Not to Exclude People, But Let’s Just Exclude People

I love my job. And when I say “my job,” I don’t just mean teaching fourth graders, although I love that too. I mean I love the school and the people I work with. I can think of only one person who I don’t have much respect for, but it’s not like I actively dislike her. Everyone else is friendly, open, talented at what they do, and have always made me feel valued. This attitude even extends to our staff parties. The retirees and those who have moved on have always been invited back to the staff Christmas party every year. I got to know people who taught before I was working there, and I’ve made enough of a connection with them that I look forward to seeing them and find out how they’ve been, and what fun things they’ve been doing now that they’re leading a life of leisure.

Until this year.

One of the teachers, let’s call her Nellie, has volunteered to host the holiday party this year at her home. So she announced today, “We need to make a decision. Last year we talked about the fact that we don’t get to have a staff party, and there’s so many people that it’s less intimate. When does our staff get to be just our staff? So we were thinking we would LIMIT the party to being CURRENT STAFF ONLY.”

*Frown*

So then she goes on to say that she doesn’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but she feels like having 75 (gross exaggeration, btw) people in her home is too much. And she says, “Not that I as a host should get to decide this. Although, since I’m the host, maybe I SHOULD get to decide it. I don’t know these people.”

She DOES know these people!

“So I just want some support here.”

So some people give her that support. “Of course if you can’t accommodate that many people, you should be able to set a limit…”

“Oh I have the room.” She says.

So basically, she’s bullying everyone into saying that it’s okay to leave out all these people who don’t get to see us on a daily basis anymore, who used to spend most of their waking hours each week with us.

Someone spoke up and mentioned that we can still invite them to retirement parties.

So I spoke up. I said I LIKE the idea of including them at retirement parties, (I’m learning to say something positive before I say what I’m really thinking) but that if we’re going to just suddenly not invite people like that, we should reach out in some other way during the holiday season. We should send them cards or SOMETHING.

A few heads nodded.

Nellie made a sour puss.

Where is this stemming from??? “Why are we excluding people?” A teacher next to me muttered, under her breath, clearly talking to herself. “What?” I asked, hoping she’d say it louder, but she didn’t.

I think I figured it out. She (and a few others) STRONGLY dislike the former principal, who showed up at the party last year. Someone invited her, but not everyone was happy about that, and some people said they felt uncomfortable that she was there.

Grow. The Hell. Up.

Here we are, as educators, teaching the children not to exclude others, and they can’t even be in the same room as their former boss? I am one of the few people that really LIKE this woman, so maybe I’m biased, but they’re going to let her very presence “ruin their night?” She doesn’t breathe fire, she’s just got a slight case of foot-in-mouthitis. I can relate to that. And here’s a thought; if you don’t like her, go mingle with someone else!

So Nellie continued: “It didn’t seem fair because some people would be invited while others weren’t. So there has always been the risk of hurt feelings. And we could put a guideline, like, if they retired, verses left to do other things, or if they left a year ago verses longer than that, but we’d be here all day discussing where to draw the line. And I know it’s hard because we’re close to [person who retired last year] and [person who left for personal reasons that touched us all] and [person who left last year to start a family]. But you know, if this one or that one HAPPENED TO BE DRIVING BY, I would expect that we would allow them to come in.”

So basically, as the host, she’s going to tip off the 3 people she wants to attend, and everyone else gets coal in their stocking. Happy Holidays.

Not happy. Should she be forced to have people in her home who she doesn’t like? No. Should she volunteer to host if she doesn’t want to open her home to all of us? NO.

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Seven Kids, a PT Buddy, and Lights Out

I just had the craziest day. I had to record it for posterity!

I knew I was going to have physical therapy and a bridal show after work, so I thought I’d be tired. But I would have never guessed the most memorable parts of my day.

The children had 2 days off this week. Tuesday was election day so we had a training scheduled. And we all have Friday off for Veteran’s Day. So today I had 3 kids out, and 2 more leave early. Then another teacher in the building wanted to see a bunch of my girls for an hour, the special ed. teacher pulled out her students for 45 minutes in the morning and then again in the afternoon. So for nearly an hour in the morning my aide and I had 7 kids, and in the afternoon we ha 9 kids for an hour. Talk about a quiet day! Add to that the fact that 3 of the teachers in the building were at a training, the principal kicked off for an nice 4 day weekend. It was like a ghost town at the school. But it was FUN. The kids could focus better because they were spread out, and got more individual attention. I couldn’t really teach anything new with half my class gone, so we just caught up on some old projects, and practiced some skills with activities they’ve done before and enjoyed. Really relaxing.

