Posted by: Patti Dickinson | 01/18/2014

Three Cowlicks


posterIt was a day that wasn’t like any other.

Thursday morning.  Coffee mug, school bag, purse and keys and I’m out the door.  The goal is to get in early and have time to finish putting up a bulletin board that I’m redoing.  It’s consistent with how I like to change my surroundings.  I love to move furniture — my classroom is in its third “makeover”.  Three rows, (nope ) four rows, (makes the room too narrow width-wise), then three rows, two tables, study carrels in the front, study carrels in the back.  I do the same thing at home.  Ditto the bulletin boards.  There are three and I love to change it up.  I like cutting out the letters, choosing the colors and perusing Pinterest so that I don’t have to be clever.  I just have to use paper and scissors. Yup, I was a gifted Kindergartener.  And just in case you’re thinking I’m bragging, I got a D in high school chemistry.

I get to school.  Coffee cup goes on top of the car, so that I can get the remaining stuff that I have to schlep in the building from the backseat.  Along with my cut-out letters.  (Bright yellow, blue background is the plan)  Grab the stuff and turn around, misjudge the distance between my hand and the coffee cup and it tips over — all over my hand, all over the remote for the car lock and all down the front of my skirt.  Clearly the wheels are falling off the day kind of early.  It’s not 8:00 a.m. yet.

Undaunted, I head into school, laugh about my coffee mishap with the custodian and head downstairs to my classroom.  Finish off the bulletin board.

Great morning.  Kids on task, plenty of work to do, turning in assignments one after the other.  This group is on steroids.  Small group today.  I teach in an alternative classroom so the numbers are always changing.  Just like the phases of the moon.

Speaking of the moon…..the full moon played a big part in the rest of the day.  Fast forward to after lunch.  Chaos.  I don’t mean a little bit.  I mean pulling out a folder of office referral forms and waving that folder around like a crazy woman.  No verbal threats, mind you.  They know what’s in that folder when it comes out of the closet and I start fanning the air with it.  Waving it fast enough to create a wind chill.

How I got through the afternoon is a blur.  I guess I got through it one minute at a time. The only thing that was going to make this any better was a box of Oreos.  Double Stuffs.  About an hour before school let out, one of the funnier kids in the room came up to me and said, “Umm, Mrs. Dickinson?  Uh, do you know that you kind of have three cowlicks in your hair?”  Not said unkindly.  I think he was just trying to tell me so I could do something about it.  Do something to my hair? Those cowlicks are the result of me combing my bangs off my forehead seven hundred and two times this afternoon.  Besides, by this time, I’d lost an earring, my shirt was untucked, and I looked like I had been in a blender.  And he’s worrying about three cowlicks??????

It was a day like that.  They happen every so often.  But there really isn’t a day that goes by that just stinks from start to finish.  Today?  At the very end of the day a young lady that spent ten days in my room who is back in her regular classes came down to say hi.  At least that’s what she told me.  Until I saw her eyes tear up and she told me that someone had made fun of her hair, which she just decided to stripe with green, pink, yellow, blue and purple.  She trusted me with her sadness.

That’s why I do this job.

The wheels are back on the day.  But the cowlicks?  Still there.  A badge of stick-to-it-iveness.

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