Archive for Overheard

Things Teaching Has Taught Me (or, passive aggressive rant)

As a teacher, there are certain things you learn pretty quickly.  So, I wonder how it is that I’ve figured these out after four years and yet some one of my colleagues still haven‘t hasn’t seemed to figure this out in a couple decades.

* It’s not you against them.

* You’re the adult.  Act like it.

* Kids will piss you off.  You have to smother it (not the kid).

* Every day is a clean slate.  It’s probably not a great idea to scream at a kid that if they’re going to suck today, they can just stay outside your room (as said kid’s walking in at the start of class).

* Have fun!  If you’re having fun, the kids just might too (potty jokes work very well “Number TWO!”)

* It may be easier to bitch and moan, but it’s happier to find a solution.

In other news, today the sun was out, the sky was a brilliant blue, I made several but/butt jokes and it was a GREAT day.  🙂

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Heard and Seen at the RMV

I had to go to the RMV today to get a new copy of the car registration because I lost the old one.  Woops.  I read somewhere on the VERY RELIABLE internet that to get a new one online would cost $10 more and after waiting for about a half hour, I learned it was all lies.  It costs the same!  Blah.  But, without my grand trip to the RMV, I would not have gotten to see these truly wonderful gems of humankind.

Scene One

(two women slightly younger than me but dressed like they’re in HS stand filling out a form for one girl’s driver’s license or permit test or something like that)

Girl One: (filling out form for other girl) Hey.  Do you want to register to vote?

Girl Two:  I think I might be already.

Girl One:  You don’t know?

Girl Two:  I think so.  Are you?

Girl One:  Like I care! (Still filling out form) Hey, are you a Democrat or Republican?

Girl Two:  What are those even?

Girl One:  I don’t know.  Just, like, pick one.

Girl Two:  What is Obama?

Girl One:  Umm… (Stares off into space for a second)

Girl Two:  ‘Cause I’ll be whatever he is.  I’m Obama’s girl!

Girl One:  I think he’s Republican?

Scene Two

(middle aged Italian man stands behind customer service counter.  He looks up and starts to gesture to the next in line but, thinking better of it, holds his hand up to them and calls out)

Customer Service Agent:  Is anybody heah to take the permit test?  Ahh you heah to take the permit test?  (waits a few seconds while there are inaudible conversations going on up and down the line). Come fahwud if yah heah to take the permit test.  (people start shuffling around.  One old man with a younger man start to come forward, stop, start speaking to each other in Spanish, then step forward again and stop, holding up the line of permit testers behind them). PERMIT!  (Looks directly at the two men and starts gesturing in the air with a snapping gesture and a slight lean forward as he says each following letter) P.  E.  Ahhh.  M.  I.  T.  Permit!  You heah to take yah permit test?  Come up heah!

Oh, racial tension in the Boston burbs.  I love how he thought spelling it out would ease their understanding.  I wish I had spoken Spanish, because I would have gladly translated.

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MBTA Anthropologist

The young couple who I also watched at the bus stop lean in to each other.  His lips don’t leave her cheek as he whispers things that make her smile.  They engage in a long kiss and return to whispering.  I remember being that young, when love was all consuming and the world melted away around me. We were the only ones who existed.

There is also the young woman with a toddler in a Maclaren stroller.  She carries a Coach bag and looks tired.  Is it a real Coach bag?  I used to work with a guy who could tell all the fakes.  He taught me how to spot a fake Louis Vitton (it was Chicago and they were EVERYWHERE) but I’m lost with Coach.  It doesn’t matter though.  I am tempted to start a conversation but don’t.

A man wears a decidedly khaki colored coat with “Platinum Fubu” embroidered on the right shoulder.  He exchanges conversation with a little girl sitting across the aisle from him and then they swap outdated clamshell cell phones.  “It’s mom,” says the little girl as she hands him her phone and he hands her his.  I see a blurry picture of the girl on her phone’s screen with a small, enthusiastic looking puppy. She wears a lot of bright pink and it mirrors her cheerful personality.

As a man with patchy facial hair glances at me, I quickly look down at the edge of my jacket where it has been pilling for months.  It’s not polite to stare, you know.  Didn’t your mother teach you that?  What are you looking at?  The purse my husband agonized over buying for a Christmas present?  My coat that needs a good cleaning and de-pilling?  This was my second choice, you know.  I wanted the other 3/4 length black wool coat.  It had that luxurious hood that Mr. Cookie said looked silly and I thought was wonderful.  I didn’t get it though, because my vegetarian conscience could not justify the fur lining on that same hood and around the cuffs.  What was it?  Mink?  It was delicious.  But then I started thinking about dead animals and settled on the coat I’m wearing now.  Perhaps you’re staring at my silly, oversized headphones.  I hate earbuds, you know.  They refuse to stay in my ears and hurt when I get frustrated and just try to cram them in there (as I inevitably do).  Maybe you think I’m a snob because I’m refusing to return your eye contact.

But it’s really not polite to stare, you know.

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