There are moments where I feel like the universe hears me complaining that nothing exciting has happened for a while. The universe then rolls up its sleeves, puffs out its chest, and says, “Well, here you go!”
Most of our Thursdays start with a staff meeting. Usually, they are intensely boring. Today’s started out as per usual. There was the typical, “I just want to thank Janet for bringing in those scrumptious mini-muffins!” followed by weak applause as we sleepily sip our coffee. There was an announcement made that some author is going to come visit us and talk to us about their book that we all hate.
And then the principal stood up and said that he was resigning at the end of the year.
I swear I saw a shock wave of surprise ripple through everyone. I could almost imagine the universe nodding smugly and saying, “How’s that for exciting?”
While others started to tear up and sniffle, my eyes went uncertainly to my Uber Vanilla VP, who sat looking like some sort of Disney villain. Poor unfortunate souls, indeed.
“Can you believe this?” a colleague said, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue.
“You better believe I want to be on the interview panel for whoever comes next,” I replied.
“Do you think that Uber Vanilla will apply?” the colleague said.
“I hope not, but I want to make sure she doesn’t get it,” I said, probably sounding more resolute than I felt.
I walked to my classroom, trying to wrap my head around this. As I passed small clusters of people in the hall, I heard some people trying like hell to find a silver lining, and others expressing frustration. Why did we just learn about this? We have 13 days left of school, and then what would we come back to in August?
I’m not sure what this means for me, and my position. My current principal, who we will call Adam the Abandoner, had promised me that if I were to stay, I would be able to loop up with my current amazing students. Also, he had mentioned that there would be more leadership opportunities that he could help me with.
Now, all of that could vanish. I don’t even know what my options would be at that point. I’d just started feeling okay with the idea of staying, because I could work with Adam the Abandoner. I can’t work with Uber Vanilla. At least not until she comes down to Pretty Vanilla-ish at some point over the summer.
Add to that an angry Mama Bear parent who cannot understand why it upsets me that their child wrote an incredibly offensive poem. “But it’s Creative Writing,” she wrote in her email, “Aren’t they allowed to write WHATEVER they WANT?????” Ugh. As if the extra question marks makes it less of a ridiculous statement.
Add in the fact that I’ve been waking up at 4:30 a.m. every morning for the last week because I have nightmares about being asked to teach 3rd grade, or to teach 7th grade algebra, or worse, that I’m fired and can’t teach at all.
Add in learning today that my go-to person, my Christina/Meredith counterpart at school is heading to the high school next year. I am happy for her, but I was hoping we’d be able to weather the Abandoner’s leaving together.
Add to that the fact that my hair will NOT cooperate this week and I either look like a Latina Shirley Temple, or an extra in a John Hughes movie. Not the cute extra. The one with the biggest hair and bloat from stress-eating too much.
Well played, universe. Well played.
I could really use some good news.
Universe, cosmos, God, Batman, whoever, I’m not even asking for that much. I don’t even want “you won a million dollars,” type news. “I got a five dollar off thirty dollar purchase at Target,” type of announcement would suffice.
Or actually, if you could just hit “pause,” on the bad news just long enough for me to catch my breath, that’d be enough, too.