Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Really Think You Should Just Not Speak at All

I am all about following the rules. Yep, I'm lame like that. I just sort of enjoy the universe being in order. There are two little stories I would like to share today, both dealing with authority figures and stupid people who like to argue with them because they believe that social rules do not apply to them.

1. For this substitute job I had to go to an unpaid orientation meeting. I sat next to a mouth-breather with bad breath. He felt like he should talk to me a lot, which I did not appreciate. (Already terrible, right?) Most of the meeting was about medical stuff (which heightened my germaphobia and made me not love the girl sitting on the other side who kept coughing on me).

And here's where I get truly annoyed... An RN (that, of course meaning registered nurse, aka someone who has worked really hard to get where they are and knows what they are talking about) came in to do the first aid training. More than once she explained something and this crazy lady would start arguing with her. And then... other dumb people start trying to back her up. They felt like they should press such brilliant points as "There is a difference between The Flu and Influenza," "Swine flu will kill us all," and "If I see an inhaler I'm supposed to take it away, right? (even though you said not to) Because I don't think kids should have 'drugs' at school and I want to use the little power I have to full effect." This poor nurse was so patient and nice; it was all I could do not to just scream "Look, she's a nurse; you are hoping to be a substitute teacher (not even a real one like me, suckas) and therefore are obviously not experts in any medical field. SHUT UP!"

2. This one actually happened first, and I think is worse because it's church-related. Not that I promote blind obedience, but there are certain points that you just do not need to push, especially when it comes to, oh, say the apostles!

I teach a Sunday school class, and because of that I was invited to this really fantastic teaching seminar in my stake (larger regional Church division). This wonderful (and very nice) man who works in the Church's department of curriculum came to speak to us. He works very closely with members of the Quorum of the Twelve.

It was really helpful and enjoyable meeting, except for the part when not one, but two men decided that they didn't agree with the methods this brother was teaching. And, they felt like they should voice that opinion in the middle of this meeting. The way they stated their disagreements was fairly confrontational. I was shocked. Really? You're going to argue with someone who is getting this information directly from an apostle? Because that seems really dumb. Plus, did you really need to make it a scene and ruin this nice meeting?

I was not at all sure what to expect to happen next. I am happy to report that the presenter, although he was a pretty mild-tempered and patient guy, was having none of that. He (very nicely, but very bluntly) made it clear that these weren't just "tips" that you could debate about, these were items of instruction from men we sustain as apostles of the Lord. You listen to them. I wanted to high-five him.

And synthesizing the two into one- Sometimes you simply have to admit that you are not the expert in the room, and that is okay. We all take turns being in charge. When we talk health, it's the nurse (or Susie, who is my infallible source); if it's Church stuff we defer to sustained leaders; if it's about teaching or Victorian novels I get to be in charge unless someone smarter and more experienced than me is in the room. That's just how it needs to be for life to go on peacefully and without me wanting to throw things at people.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Something Nice

Today I substituted a 6th grade class. I was only there for half the day, and I really didn't do much because some teachers are nice and leave you with easy things like movies and art projects. Also, as has been the case for some time now, I was not particularly nice or fun or patient or funny. In fact, I was sort of happy to release some negative energy by using my death glare on some boys who were particularly annoying during the movie.

But, do you know what happened? At the end of the day, this little girl comes up to me, wraps her arms around me and says, "You did a good job today." And then runs off. And, you know what? I really needed that.

I wish that on tough days everyone had someone to give them a hug and tell them that they're doing okay.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Few Recent Conversations

I went to a wedding reception and had this conversation with a friend's mother.
Friend's Mother: Aubrey! You just got married, right? Congratulations!
Me: Oh, no. I'm not married.
Friend's Mother: You just got engaged then?
Me: No.
Friend's Mother: Oh... pause... So, what have you been doing then?
Me: Um... I just graduated from college.

I felt like I really let her down. It turns out she had confused me with one of my close friends.

Relatedly, I've been substitute teaching, and at the school where I went today this happened:
Girl 1: So, are you married?
Me: Nope.
Girl 2: Duh, she's not married, she's only like 17.
Me: (probably a little defensively) I'm not 17.
Girl 1: Oh, well, are you getting married? Because I could totally see you getting married.
Me: Um... not right now.

Well... at least I'm "the cutest substitute teacher [they]'ve ever had" with "nice hair" and the air of someone who is about to get married. I guess that should be encouraging.

