40% Chair = Nasty Teacher

25 09 2006

This is what I’m working with.
This is my chair at school. Out of a possible five pillars of strength (or rollers of strength, really) I’ve got only two. That’s only 40%. How do they expect me to be an outstanding teacher when I have a less-than-outstanding chair?
The more comfortable I am, the better teacher I can be. Discomfort =  Cranky Ms. Coggio. And Cranky Ms. Coggio = No Fun For Anyone. I think everyone involved (me, my students, their parents, President Lula, and you, dear readers) would be happy if I could get a new chair. As it is, my little rollers fall off so often that it seems I am constantly sitting on an angle and scraping up the floor every time my Brazil-sized rear end plops itself down to sit down at my computer.
I think maybe it’s time for an chair upgrade–one that reclines, has a cupholder in it to store a mid-day caipirinha, and is covered in a plush chocolate brown velour with a nice throw on the side. On the days when I am tired, I could easily nod off during a free period, or on days when I am feeling particularly kind, I could offer it to my students as a reward for excellent behavior.

My students will not get over the facts that I am neither pregnant nor addicted to drugs. They believe both of these life situations would have been cause for my recent apparent tears in school last week, and no matter what I say it seems there is bound to be some rumor like this spread around the 7th grade. They also learned some new words today. One of the words they learned was “sagacious,” which, when I attempted to use it in a sentence so they could understand it, sounded like this:
“Ms. Coggio is a sagacious person.” Because I speak so frequently about myself in a positive manner, I figured they would somehow get a clue from this first sentence that “sagacious” had something to do with being smart, or beautiful, or talented, or any of the other adjectives I so often use about myself in their presence. The real definition means “wise,” so I figured the sentence I’d created about myself with a coy smile was just par for the course. Of course they’d get it.
Two–not one, but TWO!–girls, looking in the book at the choices for synomyms of “sagacious” said, simultaneously, “Nasty?”

I looked at a girl next to me, who covered her mouth with her hands as if she had just said a bad word and started giggling. The boys in the room laughed out loud and the girls who said “nasty” also chuckled.

“So I’m a nasty person, huh?” I said, laughing and then providing the correct synonym. And then thought to myself, “Just you wait. You’ll see nasty when I don’t get my new chair.”




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