Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oliver Wendell Bones & Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson

 The next week colored papers started appearing on everyone’s desks about new Teacher Coordinator position.  Documents outlined the importance of an “overseer.”  Somebody with “wisdom” and “experience” who could “mentor” inexperienced educators… a real “master teacher.”
Nobody bought it.
 Mad Irish Dave took exception, “These flyers are shining examples of excrement!  What’s a …MAAAA-ster TEEE-cher?”  He held the paper up to the light.  “Looks expensive… all these fancy quotation marks followed by pretty quotes from dead wankers with multiple names like Oliver Wendell Bones and Ralph ‘Where’s Waldo’ Emerson.”  He folded the paper sideways into an airplane.  “Worth nothing but two kicks to me head,” and he flew the paper plane across the room, crashing into the wall and dropping on the floor.
 Personally, I think Flintstone said it best… “Da Faq is dis?”
 None of them saw what was happening, the cold calculation involved.  The documents were basic education articles outlying school structure.  But one was a staff directed memo stating the need for this Coordinator to be a teacher promoted within the organization.  Believe me, nobody wanted the job.  Nobody, but Wee Scott Bob
 You should have seen him prancing his thin little legs around the office like a show pony.  Going desk to desk.  Asking if ya’d seen the memo.  What do ya think?  Cause me’d be perfect for da job.  If ya’ don't mind.  Me’d do a bang-up job.  If ya don't want it for yerself?
 Nobody wanted it.  (Then again, maybe no one could understand Wee Scott Bob)
 So when the staff meeting rolled around that week and all the usual articles of business were finished, what the Admiral called: Bovine Scatology! 
We finally got around to business ‘off the books,’ and everybody saw it coming.
“Ahem,” Bob cleared his throat and was about to stand up when I beat him to it.
“I’ve got something!” I said.
Bob glared at me but sat back down.
 I explained that lately I’d been getting these articles on my desk for lesson plan suggestions about how to be a better teacher.  Suggestions to use Youtube more often in class and how to access the grammar games site… fun projects, really… but what is the outcome of this?  Never do any of these suggestions state a specific skill you want the students to learn.  There is no… ‘End Game.’
I looked at the Admiral and he was nodding.
 “Furthermore,” I said.  “There is the suggestion that a coordinator position be created to help mentor teachers.  A leader.  Someone we could all believe in.”
The Admiral agreed.  It would be a good idea.
I could see Bob squirming .  He wanted to jump out of his seat.
“Actually,” I said.  “I’ve been thinking about it and I’d like to make a nomination.”
Bob’s eyes burst out of his head.  He was practically bouncing toward me.
“I’ve known this teacher for a while now and I think he’s an excellent person.  Completely trustworthy and thoughtful, he’s exactly the kind of person I want representing me.”
Bob sat still and crossed his arms, a complete look of satisfaction dreamily spread on his face.
“And who is it?”  The Admiral asked.
“I nominate, Scoops.”
Bob’s face dropped like a turd in the toilet.
 Bob leaped to his feet.  “Admiral, let’s talk about this a little.  As you know, I’ve been the one leaving lesson plans on the other lad’s desks.  I have the ideas.  I have the experience to lead.  It was my idea to create this Coordinator position.”
“Actually Bob,” I said.  “The Teacher Coordinator position was my idea, isn’t that right Admiral?”
“What?”  Bob glared.
The Admiral nodded.  “It’s true.  Mr. Hartenstein emailed the suggestion to me about two weeks ago.  We’ve been discussing it via email ever since.”
“Many of us our involved.”
Mad Irish Dave nodded, “Yeah, I stayed out of this fray… too much work for the likes of me.  I second Scoops.   He’ll do a bang up job.”
Bob was incredulous.  He started stammering, “But… it was my idea.”
The room filled with laughter.
“What was your idea Bob?”  The Admiral asked.  “You weren’t even cc’d on the emails.”
Bob sat down and stared at the floor as Scoops stood up.  “Thank you, everyone.  I’ll do my best.”
After the meeting, the bus ride home through the desert was the best I’d felt in Saudi.  I could have flown over the dunes.  It had been a lot of work, but so worth it.  This quickly changed when we arrived at the compound and found Martin. He had flown in special from Bahrain.  There was an emergency situation.  Mad Dog had been arrested in Riyadh.  

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