It’s the start of week three at River City High School. Classes are well underway though the teenagers are likely sleepwalking most days from 8am-3pm. Nevertheless our students and our teachers are in the midst of becoming a model school for the Biomedical Science Pathways program through Project Lead the Way. We started training for this in Summer of 2009 and I am so proud to be part of the amazing, growing team of teachers, students, and graduates (even though I am sitting on my couch at home right now).
I have taught the first course in the series of four, Principles of Biomedical Science, 3.25 times. Some students return to the course to be lab assistants, Mrs. Wiley’s personal assistant, Mrs. Wiley’s sidekick that laughs at everything she says to keep her thinking she is funny, etc. and others run away, far, far away until they find Ms. Schroeder, Ms. Buss or Mrs. delaCruz to save them/introduce them to yet another kind of crazy.
Each semester I eagerly, excitedly, anxiously await particular lessons/stories/rants in the curriculum as I have honed my craziness over the years and am quite proud of my skillz. The photo below demonstrates the expression that I describe to my students on Day 2 of class as, “my happy face, my sad face, my excited face, my winning face, my angry face.” They soon realize that The Stare can bring them to tears of fear or sorrow or laughter if they aren’t careful – but I always end up crying or laughing with them!
One of my Top 3 Favorite Lessons (none of which are part of the prescribed curriculum as it turns out & are actually one-act plays featuring ME) occurs towards the end of the first semester, give or take a few weeks depending on how much we have bonded as a class. Note: The course starts out with an examination of a crime scene and the first guest speaker to the class is the Yolo County Sheriff Coroner. Students learn what it means for a living thing to die and then we spend the rest of the four years learning how we stay alive.
This scene begins the moment I overhear an unknowing, talkative, gesticulating young male whisper/complain something like this to others while ‘taking notes’:
“Bitches be cray! Why do girls gotta be so damn moody? They never know what they want and then they get mad at us for it.”
Act I, Scene 1: (Mrs. Wiley freezes; drops or throws whiteboard pen to the ceiling and immediately responds to male student with no excess motion; medium-loud and serious tone of voice)
Wiley/Woman: Bitches be what? Bitches be CRAY???????
Male: Awww, Mrs. Wiley! What???? You know that I mean. They hella annoying! You know, when it’s that time of month or whatever.
(W’s heart rate increases, blood pressure increases, body motions are appropriately demonstrative for age group and topic; M still thinks he is correct and other males have joined in his parade; W moves out from behind teacher demo counter/safety barrier but does not approach the male directly; W’s intense response demands all attention at the front of the class without verbal cue)
Wiley: Oh, I see! You must know what it’s like to have bloody tissue from the depths of your soul gush out of your hole every 28 days then. How does that make you feel? Oh, and you must be looking forward to the time when you turn the food that you eat and the air that you breath into another human being, all while supporting your own body and soul, only to get to push said human out of a hole after 9 months, risking death, bruising, tearing, and a lifetime of incontinence? Yes, bitches be cray. Really CRAY! And you guys can’t get enough of us!
(Girls cheer, clap, laugh, feel vindicated, etc.; half of the boys have a strange, squeamish reaction in which they look around in disbelief; half of the boys rally and complain even louder).
Yeah, so this morning I got my period again. Even after five different types of chemotherapy in the last three years (all of which each individually ‘usually’ catapult a woman into early menopause) Aunt Flo/Uncle TOM still visit every 28 days. So, yes, if I act a little cray I’m gonna own it and love it and send David to buy tampons hoping that he stops to get a shot of whiskey on the way home.
XOXOXO Mrs. Wiley