This is the week of the Big Scary Test.

My English class has been reviewing for two weeks, and for every skill or term that they remember or correctly identify, there are five that they do not. I'm growing increasingly frightened that they will all bomb the test, the school won't meet its AYP, and the local paper will have a headline reading MEI FLOWER CAUSES DOWNFALL OF RANDOMVILLE HIGH SCHOOL.

On the other hand, I oh-so-casually asked a student in another class--one whose brain isn't quite plugged in all the way--if he'd passed the test last year, and he confirmed it. He could have been lying (that's his M.O., in fact), but on the off chance that he wasn't, I certainly do feel better about my class's chances.

For the next three days, I will not teach any classes in the mornings. I will, instead, be a proctor for two days and stay in the library for one day (the day the English tests are given). I've been tidying up my room for two days, filing and sifting and grading and pitching, so that the teachers who proctor the tests in my room will not drown in a sea of paper. Also, so they won't talk about how messy my room is (I feel like I should post a note, "BUT I KNOW WHERE EVERYTHING IS!!!").

In fact, for the first time all year, I brought papers home to grade during the weekend. AND I actually graded them. I KNOW! And then I left them at home. Typical.

We test for three days, then Friday we have a shortened schedule and in the afternoon, the kids all pay three dollars to go watch the football team scrimmage on the field. This is what passes for "a treat" in our school. I don't want to go, and here's why:

1. I hate going to the stadium. It's too hot, there's nowhere to sit, and having all those kids in such close proximity makes me nervous.

2. I see no reason to promote YET ANOTHER fundraiser for the football team, which already receives more funds than any other school organization.

3. It's boring and I have better things to do.

I may or may not have hinted that I would possibly not mind and/or mark students absent if they chose--OF THEIR OWN VOLITION--to leave school early (as long as they follow the proper procedures for doing so). I may also have suggested that if I were a student, I might just not come to school altogether, seeing as how the classes would be shorter. I mean, hypothetically speaking, a small possibility exists that I could have said these things aloud, while talking to myself, in front of a classroom. Perhaps.

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