People seem to be truly distressed about me being single. I'm possibly going to start wearing my great-grandmother's wedding ring that I inherited and make up a fake husband.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Somebody Already Broke My Heart, But Thanks Anyway

I have an astonishingly good memory for dates, and today is a sort of significant day. Don't worry, I'm not going to dwell on any broken-heartedness because that part is long over- I just really liked that line. I want to tell a story that resulted from a break-up that occurred a year ago today; it's a good embarrassing story (I like that kind). It was the kind of break-up that you knew was coming, was really the best thing, that you were about to do yourself, and that only sucked in principal and not so much in practice.

So... I had decided to break-up with this particular guy, and then undecided, and then decided to base my decision off of one last date. The date was... okay. So the totally-average-and-unremarkable-style date makes me decide to not decide just yet, but to let things keep going. BUT, on the way back to his apartment I realize that I should have just done it and beat him to the punch when he says something like, "There's something I've been meaning to talk to you about..." Which can't be going anywhere good.

And thus, we broke up. I was pretty proud of myself, I must admit, because prior to this I had had this very real conviction that I would die if someone broke up with me, and I could never break-up with someone else. False; I can totally take it. I said only one sort of unpleasant thing, and it was just true. And, my head didn't explode during the long string of clichés that he fell back on (althought that was a close call. There is nothing I hate more than stupid cliché statements). I didn't even come close to crying in front of him.

But... sometimes I get these very Romantic notions (Romantic as in the 19th century literature movement, like Wordsworth and co.), and so as I pulled out of his apartment complex, I decided that it would be most appropriate to cry at this point. Plus, being broken up with just isn't very good for your self-esteem. I had to work at the library that night, so I cried all the way there, and then sat in the parking lot and cried for another fifteen minutes. I stop, re-gather my dignity, wash my face in the HFAC, and head to work (Amy N., I bet you remember this night- I loved you extra for being so nice to me that night, just so you know).

Now, the library on a Friday night early in spring term when the weather is lovely = EMPTY. At this time, I was also taking an adolescent literature course, so I had a ton of reading to do. Amy started BP in the back, and I sat down to watch the front desk and finish Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr. It's a wonderful book, but it is so, so sad and emotionally provocative. And, the library was so ridiculously empty, and that Romantic sensibility came over me, and I let myself cry my way through the falling action of the novel.

And, this is a little weird, but not really, because there isn't a soul around but me. Until, out of nowhere, some guy comes up to the desk. And I am bawling, and cannot stop. And he is staring at me. I grabbed a tissue, and mumbled something about how I was reading such a sad book as I walk over to check out his books. And... he continues to stare at me, and it's all I can do not to yell at him to "Give me your freakin' book so this awkward moment can end!!" Instead I say, "I'm fine really; I'm sorry, it's just such a sad book." And... he is still just staring with this concerned look. Now, more people are coming over. I finally just reach over and take the book. Check him out, check the other people out in an atmosphere of pure awkwardness. And then solidly rebuke myself for being so silly.

Then I went to an awesome party and stayed out til three in the morning. Which was a far better way to deal with things than uncontrollable crying in public.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Long Time Coming

Happy Mother's day! It's been a pretty fantastic day today, and I thought I would add to fantastic-ness by finally sharing some treasures from student teaching... the highlights from the vocabulary unit! Honestly, I thought a lot about the 7th graders today during this very wonderful talk that was given in the singles' ward by the wife of one of the bishopric members. They haven't had children, but she is a perfect example of someone who has "a mother heart." She talked about how all women are mothers through our acts of love and nurturing. And, that made me think of my children. The 90 of them : ) And so, I present, Sentences From Vocabulary Assignments That Made Me Laugh My Face Off.... (my remarks and clever comments will be in parenthesis)

biped- something having two feet
* The chicken had biped. (that sounds like a horrible disease, doesn't it?)
* The other day I was bipeding down the street.

unfeeling- devoid of feeling, unsymphathetic
* I have this unfeeling in my foot, is that good? (ha! I love this sentence the most)
* Bob's unfeeling wife laughed at his funeral. (Ouch! She is unfeeling!)

unfortunate- not fortunate, having bad luck
* This unfortunate kid was never fortunate. (ah, I see...)

repeat- to say something again
* "Cow." Can you repeat the word? "Cow." (why cow?)

postpone- to put something off until later
* Mr. Michelangelo always used to postpone making statues. (Mr. Michelangelo?)

segregate- to seperate or set apart from others
* They segregated the two boys after they wouldn't be quiet.

* I segregated my mom and the phone for a whole week. (I love what this says about his mom)

beautiful- full of beauty
* She is beautiful she is, Ashley Tisdale. (To a 7th grade boy she must be like Aphrodite)

I love them!