I walk into work every day and it’s like a minefield of mistakes waiting to blow up in my face. The question is where……when….and how bad will this mistake be?! I am discovering that whiteout doesn’t fix all my problems and wishing that the little plastic bottle would just come to my aid and magically abra-cadabra my mistakes away. But then, I wouldn’t really want that…because even I have to laugh at myself! Last week, I graded papers wrong, and locked my keys in the classroom.
Wait for it…
This week…I found myself at a printer. A wonderful, should-be-easy printer…HA. I am punching keys over and over again and totally missing the one or maybe two things that I need to press in order to print one copy of each Spelling test IV. Beep. Wrong. Beep. Wrong. Beep. WRONG AGAIN. I’m so looking forward to the moment that I can check this little should-be-easy job off my school checklist. Beep. Beep. Beep. Definitely not that button.
So, I get help. And I’m feeling fine with my ignorance even though it should be easy. I wasn’t trained in making copies of Spelling tests. No, I was trained in changing diapers and getting kids up in time, and mixing formula, and finding paci’s, and rescuing little children from their nap-times. PRINTERS have never been my area of expertise. And you can tell by my stance, my furrowed brow, and my utterly confused face of ….”What in the world?!”
So, I discover that the buttons should be easy to find and the printer should be easy to work and the Spelling test copies should be easy to attain. She is like a wizard as she commands the printer with her fingers and I’m finally making progress!!!
I press “Start” and think to myself, “NOW, this should be easy.” However, I forget that I am not trained in the world of printers yet, and computers have never (and I mean never) been my area of talent or ability. I play with children under 3. I talk to them and we have real conversations. I juggle the babies and compute how much time it will take me to get the shoes on of all 4 children before the parents come by to pick them up. Printers, Spelling tests, this teaching stuff, this office stuff….this is all new (a wonderful new, but still very new).
The Spelling tests come in pairs. I just want one Spelling test for each chapter and one Spelling test that is front and back…not three-hundred and fifty pages long. I go back to pressing buttons. Beep. Wrong. Beep. Wrong. Beep. I MAY HAVE JUST FIGURED IT OUT! The printer is probably yelling all sorts of unspeakable things to me while I rudely push its buttons and try my very best to find out how to do it right. I can find you a bottle of milk! I can get you a snack on time. I can make fun foam houses and color all sorts of pictures with you. But don’t ask me to print you some copies of something. I may just get it wrong, and whiteout doesn’t fix that!
I finally print each test and staple the ones that are about three-hundred and fifty pages long. Staple. Staple. Staple. Boy, I’m feeling good. I grab a paperclip and combine what I need to, and I finally feel like I have my life back! My should-be-easy job turned into a chicken with its head cut off! And, the story isn’t over yet. My insides are screaming for a baby’s diaper to change or something FAMILIAR.
I return to my classroom and I hole punch each Spelling test. Ah, maybe I can do this teaching stuff, even though it’s a lot harder than all that diaper-changing stuff. I go to the filing cabinet to place the wonderful tests in their respective places and immediately realize that I have printed the wrong copy of each Spelling test planned for this year. Yes. I am now calling for a baby to change, a bottle to heat up, a toddler to entertain, and a nap-time. A really, really long nap-time. So, I place each wrong spelling test in its own personal folder for the year 2015 when they will actually be used. I sigh a very long, very deep sigh. I fall into a chair and decide that I will conquer this should-be-easy job for another day and I will put the printer out of my mind until I am sane enough to allow its entry again.
In the meantime, I’m calling up my favorite 4 little kids of all time so I can spend a day changing diapers, handing out snacks, enforcing nap-time, and coordinating the individual schedules of four kids.
Thank you for the offer, but we don’t need a printer for this job.