I went to school after loading a bunch of books and supplies in my car, thinking I could check in and get my room assignment and at least unload stuff. Wrong. The office manager refused to give out room assignments. Miss Q was there arguing with him already when I arrived.
"What the hell are you doing here?" he asked. "Teachers aren't due back until tomorrow!"
"We are dedicated and committed and we want to get our shit together," Miss Q said. She had on one of those ear-piece phones and beach volleyball pro shades. "How hard is it for you to look at your list and hand us a key?"
"I am not doing it. I am not doing it! You get your room assignments tomorrow per the Big Guy. GET OUT OF HERE! Get outta my hair!"
"I have a car full of stuff to unload. You're going to make me drive home and unload my car and then load it back up again tomorrow and bring it in?" I asked.
"To whom am I speaking?" the manager asked. I was about to reply when Miss Q jumped in: "He was here last year, unlike you. He came back, unlike most of the people here last year. He a soldier!"
I laughed at the idea that I'm a soldier of any kind, and introduced myself.
"We report back tomorrow, but we're not meeting at the school," the manager said with more patience. "We're meeting at the caterer's as arranged and having a full day of meetings. You will get your assignment tomorrow and you can move into your room Wednesday."
"That's why we're here today. We're losing a set-up day tomorrow with this off-site meeting garbage," Miss Q said.
This went on for ten minutes before I left, exasperated. I went to Target and Staples and dropped a g-stack on supplies the school system used to supply when I was a middle-school student. At least the Fed allows me to claim back up to 2% of my salary as a teacher for the supplies I purchase on my tax return. Of course I've already spent 4% of my salary. But I did buy extra stuff I don't need, but want: an LCD projector, for example, and a printer/copier/scanner for the classroom. I plan to use a lot of technology, a lot of PowerPoint, a lot of Windows Movie Maker.
I'm ready. Let's get started.