Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Big Freaking Cockroach

First thing in the morning in the gym, the assistant principal (AP) found a cockroach as she pulled back the curtains. It was huge and fast and, well, ewww! The AP and the other proctor got the thing out of the gym. And then it was on to the CAHSEE (like yesterday).

The students got through the first part of the math portion of the exam. They got a break. They came back in, and they heard the instructions for part two (same as part one, really). And then they got started.

I was hovering at the front of the group when I saw another huge cockroach climb over the ledge and onto the floor at the front of the testing area. It scurried along and then disappeared. It had my complete attention.

Bugs in classrooms are very bad things. Any creepy crawly thing will disrupt a class no matter how well behaved that class is. The girls start screaming. Some boy has to be the hero and tromp on the thing. And then trying to get the class back to some semblance of order takes forever.

There were more than 60 students testing today. I didn't even want to think about what could happen if the cockroach got their attention. Did I mention it was huge? (5-6 inches long)

The other proctors saw the beast as well. One "helpfully" pointed it out to me. And I suppose it was my turn. I took the top from the box that we had transported the tests in, but that wasn't going to work. So, I looked about for something. (I wasn't going to step on it. The splat and crunch definitely would have alerted the testing students.)

Then I saw some mini cones that had to have been used at the volleyball game last night. There was no hole in the top, and the size was about right (just slightly bigger than the icky insect). So, I chased the cockroach. It took a couple tries before I got the cone over the thing. It was fast. (And I couldn't holler and scream and swear. The students were testing. It was quiet in the gym.)

I went to slip something underneath the cone. I first used the testing instruction booklet. But that was too thick, and the beasty escaped. Once I caught it under the cone again, I figured that paper would work better. Another proctor helpfully gave me some "shhh, we're testing" signs. And I was able to get the roach between the paper and the cone. But the sucker was so big that the paper wouldn't keep it in, so I got the instruction booklet again, and I put that under the paper.

From there I took the creature outside. The kids in the PE classes didn't notice me even though I yelped as I released the roach. It touched me! Ewwww!!!

I returned to the gym. Only one student had watched this process. The rest, thankfully, were oblivious.

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