Monday, November 10, 2008

Close Call

Have you ever locked yourself out of your home or your car and had your keys right in your hand? It takes a special kind of talent to be able to do that. Well, apparently I'm special because that's exactly what happened to me today!

Let me explain.
I came home from school and spent about 2 hours cleaning (something that was sorely needed!), and by the time I was done I was starving. I was about to go upstairs to make dinner (well, reheat dinner, really...I cooked pasta yesterday and I have enough leftovers to last until the rapture), but first I had to take out the trash from my cleaning frenzy. Our trash receptacle is a little closet halfway down our hall, so usually I don't even bother closing my door all the way. Well, my roommate was gone, so I felt it was safer to take a set of keys with me, just to be safe.....

(I suppose I should take a break here to explain my door. There are three deadbolt locks on it, each one with its own key. There is no real door knob--I have to use a key to get in, even if they're not deadbolted. Then from the inside there's a chain and one of those slidey lock things that are most commonly found in bathroom stalls...You know the ones I'm talking about.)

So, I pulled out the slidey lock thing all the way so it would keep the door from shutting all the way. Good thing, too, because as I pulled my door mostly closed a gust of wind from inside slammed the door against its frame. But upon seeing that my plan worked and the door didn't completely close, I congratulated myself on my ingenuity as I walked down the hall with an armful of trash.
Thirty seconds later I was back at my door, and as I pushed it open, to my horror, I found that it wouldn't budge. I guess the gust of wind and semi-slam had jiggled the slidey lock partially into place! I was locked out! And my keys were cheerfully jingling in my hand! So I tried pushing several times at varying levels of strength. I tried shaking the door to move the slidey lock back out. Nothing worked!
What was I going to do! I had no cell phone, money, or metro pass. My roommate wouldn't be home for another 4 hours. Well, I walked outside looking for the caretaker. I found a custodian, and she told me the guy had left and wondered what I was looking for. So I tried to explain my situation. I found this very difficult, particularly in translating "slidey lock" especially seeing as how I couldn't even remember the word for lock. :o)
I eventually gave up and walked back to my apartment, praying hard and swallowing hard to press down the tears that were threatening to make me look even more stranded than I already did. I decided to try the door one more time. So I walked up, pushed and jiggled a couple of times, and then slammed my shoulder against the door with as much strength as I figured wouldn't break the door. And it popped open!! Yay!
Upon entering I laughed, talked to myself since there was no one else to say anything to, and fervently thanked God for getting me back inside. Then I made dinner, and it was yummy.
So the moral of this story is: Don't try to cheat the system. Just take the keys with you, shut the door like a normal person, and endure the hassle of having to unlock it a mere 30 seconds later. Otherwise you may end up looking like an idiot to some stranger in a strange land.

I think I need more sleep! Perhaps...

It's getting to be that point in the semester where a weekend just isn't enough time to rest and recuperate from the week. I was talking with some of my teacher friends about it today. I said that very same sentence to them, and they both groaned in agreement. One told me she wakes up as tired as when she went to bed. I groaned in agreement. The other told me about the emotional breakdown she had in class with one of her students who had tried her patience to the enth degree. I groaned in sympathy.
I always feel this way about a month before the semester ends. Just ready for a nice long break. And unfortunately, the last month of the semester is always the busiest! Here's a quick list of all the things to do before the semester is out: prepare the choir for the Thanksgiving program, then prepare the choir for the Christmas program, write finals and review sheets for all of my classes, help the students write and then grade research papers ranging from 4 to 12 pages in length, throw myself a birthday party (first time hosting Chileans all on my own. Yikes!), prepare food for the Thanksgiving Program, prepare food for Thanksgiving, go to a ladies' retreat at church, figure out the quarter grades, grade the finals, figure out the semester grades, and finish my Christmas shopping...Not to mention all the normal weekly work that goes in to teaching. Whew, I'm tired just writing about it!

So please pray for me and the other teachers. Pray we'll have the stamina to get through, the time to do everything well, and the patience to handle the rambunctiousness of the kids. Not only is it nearing the end of the semester, and nearing Christmas, but it's also getting to be summer time! The kids are crazier than usual! I mean, how do you solve a problem like teenagers? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? ...Many a thing you know you'd like to tell them. Many a thing they ought to understand. But how do you make them stay and listen to all you say? How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Oh, how do you solve a problem like teenagers? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?....

For those of you not familiar with musicals, I'm sorry about that. For the rest of you....I'm still sorry. :o)

I told you I need more sleep!

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