Monday, June 22, 2009

Son of a bitch.

It's busy time again. Graduation is Friday and final exams are this week and school starts again with a whole new schedule on Wednesday of next week so I'm swamped with work. I have to grade papers, write an exam for my sophomores, and plan lessons for next year even though I'm still not sure what I'm teaching because the schedule is screwed up.

And as an added bonus, someone broke into my classroom Thursday evening and stole a DVD player, an LCD projector, and a photo scanner. The photo scanner was the only one in the school besides the one the cops use, so in a few months when we need to scan student baby pictures and team sports photos, I guess we're shit out of luck.

I didn't actually realize the scanner was missing until just now when someone asked if they could use it. So that's why I'm posting about this now and not Friday, when I was just too depressed to talk about it.

I know it was a small girl because she broke in through the window and left behind her Jesus necklace charm that broke off, and I'm guessing she had a boy or someone bigger with her because anyone small enough to get through the window is too small to carry out that enormous scanner. They used my gym bag to carry it all out, a gym bag that had been sitting on the floor holding board games. They must have thought they hit the jackpot.

Anyway, so now I have no DVD player, no LCD projector which I use to teach the yearbook staff how to design pages on the computer, and no scanner. As if my upcoming year of 43 person classes and twice the course load weren't enough pressure.

So thanks, assholes who stole my electronics. I hope you get run over by a truck.

For the time being I'm bringing in my own DVD player on days when I need it, but when the school year starts I'm really going to miss that projector and the scanner. I'm thinking of sending around a flier asking teachers if anyone has a scanner they don't use or want to replace that they could donate to us. If that doesn't work I guess I'll have to use Donors Choose again. I was really hoping to use them to get a color printer, but this is a bigger priority.

Anyway, that brings me to a point I've been thinking about for a while now. Integrity.

Now don't get me wrong, I've done some shitty things in my life. I've broken laws, I've been less than truthful on occasion, I've done things I'm not proud of. But I've always tried to make sure that my mistakes only affected me.

I have a coworker who is late at least once a week. It's usually ten minutes or so, but one week she was two hours late three times. Other teachers have to cover for her each time this happens. In addition to being late all the time, she refuses to ever cover for anyone else and she has no respect for other teachers, but boy does she have excuses. This woman did not get fired when the pink slips came around. No, she gets to stay here while good teachers loose their jobs.

I told her this the other day. I'd finally had enough when she tore a sign off my door because she thought it was directed to her. I had finally had enough and I told her so.

I made her cry. I do not feel bad about this.

Anyway, during the conversation she said the following words "Why do you hold yourself to such high standards?"

Can you believe that?

Know what my high standards are? I show up on time. I do my job. I don't inconvenience anyone else.

My mom always taught me there is honor in all work and each job deserves my complete dedication. I started out by working at Boston Market and I took that job seriously too. My boss actually told me to slow down the first day because he was worried I'd work myself to death.

I can cut a roasted chicken into four pieces in under thirty seconds.

Anyhow, I guess I'm sort of disgusted with how many people are just in it for themselves. Those kids who broke into my room were only thinking about the MAYBE $200 they could get for the items in my room. In the meantime, I have to figure out how to teach in an already difficult situation without the few supplies I had, supplies I spent a lot of work trying to get in the first place, supplies that brand new would add up to almost $1,000. That's money we don't have.

And the really sick part is, these were most likely students who broke in. They stole from themselves. I mean, they stole my gym bag which alone would have pissed me off because that was a good gym bag, but aside from that everything they took belonged to the school. In their effort to make a few bucks they robbed their fellow students of educational tools.

This just adds stress to my life that I don't need. I'm already freaked out by next semester and the extra work I'm going to have. Now I have to figure out how the hell we're going to get baby pictures from the senior class without a scanner, or how I'm going to teach 20 yearbook students and 20 newspaper students how to do layout without an LCD projector. These 40 students will be in the same classroom, by the way. I'm teaching both classes at the same time.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to grade 12 more Poe essays before the ulcer sets in.

[Edited: Okay I decided to give up and buy one myself. I can't afford the LCD projector, but I found a scanner/color printer for cheap at So I bought it. At least that's one less thing to stress about.]


  1. I feel for you, Emily. Getting robbed is such a personal violation. You feel emotionally raped (I hope you don't mind me using such a strong word so freely.) You write about integrity. I was having the same discussion with my wife last week. It feels like the world is separating itself into two distinct categories: those that give and those that take. I don't get the takers. At all. But it feels like I'm surrounded by them everywhere. Keep your head up, Emily. This will pass. Hoping for the best....

  2. Sorry to hear what happened.

    I dunno if it'll help but check Craigs List in your area, they might be stupid enough to hock the items there and or eBay.

  3. Nah my kids sell it on the streets, so it's more likely to end up in a pawn shop or sold out of the back of some dude's trunk.

  4. Geeez. You break down and buy a scanner/printer just when I found that perfect excuse to unload... err... Brother color printer/scanner and buy something new.

    Thanks for that.

    Ummm...if someone wanted to donate a gift card (for school supplies and such) in time for the new school year (Sept?) and wanted to send it anonymously to a certain school/teacher in the LAUSD, could you recommend one?

  5. Thanks for the sympathies, guys.

    And if you reeeeally want to unload your all-in-one, I'm also teaching newspaper next year, so I am never opposed to having two printers since I'll have two classes going at once.

    As for recommendations, I dunno. I've started adding items to my wishlist that are for classroom use, but if you really want to donate, has some terrific projects for teachers all over the country. I've used them before and they're the real deal.

  6. I have a spare all in one with issues; you can get it at thehe party.

    Dammit, that sucks. I know how much you care about everything. It's obvious. It's why I like you.

    Oh, and at the party? I'm totally going to have a roasted chicken there.

  7. You should try this offer from Xerox for a free color laser printer. You just agree to buy consummables (ink/toner) from them and provide periodic reports of usage (you have to use it quite a bit to qualify)

    A friend of mine who works for a church just recently applied and got the printer for the church and I went by and saw it, very nice. It does an excellent job of scanning and printing. I was impressed with how well the color printout of a scanned color image matched up ... it was a scan of a page in a slick, glossy catalog and it reproduced the page almost identical.

    Anyway, just a thought ... you said something about needing to get a color printer ... might be an option.

    Sorry about the other items ... hope you can get them replaced in relatively short order

  8. I'd never heard of that, Larry. Thanks.


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