So this morning, the assistant principal takes me aside like we’re plotting an overthrow of the government. She actually clears out a room of the library, locks the door behind us. She jokes about what folks might think, B.C.I., as my students would say, booty call implications for those of us of a certain age. I’m thinking either she wants sex or I’m fired or both. Or maybe she’s got the code for launching The Bomb. In any case, I say a “Hail Mary”, for real. Finally, when the room is cleared out, the doors locked, she takes me by the arm and breaks the news.
She wants me to teach college credit English. That’s the Ultra Magic Classified Decoder Ring Secret Handshake News. That’s it. Three sections of Advanced Placement English.
It’s funny. I once got a “Secret” clearance in the army, and there was less drama than getting these three classes. This woman does this. It’s really crazy. Getting the classes is nice — they’re generally the smart, motivated kids — but the way the assistant principal did it, well, as we used to say in the army, “I didn’t know whether to shit or go blind.”
But wait, there’s more —
I go to move some books from another class. I say to Bellermine, ‘You know what just happened to me?’ And he says, “Yea, I hear you’re teaching A. P. English.” He’s not even in my department, and he knows. I go over to the Social Studies Department, and start to tell them the story — and they know. All this drama, I’m ready for a heart transplant, all this over something everyone already knows.
Of course, now that they moved me over to teach these three classes, there’s nobody to teach three sections of what I was to teach, American Literature. But, hey, it’s just literature …
There’s only one advantage to this job. I love the fact that, when I want good material, all I have to do is look up from my desk.