Thursday, April 7, 2011

Musings of a broken voiced Sub

My voice went completely hoarse on the first day of a three day run at the local middle school. Both days were mainly focused on 6th grade math and science, though I was pleasantly surprised to do some commentary on endangered species and, more importantly, why people love to shoot animals for fun.

Aside from the topics, the real kicker of this week was the voice issue. I was given the opportunity to call out of these assignments, but I love the money and I really wanted to see what it would be like to teach without being able to talk. I was limited to roughly four addresses to the class each period. After four times talking in whole group, I began to sound like a freakishly high-pitched Italian mob boss.

Wednesday was smooth, the kids found it funny (as did I), and not one student tried to take advantage of my voice issue.

Thursday played out initially in direct contrast to Wednesday. My voice was worse thanks to a rough night serving tables (yea, I still do that. sigh.) and the students caught on to the fact that I was unable to address them with a simple, "Good morning everyone."

One of the best tricks I learned from my 6th grade guide teacher was to simply, sit, wait, stare, whatever, until the kids quiet down. Granted, this ONLY works if you have either A) a credible character and rapport with the students or B) the ability to strike great fear and doubt into their young hearts. Just kidding.

But not really.

Fortunately for your humble narrator and sub, I have a great rapport with the kids. I'm known as "Mr. S!!!!" or "The COOL sub" or "Mr. Smith has the coolest sunglasses!" And yes, they're Penguins, and no, they can't be purchased anywhere.

It was at this moment that a girl walked up to the desk, leaned over, and pumped a giant dollop of hand sanitizer onto her outstretched tongue.

Now, I know you can reread that, but I'm going to copy+paste that last sentence right back in this text box. You know, for the effect.

It was at this moment that a girl walked up to the desk, leaned over, and pumped a giant dollop of hand sanitizer onto her outstretched tongue.

If I could've yelled, or screamed, or done something involving a vocal outburst, I would have exercised that ability in spades. I could only gasp, with the wide eyes of someone who just witnessed the supernatural.

"Why?" I asked her in a squeaky, crackling high pitched chirp.

"To clean my tongue. It feels....aaaaaaa it burns."

"No kidding? Well at least it's clean." And it was off to the nurse with her.

Aside from this class, and the mix-up with alcohol sanitizer, the majority of the kids were fantastic. I'm really a very lucky guy to have the opportunity to sub for kids that are so well-behaved. It makes the job easy, and it makes the paychecks even more sweet. It's only a few notches short of glorified babysitting, but I'll take the experience, and the money, any way that I can get it.

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