The meeting will be scheduled for 7 AM.
Yes, and I will be wide awake at 4 AM, convinced I was late and unable to fall back asleep.
Yes, and the meeting will be held in the only classroom in the school without windows.
Yes, and it will start fifteen minutes late.
Yes, and I will have arrived at the meeting 10 minutes early, even though I know it will start late, because I have been at the school since 6:15 AM.
Yes, and the coffee shop will not have been able to make my usual, because they opened mere seconds before I arrived.
Yes, and I will drink this mistake Matcha Pineapple Latte that they gave me half-off anyway because, caffeine.
Yes, and it will turn out that Gary, the principal, bought donuts and coffee for everyone, anyway, since it’s the last faculty meeting of the year.
Yes, and I will only learn about that when Bev sits down next to me at 7:13, crowing about getting the last donut even though “I am running soooo late!” because it will turn out that Gary set up the donuts and coffee at the back of the classroom five minutes after the meeting was supposed to start.
Yes, and he announced that he brought coffee and donuts, but it’s possible I was taking a micro-nap and missed that.
Yes, and Bev has 467 saved sick days because she’s been a teacher for 30 years and never gets ill, yet she still showed up for this meeting.
Yes, and I end up with a half-cup of coffee, but at least it’s not pineapple-y.
Yes, and the first topic of discussion at the meeting is next year’s curriculum.
Yes, and Bev, the school’s gym teacher, will yell, “Volleyball again!” and Natalie, the school’s French teacher, will say, “French!” and they will laugh, then high-five.
Yes, and Gary will ask who wants to head up the curriculum committee that will meet three times over the summer, but only for three hours at a time and always on Fridays in the un-air-conditioned school.
Yes, and I don’t have tenure, so I will volunteer.
Yes, and Bev will say, “Couldn’t pay me to do it, I’ll be in the Outer Banks!”
Yes, and Natalie will say, “Please, they’re not paying anyone.”
Yes, and I will sit on my hands to keep from slapping both of them when they high-five again.
Yes, and Gary will then tell us we have a special visitor today, who will be leading the professional development portion of the meeting, but before we get started we need to stand up and “shake out the tired.”
Yes, and I will watch my colleagues, all of whom have at least two college degrees, begrudgingly bounce on their heels while Gary walks around the room, clapping.
Yes, and when Gary gets close to me, I will also bounce, and energetically swing my arms, which causes me to knock over the latte, so at least I don’t feel guilty about not drinking it anymore, plus I get to leave to grab some paper towels.
Yes, and in the bathroom, I’ll run into what appears to be a 12-year-old girl in a business suit, telling herself “This is YOUR fight song!” in the mirror.
Yes, and when I return to the meeting I’ll realize that the 12-year-old is our professional development leader, and that she’s also Gary’s adult daughter, Bethany. She will inform us that she’s here to share what she learned from her student teaching assignment at a Waldorf/Montessori preschool in Berkley. Bethany will then tell us to hug ourselves and the hug someone near us, and to tell ourselves and the other person, “You are doing the best you can.”
Yes, and I’ll learn that Bev smells like a not-unintriguing mix of weed, sweat, cat litter, and Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door.
Yes, and Bev will tell me, “You are doing… wait, what was it?” And I’ll say “the best I can?” And Bev will say, “Sure, that” and sit back down.
Yes, and then Bethany will start to hand out crayons, telling us to take our favorite color, and I’ll take grey, even though it’s not my favorite color, until someone in the back of the room says, “Fuck, no.”
Yes, and Bethany will freeze and look to Gary, who will stand up and cross his arms, and look meaningfully around the room, and just as he’s about to sit back down, the same voice will say, “I have tenure, my dude, no fucking crayons.”
Yes, and Bethany will burst into tears and run out of the room.
Yes, and Gary will run after her, yelling at the Assistant Principal, inexplicably always called Mrs. Griffith, to start her presentation on our new discipline system, called A.R.O.W.B.O.A.T.
Yes, and Mrs. Griffith will ask if “a science teacher” will come up and help her set up the PowerPoint.
Yes, and no one will budge, including me. I teach Math.
Yes, and the bell will ring, signally that students will arrive in five minutes.
Yes, and everyone will leap to their feet, papers and coffee cups and donuts flying, as we make a mad dash to get to the photocopier first.
Yes, and I will realize that I could have used the spare 45 early-morning minutes I had here at school to make the 120 copies of the special famous lady mathematicians worksheet that I need today.
Yes, and in that moment where I stand in the classroom completely stunned, Mrs. Griffith will come over and ask me if I wouldn’t mind making copies of her five-page handout — front and back — about how A.R.O.W.B.O.A.T. connects to the Common Core Curriculum.
Yes, and I will agree, because I don’t have tenure.
Yes, and in the hallway, Bev will hiss at me, “You shouldn’t do that stuff for them.”
Yes, and I’ll say, “Yes, and…” but Bev will already be heading down the stairs, and the last week of school has begun.