Next was physical therapy. I arrived, was walking down the hall…and there was my coworker coming in the opposite direction! I knew we both went to the same place (and of course, work the same hours, hah) but we’d never gone at the same time. That was also fun! Warming up on adjacent machines, chatting about my wedding planning. And she revealed that she’s pregnant! I had guessed before because we were out one evening and she didn’t drink (she actually copped to that in our chat). So that was amazing to hear (she hasn’t even told her family yet)!

It was also cool…not that it’s a competition; I have the unfair advantage of having been going to PT for longer than her; but I was better at the exercises than her, hahaha. It’s REALLY unfair for me to say, because not only have I had more practice, but my knee problem isn’t painful but hers is. The only reason I mention it is because she’s taller, thinner, and more athletic than I am. She choreographs the dances for our teacher act at the talent show and I’m hopelessly uncoordinated. So as much as I like her, it was great to hear our PT say that I should be going on the wall of fame for amount of time balanced while with her they said, “Don’t feel bad; it’s set up to make you fail” while she was all, “Why is this so hard?!” Plus she told me that she was impressed with my skills on the BoSu ball. Good feeling!

Next it was time to get to the bridal show. Despite it being pitch dark at 4:00 and raining, I made really good time. I had almost an hour and a half to kill, so I did the same thing as last year; I pulled into the nearby parking lot at Panera for a light dinner. I couldn’t help thinking how unsafe the parking lot was. It wasn’t even lit up. Then I looked over at the nearby hardware store and saw that they were dark too. Seemed a little early for them to close. Oh…the Bank of America ATM is not even lit…ohhhhhhh. I’d heard on the news how everyone’s mad at National Grid because they were so neglectful during the recent storm. And I’d even heard that some town lost power again the other day for no apparent reason and N.G. came up with some lame excuse like they were “weakened” from the storm. (What?) So to find that a little bit of rain had actually hit close enough to home to stop me from getting dinner felt really strange.

But it was about to get stranger.

Instead of getting in my car and 1. seeking out a different spot to eat or 2. calling mom to cancel and just heading home, I kept walking along the plaza. I saw a hair salon still open. Really? Gonna cut hair in the dark? Pretty. Then I saw that there were people in Panera, sitting and eating at the tables. I stood and gaped, and a few of the employees came to the door for whatever reason, so I said in my least “Hi-I’m-stating-the-obvious-tone-of-voice, “So, you guys lost power, huh?”

“Yeah, but we’re still serving food.”

What?!

Then again, they DO have just muffins and stuff. So okay, I went in thinking I’d just get a piece of cake or something. Not ideal, but I needed to eat. Well, they actually had stuff for cold sandwiches, so I was all set! I paid in cash and sat down near the window under the emergency lights.

But then I felt a little guilty. Maybe I should see if the bridal show was still on; otherwise mom would drive all this way for nothing. So instead of unwrapping my sandwich, I head out and cut across the lawn to Ethan Allen. I asked the folks there if they had cancelled the show, and they said they were sorry but they didn’t know yet. I said that’s okay, I’d just hang out for a bit next door. I turned around, wondering if I should call mom, and there she was, asking, “Where ARE we going to hang out, then?”

For those of you keeping count, this was surreal moment number 3. Number 4 was sitting in the dark in Panera eating soup and sandwiches with my mom, and Number 5 was when the lights came on 10 minutes before the show was scheduled to start. So we head over, and though they needed an extra few minutes to finish setting up, the show went on without a problem, yay!

The bridal show at Ethan Allen in North Andover had its ups and downs. Maybe the vendors were a little frazzled due to the freak power outage. But despite our knee problems and the stairs, mom and I had a nice time as usual. Not only was the store beautiful, but I got a free makeover! Seeing it on helped me clarify what I do and don’t want. So it was very helpful. And there was cake. So it was definitely work the trip.

All in all, a fun, weird day.

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I Feel Like I Only Blog Here When I’m Mad.

I knew mixing business and family would end up burning me at some point. But back when my mom was out of work and a colleague (let’s call her Maria) I was just venting to said, “Hey, your mom’s a caregiver? Actually, I’ve been looking into hiring a caregiver for my mom” I couldn’t exactly say, “Nah.”

