In some ways, my life at the fancy prep school is dreamy, but in other ways, I feel like some of my discomfort with the culture isn't totally unfounded. I grew up in a lower middle-class household. Debt and stress were life's daily bread. Now, I work in a place where school credit cards flow freely, and I sense no limitations. This is both fabulous, the way it should be, and, perhaps, a bit wasteful. Let's just say, private schools could learn a few things from public schools about pinching pennies.
Except, I am totally a stupid-head sometimes. I sat down with my new principal over the summer, and we ordered furniture for the new writing center. The teacher desk that went with the tables we purchased was about 1200 bucks, and I couldn't stomach it. Hello, I am a Goodwill girl (aka "Grady baby" for any hotlantans). I shook my head and insisted on buying a desk for $120.00 at some office store. I brought it to school, and some maintainance workers saw me carrying the big box into my room. They insisted upon carrying it the rest of the way while I followed behind open-mouthed. What, teaching doesn't involve manual labor?
They explained very patiently that they would assemble the desk for me. I, for some unknown reason, declined, over and over, their offer of help, saying something about my secret desire to construct things with my hands (which is sort of true). They left, laughing and shaking heads, leaving me with a couple screwdrivers and a mission.
I diligently read the directions and tried to put together the desk. Midway, I realized the difference between "credenza" and good 'ole regular "desk." Although a credenza may be cheaper, it doesn't work too well when I wanted my desk sorta in the middle of the room. When I realized I was going to have all the ick showing on the back of the desk, maybe my work ethic may have gotten a bit sloppy. More likely, however, is that the desk turned out to be a piece of crap.
First, part of it totally broke off. Then, I decided that I didn't need the keyboard tray because I use a laptop, plus I didn't know how how to put in the little slidy things that make drawers work. I attached a funky, green piece of fabric to the back with colored stick pins and moved it to a wall location.The fact that the desk door didn't shut too tight and the one drawer didn't actually go into the slot didn't bother me.
Until I got moved to a new classroom when another teacher left. I inherited his great big, oh-I've-worked-here-for-thirty-years-desk and left my piece-of-crap-and-poorly-put-together-desk in the writing center that once was. Every single day since then, as I walk past the old room to my new room, I glance surreptitiously at the hideous, greenly decorated desk and wonder: What will happen to me at the end of the year when someone else moves in that room or they try to give that desk to someone?
And I blush.
When the maintenance guy comes in now to do something as small as put a fresh battery into my clock, I smile sweetly and let him do it. Multiple intelligences at work, indeed.