Implausible Tasks: The Avoidance of Flames, Inventive Weaponry, and Tetanus.

2071855598_34ebafa851Whenever I see a pair of overly dressy jeans sauntering my way, I know there is trouble. The wearer of these choice pants would be my boss, who as history has validated, is not the most comfortable man to hold a conversation with. He is awkward in more than one respect, and has an ever growing fervor for requesting implausible tasks.

Here is an example of one such situation that arose last month and the conversation of his request:

“Miss Gina…….May I speak with you for a moment?”

“Um. Okay.”

“There is a child in my classroom who has to sit down and finish his Main-Lesson work, and I must go upstairs. Would you position yourself close to my classroom door while still watching the yard… he was just trying to start a fire. I caught him trying to light a fire in there.”


“He stole the matches from my desk. I will be in my office.”

“Isn’t that his mother over there?”

“Yes, but don’t let her in the classroom, she is part of the problem. Thank You. Call me before he leaves.”


You have really got to be kidding me. A fire? I guess one hindrance of Waldorf education would be the constant presence of matches around to light the endless supply of Story and Morning Verse candles. (Note: this is only a hindrance if you throw some fire-curious children into the mix. And there are always fire-curious children…such as the new kid in kindergarten who tried to light matches during her entrance interview. True story.) I remember there always being some naughty kid in my Waldorf class who would steal the matches and abscond with them, just to literally “play with fire”. It’s not a new trick, just an inconvenient one, and worrisome to those who are supervising said match-lighting kids.

So, there I am, out on the yard doing Aftercare, already responsible for fifteen or more little lives scurrying about our large blacktop/schoolyard and I am trying to watch all of these children from the inconvenient vantage point of a corner classroom door…All so that one rather unruly third grader will not set the school ablaze, or lose his eyebrows due to some shoddy pyrotechnic work.

In the meantime, my boss retired to his office (of which no one is quite certain WHY he actually has his own office… When I tell parents/coworkers of his location I am often met with the response… “Wait…Why does he even have his own office?” A question that I can’t answer since that would mean trying to actually understand the motivations of a man who tries to cure his pink eye in the chlorine of a public pool and puts himself on a highly questionable “ALL Lemon” diet in order to shed holiday pounds (I’m sorry, Sir.. but I don’t think that counts as a diet. I think that is what some call “Starving.”)

Due to my multitasking, and watchful eye there were no fire’s set to the classroom on this particular day. I know… Impressive. I did however, have to confiscate a candlestick holder which the fire-curious student began to bang on a desk, a music stand, a book, and a paper-airplane, all of which were not being used for their original use and had become some sort of weapon.

In the meantime, one of my Aftercare students managed to find a rusty piece of what looked like railroad tie (Where? we ain’t by the tracks!) and was chasing down another student. What was once a railroad tie (I think?) was now a make-believe gun, and an actual danger riddled with tetanus. Guns (real or make-believe) are not welcomed on school campus, nor is the looming exposure to tetanus. I had to leave my post as fire marshall for a moment in order to successfully dispose of the railroad tie and give out some much deserved time outs.

When I returned to my watchful post, the fire-curious child was gone.

Turns out he had just gone to the restroom. I had a momentary panic that I would be liable for our campus’ combustion.

Finally the child finished his work, and It was time to ring my boss. He seemed inconvenienced by my call, even though I had been instructed to phone him upon completion of task. He sauntered down, leading with his sky blue pleated denim, and before we could make eye-contact I scurried to the other end of the yard like a mouse on a mission.
Just another day at the office.


~ by soartsyithurts on January 9, 2009.

One Response to “Implausible Tasks: The Avoidance of Flames, Inventive Weaponry, and Tetanus.”

  1. I know it’s a little late (or early), but all I want for Christmas is a PHOTO of this man! Any will do…do what you gotta do, you know what I mean.

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