Thursday, May 1, 2008

Morning Glory

Its so strange to actually be addressing a specific group of people on a blog post. Hello! and thanks for stopping by and being so loyal. This blog just had her fourth birthday in April. She has had four glorious years of being open and accessible by any internet user. Perhaps you are wondering why the sudden change in the privacy setting. As always, the names have been changed and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

::

cut to-- int. middle school classroom. Afternoon sun painting boxes on the nuetral-colored standard-issue linolium. CAMILLE is trying, unsuccessfully, to engage all the students in a Magritte-inspired bird painting project. Photos of birds litter the tables, cups of water and paint are scattered about. About six students are dutifully working on their projects. CALMEXICO, an eighth grader, is sulking at his desk because he wasn't allowed to sit next to ORIENT, an eighth grade girl. STACEY, the math teacher, is grading papers in the corner desk.

CAMILLE
.
...be sure to make your bird drawings large-
.
CALMEXICO
.
Miss Offenbottle, Are you pregnant?
.
CAMILLE
.
-so that you can fill-
.
STACEY
screaming
.
Calmexico! That was inappropriate. You know you're not supposed to talk
to an adult like that! That is private and none of your business.
.
CALMEXICO
whining
.
But I care about Miss Offenbottle! I want to know if her fiance impregnated her yet.
.
STACEY
.
That is absolutely none of your business
.
CALMEXICO
.
Sorry...
.
CAMILLE
.
is profoundly disturbed, but is trying to carry on the best she can
.
-the whole area in-
.
.
.
cut to-- a few minutes later, CALMEXICO approaches the podium where CAMILLE is sorting papers.
.
CALMEXICO
.
whispering
.
Mrs Dutch, are you pregnant?
.
CAMILLE
.
sarcasm dripping from her voice
.
First of all, Calmexico, you may call me Ms OffenBACH, or Camille.
Secondly, that is none of your business. I am touched that
you are so concerned about my personal life, deeply moved, even.
.
beat
.
But its time for you to sit down now.
.
.
.
cut to-- a few minutes later. All the students are working on their paintings. The class is humming with activity. CAMILLE is wandering from student to student, checking on their progress. CALMEXICO and CALAIS, another eighth grade girl, are sitting together and over the din of the room CAMILLE overhears
.
CALMEXICO
.
to CALAIS
.
3 - 2 - 7
.
.
.
fade to black.
.
.
.
-----
.
.
.
I doubt that this scene would make it into a "best of teaching moments" collection in a teaching manual. I have never felt so sick or violated in a classroom ever in my entire teaching career. As soon as the students were gone, I went onto blogger and set up password protection. Then I called Dutch and cried on the phone. And then I went to the office and filled out the papers for disciplinary action. For some reason, the thought of creepy adult lurkers really doesn't bother me all that much. I generally try not to think about them, and this blog has had its share. The thought of creepy student lurkers, on the other hand, is more like a punch in the stomach. As much as a pain it is to send out invitations, its worth it to know that Calmexico isn't looking at pictures of my cleavage.
I have known for years that if you google my name, all sorts of unsavory things can pop-up, I just never figured that my students would bother. Maybe I should be flattered.

9 comments:

H said...

EEEE!!! That is horrible! I'm sorry you had to go through that! I will happily jump through all the security hoops to read your witty posts. I miss you lady!

Anonymous said...

I once had a student say "You don't realize that you teachers are like gods to us." That may be (is) extreme, but sometimes teenagers want somehow to put themselves on an equal footing. The down side is that it's rude and scary; the up side is that they are questioning authority. I'm sorry you had to go through this. Your blog is wonderful.

Camille said...

Hey Anony,

Thanks for the compliment! Although I respect your privacy, the blog currently only has eleven readers and only a small handful have ever taught teenagers (to my knowledge). ;) Welcome!

Poulet said...

Stupid Google... ruining our voyeuristic fun. It's pretty amazing and frightening that your blog is the top entry when you google your name.

So in four or five years, after the kid turns 18, you'll be back on the open web perhaps?

Camille said...

I dunno, this is a new control-freak powertrip, I kinda like it. I'll probably open it up after a while, after little Cal finds someone new to harass.

rosa said...

Thanks for inviting us! Poor ole 327! It's taking a beating!

angel said...

oh c, i'm so sorry, that's awful! i was thinking about how when I was in 8th grade, our teachers had their own private lives which we knew nothing about nor had access to; rumors occasionally circulated, but that was all. Now w/ the existence of the internet, all that has changed.
Chilling.
On a brighter note, I feel privileged to be a part of camille's inner blog sanctum. :)
love, a
p.s. set a date yet?

Ariel said...

Given the shenanigans that high school kids try to pull off when they barely know you (subbing), I can only imagine the awkwardness of having a Cal in the classroom day in, day out. Thanks for the invite!

Anonymous said...

Stupid snotty junior highers. Making me jump through extra hoops just to read your fabulous blog. It's worth it though!
Eleven

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