Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tick Tock

If you're a schoolteacher, this is the time of year that you have my undivided sympathy.

Not so much during the many, many vacation days, snow days, it-might-snow-later days and religious holidays that find our schools shuttered tight.  That's just jealousy on my part, although I do worry about the rumors that our schools will close for a week next year to celebrate the Druid feast days of Rhomaine, the god of lettuce, whose early work with dried seasoned bread crumbs and anchovies led Caesar to invent the salad.  That's a little beyond what's needed, to my mind.

But this last month of school is when the Miss Crumps and Mister Novaks really earn their pay, which is not high enough, I hasten to add.  In high school, you have the seniors sauntering around like Lord and Lady Fauntleroy, untouchable by discipline (the principal is tired of looking at them, to be honest) and grades (you're not about to fail a senior and then, what, have him around for another whole year? No way!) as they tick off the remaining days until graduation.  

Also ticking off those days are the good people down at the Ocean City Police Department, who are stocking up on supplies needed for Senior Week, the bacchanalian festival by the sea that is a "right" of passage for a lot of people who by all "rights" should still be in classrooms learning about their rites.  Be that as it may, in a couple of weeks, the seniors will be gone, down to the ocean, to be followed by trips to campuses and recruiting depots all across the land.

Which just leaves the kids in grades K-11 sitting around watching a clock that just seems to go backwards, if it moves at all, until the middle of June, when they are free to compete with their teachers for summer jobs as pool attendants, ice cream vendors, and groundskeepers.  I remember the summer after sixth grade, seeing our teacher working in a liquor store.  What was I doing in a liquor store at age 12?

I had an in - I knew the guy behind the counter!

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