So I call my mom for support because I’m going through some stressful things, and I wanted to update her that things are just starting to look up, and she’s all quiet. I finally ask what’s up and she gets really nasty with me. Why? Because I gave her boss her phone number.

Maria’s phone died, so she set a student into my room with a note saying “Can I have your mom’s cell number,” and I gave it to her, and she left my mom a message not to come in this week.

My mom was angry with me because:
1. She doesn’t know how to retrieve her voice mail messages.
2. I should know that she doesn’t give out her cell phone number (funny; I have it).
3. I should know that she doesn’t turn on her cell phone.
4. I should have followed up with Maria. I’m not sure what that means. “Hey, so, how about that cell phone number request. Yeah!”
5. I should have notified her that I gave out her phone number to someone (not a stranger. Her boss. Who she’s been working for for a year).

Never mind that I told her Sunday that Maria’s mom wasn’t doing well. Never mind that I DID number 5 above. I DID tell my mom yesterday that she should call Mariabecause I gave her the cell phone number and that her mother was in the hospital again. So she DID call and find out in time that she didn’t have to go in today. So really there were only 2 days between when Maria asked for the number and me telling mom about it. I don’t get to MY OWN phone messages that fast and she wants ME to be the go-between?

And when I talked to Maria it’s not like she was upset or anything. She had left a message saying not to go in and that her mom was in the hospital again. Maria told me today, “Thank goodness you called your mom; I would have felt bad if she came today and no one was home.” And I told her I didn’t realize that my mom didn’t originally give her her cell phone number, because that was what she had asked me for in her note. Maria told me, “I feel bad cancelling last minute,” and I said, “Don’t feel bad. She was actually stressed about leaving in time to bring my brother to the airport!” She said, “Oh that would have been no problem ANYWAY,” and I joked, “That’s what I told her; it’s not like you would have told her sorry, your son is going to have to miss his flight.” She laughed, it was not a big deal.

So then mom starts guilting me with “my back hurts” and “I’m stressed today about bringing him to the airport.” I asked why and she said she hates driving in Boston, plus flying is unsafe. Great. So now I know she has a problem driving me to and from the airport; she only has to do it EVERY YEAR FROM NOW ON.

I’m under enough pressure right now. I’m supposed to be the calm, strong one now. And now out of the blue I get my mom attacking me right when I needed someone to be supportive : (

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Easter Trip 2011

Adam’s visit to America this year had its ups and downs.  And when you only get to be with the one you love for a couple weeks every 3 months, the downs feel extra unfair, IMO.  So instead of a post by post account of the past two weeks, I decided to do a quick and dirty report of what happened.  That way we can put the bad stuff behind us, and maybe come to better appreciate the good stuff.  And maybe after a couple weeks I’ll do a scrapbook to remember the good stuff and maybe I won’t.  After all, we have things in the future to look forward to.  Maybe it would be better to focus on them.  But for now, here is my account of the “Easter Trip 2011.”

Saturday:  Arrival, surprised Adam with gourmet cupcakes and Lindt chocolate bunnies for Easter, made lasagna for dinner.  Watched Adam, a movie about a 29 year old man with dark hair, blue eyes and Asperger’s Syndrome who dates a brunette teacher.

Sunday:  Surprised Adam with a jigsaw puzzle which we didn’t end up having time to do this trip.  Visited sister and new puppy Luna; Adam tried and loved Mexican food at Margaritas.  Adam’s wedding ring didn’t fit so it’ll go back tomorrow.

Monday:  Spontaneous ice cream at Treadwells on the way to the beach for a long walk after work, Mandee’s Pizza at home.

Tuesday: Surprised Adam with a gourmet brownie delivery.  Took advantage of Restaurant Week and visited the posh Lyceum after work.

Wednesday:  Called in sick for work but called off Boston Faneuil Hall trip due to rain.  Planned to do it Friday but didn’t.  Planned to do it after New York but didn’t.  Lost out on $40 I spent on the Boston Groupon to fancy French restaurant.  Went to Rockingham Mall in New Hampshire, got a new phone, then visited a bridal show at the Andover Country Club.  Won a $175 necklace and $500 bell.  Not a typo.

