August 18, 2009

A "Why Me?' Situation

For some reason, my professional development session on writing was scheduled for 7:30 am. The other sessions hadn't started until 8:00 am, so most of my English peeps were none too happy with me. As if I were the one who made the schedule. Talk to the boss!

I arrived at 7:00 am, knowing that I needed to make sure I had my materials pulled together and the projector set up in the library. The librarian said she would be there, but just in case she forgot that the session was earlier than the others, I needed time to find get someone to let me into the library.

It was not until 7:20 am, when someone from the office staff arrived to open a door. (I guess I was wrong when I thought some staff members started at 7:00 am? Hmmm...) Apparently, there was already someone there, but she had not bothered to unlock the doors. I asked the staff person who let us in--by that time two of my colleagues had arrived--to please call for janitor to unlock the library. The janitors were also on campus, but they were nowhere to be found.

I left some things outside the library so when a janitor showed up, he/she would see that someone was trying to get in, and then I went to my classroom to gather my materials.

Ten minutes later, my English peeps were trickling in, and we were still locked out of the library. So much for helpful office staff. I ran down the stairs to find some help. I ran into the principal, who gave me her keys, but she also had important information for me that she had to share just then. You know, at the exact time where the session she had scheduled me for was suppose to be starting. After I made it upstairs, more English peeps had gathered, and we filed into the library, where I discovered that the LCD projector the librarian said I could use was nowhere to be found. Seriously!

Because we are good at back-up plans, we decided to move the training to one of our classrooms. I was already pretty frazzled, so while I ran the keys back to the principal, someone else hooked up my computer and projector, neither of which I had even turned on yet this year. I ran into the librarian, who wondered why I looked so frazzled. She was apologetic and offered to get the projector out, but I told her we'd already activated Plan B.

When I came back, everyone was seated, ready to start, and I was sweaty and winded, but glad to finally be ready to go--at 7:50 am. I cannot even tell you how irritating it is to not start on time, but they all knew that it was just one of those bad mornings.

My colleagues said it was one of the best professional development sessions they'd been to all week--even after the electricity went out in the middle of a riveting PowerPoint that was raising some interesting conversation. We just kept going.

Even after the disastrous morning, it was a blast sharing ideas and discussing writing with my English peeps. It reminded me of a typical day in the classroom. Things go wrong. I look foolish, but life goes on, and it's all good.

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