Friday, October 21, 2016
Some Clown Made Me Sick
You've heard about the clowns, right? The idiots who are dressing up as clowns to terrorize people. Because some people think this sort of thing is funny.
It was Friday at the middle school. They were at lunch.
It hadn't been a hard day. I had been warned by neighboring teachers that the last sub had had issues with Ms. K's classes. Ms. K isn't one to tolerate that sort of behavior, so they were under dire consequences for misbehavior. And things were going well.
It was a normal type of assignment. We were to read a section of the book together, and then they had questions to answer. But Ms. K had left us a "nuclear option". If the students were too disruptive so that we couldn't get through the reading, they were to write out the section instead. Word for word.
The morning classes went smoothly. We got through the reading easily. Then they worked silently on the questions.
As I was coming back from my bathroom run at lunch, a couple teachers warned me of the lunchtime excitement. Apparently, some clown had "invaded" the school and ran around chasing the middle schoolers at lunch.
No. Oh no.
Middle schoolers are impressionable. They believe in the Illuminati and whatever other conspiracy theory you want to dream up. They scare easily. We, with years of experience with these things, know not to take a lot of it too seriously. We know this is all a hoax. But not the middle schoolers. For them it's all very real. And it's coming to get them.
Just what I need with groups of students who were already wound up...
The class arrived. And were the sort of loud I'd expect after lunch and after being chased by a clown. Except, they claimed it was three clowns. And everyone had stories...
So, I attempted to rein them in. Their warm up was a freewrite, so they could write about anything they wanted. I told them to write about the clown. Only that didn't have the desired effect. They wanted to talk about it, not write about it.
We went into the reading. One student refused to read. Then the phone rang. I was to send a student to the office as she was going home. (By the end of the day, 20% of my class was gone. Presumably because their parents picked them up because the school was "unsafe".) Then another student "had to" answer her cell phone because her mother was "blowing it up".
Then the principal came on the loudspeaker. The clown was a student. He had been caught. The principal had the clown costume. And the student had been "dealt with".
But there were three clowns, they protested.
I tried to get them to read. I really did. But they weren't having it.
Okay, fine. They get to copy the section, then.
Ugh. Shortly thereafter, my throat got sore. Which is my usual first stage of a cold. And I hadn't even been yelling.
I'll be so glad when this clown hysteria dies down.