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Friday, January 02, 2009

The Great Guest Fiasco of 2009!

I have a very special treat for everyone today. No, it's not your own Toyota Camry -- who do you think I am, Oprah Winfrey?

Rather, I am pleased to present the very first Guest Blogger on Learn Me Good, well, EVER, I think! But certainly in January of 2009!

Today's Guest Blogger is Joel, of So You Want to Teach? Joel writes about The Great Fish Fiasco of 2008.


Okay, so maybe it wasn't quite as monumental as the title makes it sound, but it was tremendous, memorable, and pivotal by most accounts. In fact, I remember next to nothing else about the day. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It all started Tuesday morning. Well actually it started two weeks before. Well actually it started in November. We'll call her Fish Girl, not because she looks like a fish or smells like a fish. Not even because she breathes like a fish. The name will become self-evident as the story progresses.

So Fish Girl is the first chair trumpet player in my band. I've been encouraging her some and trying to help her our quite a bit this year. Back in November, she decided to begin asking me for mariachi music. She asked every day for almost a week before I finally gave in and copied some music for her. She decided she didn't like it because it looked too hard.

She comes into the band hall every day now after lunch to practice. She comes in before school. She comes in after school. It seems that I am quickly becoming her favorite teacher. In fact, she gets mad and jealous when other students say that I'm their favorite teacher; even moreso when they hint that they might possibly be my favorite student. There's a little bit of background.


'Twas the Tuesday before Christmas break. Fish Girl comes into the band hall proudly carrying a brand new beta fish she bought at Wal Mart. She tells me that he can live on my desk and be our fish. "Great," I think, "the Christmas gifts have already begun coming in. This is going to be a crazy year!"

Mind you, this fish is not in your regular run-of-the-mill fish water. This is bright blue water. She said it came like that when she bought it at Wal Mart. I look over and notice that she is still messing with it when she opened the lid and decided the water smelled funny. She decided she was going to go change the water. We warned her that doing so could be harmful to the fish's health.

The first bell then rang and I left my office to get set up for first period. After the tardy bell rang, I noticed that Fish Girl and Friends were nowhere to be found. I asked and someone told me they want to go feed the fish. Whatever, it's time for rehearsal.

A couple of minutes later, they all walk in, fish in hand. The water is clear. When asked about this, she told me that she had changed the water because it smelled bad. When I looked at it, it was there lying at the bottom of the bowl just there. Floating food adorned the top of the water, but none was to be eaten.

Later in the day, the other band director decided to email the faculty to ask if anyone else had an aquarium so that we could get water from it since the tap water wasn't seeming to make him all too happy. We got a few offers for us to use vases, but nobody seemed to have an inhabited aquarium.

Just after I returned from lunch, I noticed that she fish was gone. Right then, I looked at the door and saw a group of three or four students coming in with a full-size aquarium full of water, with my fish swimming up a storm. I emailed the faculty and thanked them for their help and thanked the people who had donated the aquarium.

A little later, I noticed that the fish had stopped swimming. I then asked the other director where they got the water, and he told me he figured they got it from the bathroom.


He emailed the faculty and told them that we had stopped performing CPR on the fish, and that he had flatlined.

Emails began flooding in. The history department sent a picture of a flag at half-mast. Tech ed made memorial badges. People asked when services would be held and where flowers could be sent.

Shortly after school, we got an email that said the English department would be bringing breakfast Wednesday morning. I replied to the staff that the band department would be providing fishsticks. Expressions of shock came in. As did questions about who would serve tartar sauce. All told, there were something like 25-30 emails that were sent to the entire staff in reference to this whole incident.

Late in the afternoon, our principal emailed us and told us that he appreciated that we could converse with each other, but that the excessive emails were wasting district resources. He also noted that some of the teachers had sent emails during periods when they had students in their classrooms.

I am once again reminded why I don't keep plants or fish in my office.


I want to thank Joel very much for kicking off the January of Guest Blogging with style, and I welcome anyone else who is interested to drop me a line and get a spot on the calendar!


Joel said...

No comments. I think people are scared they'll get nasty emails from their principals if they respond.

Mister Teacher said...

Only if their principals read this blog, which I kinda doubt...