Thursday:  Picked up Adam’s wedding ring after work and it still didn’t fit.  Went to Su Changs for Chinese then got him and the ring sized.  Turns out they sent the wrong size so to my surprise he started concidering one in the shop that is 2 tone gold (like mine) and traditional (like mine) instead of the modern looking titanium he initially wanted.

Friday:  Back to the mall after work so Adam could order that wedding band and I admitted I like it SO much better than the other, then Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Saturday:  Dropped off cats at mom’s and went to Longhorn Steakhouse.  Other than missing the salted margarita rims it was as good as we remembered it.  Packed, tried to arrange a cab for tomorrow’s rainy journey to the train station and failed.  Fitful night of not much sleep.

Sunday:  Early morning, DID get a cab, but didn’t actually rain.  Made connections in Boston subway, Cambridge bus, 5 hour ride, worn out and grouchy.  Tried using GPS to find the hotel but wandered for ages when we later learned it was pretty much straight down the street.  Dinner at The Place was very nice.  Empire State Building line was SO long, and I feared Adam wouldn’t put up with it.  So when a guy came up to us to pull us out of line for more money, even though I feared a scam I did it.  We paid cash instead of swiping a credit card on his hand held machine, and thankfully it WAS legit.  There was still a longer line that Adam would have liked, but the movie “ride” was better than he expected.  The top views were way cool, but it was too windy to stay and enjoy for too too long.  Adam bought his mom tacky souvenirs as per her request and an I <3 NY pin for himself.

Monday:  Paid $40 for breakfast at the hotel.  Paid $20 for a taxi to the wrong pier.  At least once we got to the correct pier our line wasn’t so long that the cruise was cancelled.  It was rainy and a little raw, but still fun.  Had an AWFUL time trying to get a cab to Chinatown for lunch (which was good, too much food, and cheap) and another AWFUL time trying to get a cab back.  Gave us a sour taste in our mouths for trying to find the pizza place with my Groupon: another $20 wasted.  Went to Cinema Brasserie which I’m certain was a LOT nicer than any pizza would have been.  I was just sad I was too stuffed for dessert.  Went to bed SO anxious for Phantom of the Opera tomorrow.

Tuesday:  Checked Email for info on Phantom only to find that our tickets were for yesterday.  Completely devastated.  Tried finding a nice café for breakfast but they were all crowded dirty delis.  Tried shopping to put it behind us but it was too drizzly to enjoy.  Decided to skip Times Square, skip FAO Schwarz, skip Central Park, we were just too tired of all the cab rides and too dejected.  He was sad he couldn’t get a caricature, so I gave it my best shot.  Went to La Cava for dinner and drinks and got shitfaced.  Adam was fine but I spent the night getting sick.

Wednesday:  Early morning, checked out, walked to Penn Station.  Had a classic New York bagel which was delicious, but maybe because I was starved by noon, or maybe because I was so happy to be leaving this damned city.  Mucked around until 2 and got NY pizza as a snack, which was fine, but not a huge deal.  The bus drove by Times Square and Adam regretted turning down my pleas yesterday to go, not realizing what it really was.  Got to Cambridge about a half hour after Newton, which meant a later train, which meant mom couldn’t pick us up at the station near her house, which meant a half hour walk home at night with Adam lugging the heavy luggage.  The place was a mess, as we’d left it, so I cleaned while Adam chilled out a while.

Thursday:  Just so happy to be back.  Went shopping around Methuen, picked up Cadbury Crème Eggs for Easter and Adam discovered the joys of marshmallow Peeps.  Had dinner at Bugaboo which was just as good as we remembered it.  Went to mom’s to pick up my cats and cringed as she inevitably asked how New York was.

Friday:  Relaxed at home, still happy to be here.  In denial that Adam’s leaving tomorrow because we just haven’t had enough time here together.  Can’t waste the day moping because we did that the day we realized I messed up seeing Phantom.  We went to see about Adam’s wedding ring, prepared for the news that it wasn’t ready since we’d gotten no call, but it WAS and it ALMOST fits.  American Joes for a burger just like the first year.  Somewhere familiar that we KNEW we’d enjoy.  And to keep the ring safe, Adam wore it, which would have made me happy and excited if it wasn’t uncomfortably tight on him.  More shopping, ran into one of my students (who I like).  Came home to find a letter with the word “visa” on it.  A few days prior to Adam’s visit, we’d been told that they were 3 months behind in processing the application so there would definitely be no summer wedding this year like I wished.  “It’s probably just junk mail for a Visa card,” I sighed.  But it wasn’t.  Adam should be getting paperwork from the embassy in London in a few weeks. 

