As the school year winds down, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done to properly close out the year. The office staff has a bunch of administrative tasks that have to be done, and they work an extra week in July (like, NOW) in order to get it all done. I’m not exactly sure what they do, but there seems to be a lot of it. In addition to completing our final files on each of our students, we teachers also have to assist with the general clean-up in the school. There is a list, and we sign up to clean out and reorganize places like the art room, the gym equipment rooms, the staff room, the various book rooms.
Being the organizational maven that I am, I quite like this. I regularly sign up to clean either the staff room or the book rooms. There are a few like-minded souls around my school, so I always have good company while doing these jobs. It’s also a very good way to see what materials we actually have in our school, especially the book rooms, and being a reading specialist, it’s kinda important that I know what is available to be used for reading instruction at the various grade levels.
So, last week, Thursday I think it was, I could be found in the English book room, busily rooting around for books that hadn’t been put back in their proper locations after being used. (Seriously, people! Can’t you RECOGNIZE alphabetical order when you see it? How on earth can you teach it to little kids if you yourself think that books at Level P belong on the shelf with books at Level L? And why would you just dump a bunch of books on the table instead of even making that kind of half-assed attempt to put them away properly? How do you expect your students to put stuff away if you can’t be bothered yourself?)
Our English book room is a fairly large room. In fact, it is so large that only half of it contains books. The other half is art supplies. Now, technically, I was NOT cleaning up the art supplies, only the books, but there were a number of big pads of cardboard paper strewn about untidily, and it was bugging me. These pads are rather heavy and unwieldy. They are used to make charts and posters, so they’re not tiny, either. I saw that they were supposed to be stored atop the shelving unit, because that was really the only place wide enough for them.
I picked one pad up and tried to heft it onto the top of the shelving unit. I did say that these pads are rather heavy and unwieldy and also not tiny, didn’t I? Well, I didn’t quite get the pad onto the top well enough in order to be able to push it the rest of the way. It fought back and slid back down.
Into my face. My left cheek, to be exact.
It hurt like I’d just gotten slapped. I just picked it up and tried again, this time successfully. I got the other pads up there too. Then I went to the staffroom, as it was recess time.
There, another teacher took one look at me and said, “Were you just in a fight or something?”
I went to the bathroom to have a look. My entire left cheek was beet red, complete with three long red scratches. Paper cuts, I guess. It hurt to touch. It looked like it was going to turn into a lovely bruise. Right on my face.
I ruefully headed back to the office and showed my injuries to one of the secretaries, who is also one of our first aid people. “I guess I have to fill in an accident report and file a claim with WorkSafeBC,” I said to her.
“Damn straight you do,” she replied, handing me the paperwork.
Not that I thought these were serious injuries that would morph into flesh-eating disease, but you never know, so I filled in the forms and gave them back to her to be sent in.
And now, almost a week later, I seem to have healed completely, thank goodness. There are no marks on my cheek to show for the incident, so I’m happy about that. I mean, I’m flying off on vacation pretty soon, and I’d hate to look all gross and wounded in the photos.