, because I didn’t how else to respond, and because she seemed so genuinely glad that I was there, singing off key next to her.

 It was not lost on me, that my slight discomfort was one of choice and ended just …

The annual REAL Christmas letter

One of my favorite traditions for a decade has been to sit down and try to write a REAL Christmas letter.  Not just the highlights, but a few honest moments as well. It started as a joke with one of my friends, thinking how refreshing it be for people to share more than just their perfect lives that we are used to seeing on Facebook and Instagram. It would be way more truthful and a whole lot more entertaining. Last new year, I had a friend ask me to come up with a word for 2018. I joked that my word was just going to be “done”. I was partly kidding, partly serious. The year ahead seemed daunting rather than full of promise and resolutions.  I had so many things to finish in the upcoming year that I needed to be “done” with: my degree, my job and my thirties. A few weeks later, my friend showed up with one of those string bracelets with the metal word “done” hammered in the middle. I wore it often, especially in those home stretches. Not taking it off until I had my last chapter writte…

a mustard tree

The prosperity gospel has always made me a little sick to my stomach.

Not that I don’t like the idea that if I ask God for a Cadillac, or big screen TV or new wardrobe and keep asking and have enough faith. That God will deliver.
Trust me, I like stuff. A lot. It is kind of a problem for me. And for most Americans.
But. I don’t think God particularly wants to give me a big check or TV or new car just because I believed enough that he would.

Because what happens when he doesn’t come through.
What if the check doesn’t come.
Or the test results are negative.
Or when the phone rings in the middle of the night.
Where does that leave my faith or my God.
Is it big enough to still believe after that?

And because I think there are plenty of people out there with way more faith than me.
Living with way less. Praying really important prayers. That aren’t always answered the way we wish. And that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with faith. But mostly about a really big God whose timing and goodn…