That night we played Dominoes and eat more ice cream from Treadwell’s before Adam had to pack and I distracted myself with Angry Birds so that it still didn’t feel like he was really leaving.  Bed at 11:00 and talking about regrets.  One bad trip won’t break us.  But I don’t think he’ll wear his pin.

Saturday:  Up at 3am, parted at 6:27am.

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Told you so.

Let me start off by saying that I DO like my new principal. He’s very personable, seems to really care about the children, and I think his heart is usually in the right place. And I get the sense that he does have my back when it comes to dealing with problem parents, which is critical for me in a boss.

Having said that, this is a rant post.

Background: I have a very troubled girl in my class this year. Due to her traumatic past, she acts pretty cuckoo and has no idea how to make or keep friends. Luckily for her most of my class is very laid back and supportive. So they try to accept her into their games when she approaches them, even though she really does “ruin” them by being a bad sport, not sharing, or waiting her turn, or pitching a fit when she loses.

Except for ONE girl. This one girl is used to being the low man on the totem pole because she’s quiet and struggles to keep up academically and has some mild health problems that cause her to miss some school. So she’s been picking on this very troubled girl on the bus, off and on, pretty much all year.

My principal’s solution? Move the girl who’s picking on the troubled girl, to a different classroom.

And while sure, it would be easier on ME to have one less kid in my class, not to mention the kid who struggles and needs my help the most, here are my problems with that:

1. This bullying happens on the BUS. Moving her to another class is not going to stop the problem on the BUS. The two girls are still going to ride the same BUS.

2. This is going to be social-assassination for the girl who gets moved. These kids are 9 through 11 years old. EVERY kid is going to be asking, “Why isn’t she in our class anymore/why is she in our class now?” And even if our principal comes up with a response to that question, the other, troubled girl will certainly spread it around that it’s because of her. She’ll LOVE the attention, even though it’s negative. And even if I thought this girl could keep quiet about it for 24 hours, and even if there weren’t plenty of kids who know about what’s been going on on the bus, the kids will be looking at this girl who got moved like she’s a freak. WHATEVER the reason, they’ll think, “She couldn’t even handle 3 more months in that room? Why, what’s wrong with her?”

3. This girl struggles SO much academically. We were THIS close to having her evaluated for learning disabilities, then at the last minute her mother rescinded her permission to let us do so. So now she’ll have to learn all new routines, adapt to a new teaching style, and no longer have peer support like I have set up in here (because again, they’re going to be weirded out).

So when I told my principal that I didn’t like the idea because of the above, he told me today, “She just doesn’t seem to be getting the message.”

That tells me that he’s doing this not to protect the girl who is being bullied. He’s doing this to punish the kid who is doing the bullying. And while I believe that yes, she SHOULD be punished, I think causing HER to be ostracized and be completely lost academically is just as bad as letting a kid be bullied.

When I told the other fourth grade teacher (she didn’t even hear that she might be getting this student soon) she told me that she’s heard talk in the teacher’s room. That as much as people didn’t like the forceful nature of our last principal, at least she got things done. Here’s another example: there’s a severely disturbed (and violent) 5 year old who needed to be restrained 4 times this week. Just so happens that 2 weeks ago he had decided to move her to a different classroom too. Doing so didn’t improve her behavior. It made it WORSE. Our district has a separate program in another building for children with her profile. Why is she not there yet? Teachers are talking: our principal last year would have made this move happen already.

At the beginning of the year I felt like the only teacher who sorely missed our former principal. I felt like the only one who respected her for being clear cut and direct. Suddenly teachers are realizing that having a boss who is laid back does NOT always make things easier. And that having someone who is experienced and well known among her peers, the superintendent and the parents means a stronger voice for the needs of our school. He’s a nice guy, but the way he’s trying to handle the big problems “in house” is just not working in these 2 cases.

Hate to say: I told you so.

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And yet her daughter is perfectly lovely, somehow.

One of the moms spent a few minutes asking me about math and whatever, then said a couple minutes in to our conference, “I just have to talk to you about something, and this isn’t a criticism…”

(Which of course always means “This is totally a criticism”)

“The whole class lost recess today because of a few kids.  Do you really believe it’s fair that the whole class is punished because of a handful of kids?”

