Friday, September 19, 2008


7:30 am – I arrive at school, pick up my attendance sheets, and head into my room.

I always enter my room cautiously, kicking open the door, and then surveying the immediate area before sticking in my hand to flip the lights on – making sure that there are no roaches lurking. Yesterday I put out sticky traps to catch roaches – it was what the school said I should do. Today I glanced nervously in that direction…

7:45 am – I spot a mouse on a trap
7:46 am – I grab my stuff and exit the room, pulling the door securely shut behind me.

I go to the head custodian and ask that someone come and remove said rodents from my room. She assures me that they will be up there once they finish their ‘morning jobs’. I go to my room and position myself as far as possible from the problem area, and grade papers, send out some emails to friends who are coming for the weekend – generally do my best to forget the problem. Suddenly I realize the time…

8:27 – students are knocking to get into the room. I let them in, give them instructions on what they should be doing (group work today, designing travel brochures for the continents), and call downstairs – custodian, main office, assistant principal…

“There are now students in my room and no one has come to remove the mouse.”
“Someone will be up when they are done with their morning work.”

AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaargh. Thankfully I have 603, my wonderful homeroom – otherwise this would be a serious disaster. Finally one boy sees it, calls it to the attention of the group, everyone goes and looks and says “eeeew gross!” and then, miraculously, they sit down and get to work. I knew this was my favorite class.

I start telling them what work they owe me, and one student, Hector, a gregarious, entirely pleasant boy, goes behind my desk to look in the work folder I keep for his class. I go over to the desk to show him what he needs to get.

8:55 am – Hector steps on a trap which I had previously not noticed (apparently the traps get dragged across the floor when a mouse is trying to escape) – they are sticky traps, and his shoe is now stuck on top of the mouse which is stuck to the trap.

Disaster. He is shockingly mature about it, but still notifies everyone of what has happened, and within seconds the whole class has mobbed the desk to see. I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe, and he sits down in my chair and enjoys having the spotlight. Again, 603 proves to be my favorite class:

8:58 am – everyone except for Hector, who is still stuck to a trap behind my desk, resumes work in their groups.

After unsuccessfully attempting to get the trap off of Hector (he seems experienced, telling me that this has happened to him 2 times before in his house) as he tells me about how he felt the skull crack and how gross it is (as if I don’t know that), I go to my useless phone once again and call the main office.

The secretary laughs when I explain the ‘emergency situation’ taking place in my room. She says someone will come to take care of it.

9:05 am – I tell Hector to remove his shoe, which he cannot do without further squishing the mouse, so I help him, and then he returns to his seat.

9:07 am – I give Hector candy for being so mature and not vomiting, as was warranted by the situation.

9:10 am – the vice principal arrives with a janitor. They remove the trap, mouse and shoe still attached, and promise to return with the shoe shortly. They leave behind the other mouse, stuck on the other trap, who is still struggling to escape.

9:11 am – I am asked to send Hector to the office to call his parents and explain the disgusting situation to them (also, he will hopefully be able to claim his shoe.

9:12 am – Hector returns and asks for scissors – as they cannot unstuck his shoe and need to cut the laces off of it. I have no scissors.

9:14 am – The vice principal calls and says that I need to send him 2 other students who can go on a scissor finding mission, as he cannot allow Hector to walk all over the school in just a sock.

9:15 am – I dismantle the rumor that is flying around the classroom that you can get cancer from walking around in just socks.

Eventually Hector got his shoe back, though he complained about the smell on them and I promised to buy him new laces over the weekend. I am unbelievably grateful that it was 603 that I was teaching, as any other class would have LOST IT and I would have lost them and likely there would have been mobs and riots and traps stuck to people’s faces and hair by the time it was all over. I keep bursting into laughter when I recall the situation, and my students are all making fun of how often I use the word ‘crap’ and ‘crappy’ which I substitute for just about every other swear word that I want to utter each day.


  1. wittier than ever. very candid & hysterical.

  2. haha! i got shivers when i read about the skull cracking . . .

  3. So funny. Thanks for making me laugh after a long day!