You can’t have negative penguins! and other signs from the universe

Published April 3, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I heard the following words come out of my mouth today, “A Venti- Aised coffee with non-fat milk”

I have to say it took me by surprise, not just because I was having quaffing a giant coffee at 2:30 in the afternoon on a non-work day, but because my Texas Accent roiled forth like warm Dr. Pepper at a Haltom City Christmas Party. (Excellent with canned biscuit Monkey-Bread.)

My Texas accent only comes out when I am extremely tired, angry or drunk. (On one occasion all three. I sounded like a cast member from Blazing Saddles.) Considering it was 2:30 in the afternoon and I hadn’t interacted with many people, I can blame my drawl on tired.

And why, you may ask, am so tired? I’m tired because I worked at all three of my jobs this week. I am grateful for the work, and I do like knowing that I’m going to be able to feed myself and keep a roof over my head for a few more weeks, but I have to say that my ass is thoroughly kicked.

I am still enjoying the teaching thing. So far the only dangerous thing is that a Krispy Kreme is about to open a few miles away from one of my private students.   I am still struggling to find that balance between making a living and having a life.

There are signs that I am moving in the right direction.

Yesterday I got to teach something in my subject area: Social Studies, and lucky for me one of the classes was working on the Renaissance. (Studying it, not recreating it) and lucky for me, a large portion of my classical education involved the cultural history that time period.

I had a lively discussion with a bunch of sixth graders a few of whom are now terrified me. (Who knew that a vast knowledge of The Inferno was intimidating?)

The strangest thing happened at 2:30.  I somehow managed to get 20 fifth graders to work in silence. On a Friday.

I have no idea how I did it.

And then I had a few minutes after school to grab a beverage and relax, sort of, before meeting my student.  This is the same student who I had to goof into working last week was delighted and giggly to see me.  (It’s rare that anyone is so pumped to see me.)

This kid is so smart that he’s running rings around me. I am going to have to do quite a bit of studying this week to keep up with him. I was going through the steps of a division problem with him  and I was trying to get him to focus and I told him that he needed to set up the problem another way because he was going to have a negative number.  He started to get balky (Who can blame him? I get the same way about Math.) so I set up the problem in terms of penguins.

And you can’t have negative penguins.

Not without Aaised Coffee.

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