We won again tonight, so now we're on a roll. After the game, a kid realized that another guy on the team had driven off with his car keys, so he was locked out of his car. The kid went to church way in West Baltimore, off of Reistertown Road, so I found myself driving the kid and another guy on the team all the way out there after the game. I don't know that part of the city at all - when I found out the kid went to church out there, I was confused, as I thought that was the Jewish part of Baltimore (the kid's black). However, I was just wrong on that, as the area seemed pretty mixed.
Once we picked up the keys, I realized it was 8 o'clock and these kids hadn't eaten - and neither had I - so I splurged and took them all to Fuddrucker's out there. Fuddrucker's, with its strange blending of McDonald's and Ruby Tuesday's (two places I'd never go to on their own), really hit the spot. I got a veggie burger and put tons of jalapenos on it. It was almost as good as what I make at home.
I had to drive all the way back to the school on the other side of the city to let the kid get back to his car, and I finally made it home at 9:30. That's alright, because all is good - I'm taking the day off tomorrow! I'm not one really to take random days off, but I need this one, and it's only my third day off of the year so far (one sick day, one personal day, and one "personal business" day). When I told my department head, she winked and said she was happy for me, and then freaked out because finding a sub for me - teacher of 170 9th graders, including a legendarily rambunctious 5/6 class, without a classroom - is a challenge and a half. I'm going to get the crazy little white lady that the kids think is scared of black people. "No," I tell them. "She's scared of all people." (I don't actually say it like that. That's what we say about her in the English lunch room.) She's crazy because she leaves ramblingly nonsensical notes for the teacher, and does things like erase everything off the board and then re-copy it word for word. But she's effective because she actually makes sure the kids stay in the room and takes attendance.
No, our district doesn't do a great job hiring substitutes. At sixty or seventy bucks a day, though, of course they don't. You get what you pay for.
Last year, we had a guy we unaffectionately call the "Pee Sub," because apparently he was previously removed from a substituting job for urinating on himself at a different school in the city. He was an unkempt, socially retarded man who said a lot of inappropriate things, and eventually we had to have him removed from the facility by the security guard. He's a ticket checker at Orioles Park now; I see him from time to time when going to a ballgame.
After him, all the other subs we have seem a little bit better. We have Mrs. Brown, an old (pushing 80) confused black grandmotherly type who the kids take care of more than vice-versa. We have Mr. Smith, an old white guy who talks on and on and on all about the MTA and about his letters to the editor and the mayor (his idea for a city motto, which he claims is much, much better than "The Greatest City in America" or "The City That Reads," and he's let O'Malley know, is "Baltimore: The City That Thinks First, Then Acts"). We have Mr. Turkeyneck, who used to teach middle school art and now is still working in school despite the fact that it seems like he hates children. And, of course, the one I'll be having tomorrow, who somehow has taken the position of "Least Incompetent."
Tomorrow is spring cleaning day and pick-dad-up=from-the-airport day. I need it. We have a doubleheader Friday at home and we need to get primed up for it.
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