Well, first of all, I was at lunch when this happened today.  A different teacher has lunch duty 4 out of 5 days.

However, I heard part of what was going on because I was eating in my classroom and they were right out in the hall, since it was a half day and they were going home in a few minutes.

So I let her know that this teacher works with a visually impaired student, and I heard she stopped them to speak to them because they were being rowdy and she was concerned for this girl’s safety as they were coming up the stairs.

Well, she persisted, and I explained that I absolutely believe that we have a responsibility to keep the kids safe.  The reason the kids had no recess was not to punish them.  The teacher told them they were being too loud and out of control, and waited a minute until they were calm before continuing.  This teacher even specifically said, “I apologize to those few kids who are doing what they are supposed to be doing.”  And since it was a half day today, once they got in the classroom they didn’t have recess more than 2 minutes of indoor recess because they had to pack up and go home!

So then.

She counters:

“All I’m saying is, it’s like these kids who come in and don’t speak English.  It brings the whole class down, where everyone is waiting for them to catch up and get it.”

Me:  *Cold hard stare*

“You know what I’m saying?”

“No, I don’t think I do.”

“I mean, not that that’s happening here, but they should have separate classes…”

Well, I’m not usually assertive but I interrupted and I told her that kids who need help get the help that they need and I don’t think anyone is being slowed down.  And then I told her that since I was not the teacher on duty, I felt that this was beyond my control.  And she should absolutely talk to principal.  Because he can address this with the teacher it involves if he feels it’s necessary.

And I told her that I value her concerns that her daughter was unfairly punished and I’m not dismissing her (I was totally dismissing her) but I feel like it’s out of my control and he would be the best person to step in.

And then I stood up and told her I thought I heard my next appointment at the door.

Gross.  Woman.

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It’s the Principle.

Every year I participate in our school’s “talent show.”

This year we have a new principal and everyone loves him.  I agree, he is a great guy.  And he’s got some experience with performing on stage (community theater) so he was totally up for joining in on our act.  In fact, MOST of the staff was willing to join this year, as opposed to years past.  Last year we had only 5 participants.  So what changed?

The principal.  Many staff members didn’t like our old principal.  It started when she was hired 6 years ago (a year before me) but I thought as time went on they adjusted to her style, and she adjusted to the community and mellowed out.  I thought that there were only 4 people who really had a grudge against her, and they mostly kept that to themselves.  But once she left, they rejoiced.  At least once per week I hear them making fun of her in the lunchroom and saying how wonderful our new guy is compared to her.

While I do like the new guy, and I can see that he’s easy going and cares very much about the children and having a happy learning environment, I liked our former principal too.  Some people thought she micromanaged us.  I liked knowing exactly what was expected of me.  Some people thought she was really brash.  I’d witnessed her temper get the best of her, but she always apologized after.  And she always had my back if I went to her with a problem so I knew her bark was worse than her bite.   So it bothers me very much when my coworkers start bashing her now that she’s not even there to defend her reputation.

So we had our first rehearsal on Friday and there was a lot of buzz about the sheer numbers of people participating.  The choreographer who teaches down the hall from me, and had never forgiven our former principal for being snippy with her one day, kept going on about how all these people who didn’t want to be in the show with the former principal now felt comfortable enough to join, and it’s great.  She said that our former principal “took over” the rehearsals, because she always wanted to do a split at one point and suggested dancing on tables.  Though we never actually danced on tables because this teacher handles all the choreography.  Rightly so, because she’s fantastic at it and the rest of us don’t have dance experience, but I fail to see how the principal “took over.”

With our new principal there, our choreographer showed us the steps.  We got in a line, and he suggested we stagger it to have more room.  She would show us a part, and after we tried it, he would say, “Let’s start from the beginning and add it in.  Ready?” and start the music.  We did the whole routine in one day.  I felt frustrated because they went TOO fast for me and I wasn’t able to do the steps successfully.  With so many people there, I wasn’t able to get my questions answered.  It was intimidating to ask the choreographer to slow down.

He left 5 minutes early, and everyone raved about how much we got done with him there and how great it was “to have a man here to keep us on track.”

If it had been Principal May doing the same thing, I am 100% certain they would have said, “I can’t believe the bitch took over our rehearsal.”

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