Thursday, February 25, 2010
International Rat Fink Day
All right, I have no authority to declare International Rat Fink Day. Guilty as charged. I own a few late models. My sis has some vintage ones. But we're certainly not Grand Wazoos in the Ed "Big Daddy" Roth cult of the wicked hot rod. If you've never looked at original Rat Fink artwork, and you're contemplating worship of some excessively elaborate bored deity, you can check out this site or this one. And if those links work, no Fink is a jerk!
Here are some requested photos of my sister's Rat Finks doing the electric slide. And classically swilling a little too much Fink champagne, thereby going into a funk.
Wednesday was one of the hardest work days of my entire life. I hadn't had such a tough gig since 1999. During the school day I had four teachers, a consultant, and my department supervisor in my 7th period class. They had come in to watch me ask 17 kids under the age of 17 to sit absolutely still and not move a muscle for five minutes. (It was to experience what complete muscular disability would be like.) My department supervisor was not supposed to be there -- this was supposed to be a teacher-watching-teacher opportunity. But the supervisor came, not in an official capacity, mind you ......
Hey. Supervisors have to supervise. They've got to grade something, they're all ex-teachers!
I took a huge chance with my students. They could have crucified me. I even told them, the day before, that this was their chance to hang me out to dry if they hated me.
They don't hate me. They sailed right through the lesson, saying and doing all the right things. The objective of the lesson was to interest them in reading a slight piece of fiction called Stuck in Neutral. By the end of the class, they were fairly drooling over the book and vowing to read it in one sitting (which is entirely possible, it's only 114 pages long).
After being observed, I was "debriefed" by the teachers, consultant, and supervisor. They liked the lesson. The veteran teachers noted that they would never have attempted something like that with their students. (I didn't attempt it either with my other sophomore classes. You've gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.)
After that hurdle, I had to go to (key audio, "Stooge Sounds") night school, for another lengthy lecture by Mr. Bigwand. At least this time he didn't exhort a bunch of penniless teachers of penniless students to travel the globe. But he did repeat all his other mantras. They're too numerous to mention. Actually I would mention them if I could remember them, but at my age you've either learned to tune things out, or you've gone into in-patient psychotherapy.
Murphy's Law being what it is, I also had to do my teaching demonstration that evening. Like I hadn't been on stage enough that day! Oh! The humiliation! There's nothing like trying to give an entertaining lecture on raising foster kittens to a room full of exhausted, stressed, and Bigwand-bored first-year teachers on the far end of their 12-hour day!
Mr. Bigwand rarely says anything mean about his students' silly little game-playing lessons. He liked mine. The class did too -- no, actually they would have said anything to get out of that room and home to their kith and kin. They sprinted for the door the minute Bigwand said, "See you next week for another thrilling story of my adventures in the Coast Guard."
I was packing up my cat carrier and found myself next-to-last to leave the room. Ah. Bigwand cornered me and showered me with delightful anecdotes about his departed kitty. Under any other circumstances, with any other person, I would have loved to hear a few new cat stories. But this is Mr. Bigwand. If you own a cat, he owns a celebrated, highly-intelligent and peerlessly bred cat. If your cat knocked over a vase, his knocked over an entire rack of bar glasses and sat in the shards purring.
The kicker was being unable to get out of the Catholic School parking lot because of all the SUVs and snowdrifts making it impossible to K-turn. Who needs to die to go to hell, I ask you?
Then I came home to all your kind comments. Thank you, my friends! The whole reason I wrote that post was to feel your presence as I marched through a grueling day. You were there with me, every step of the way.
That being the case, you had to go to night school with me. I have to apologize for Mr. Bigwand. You see, he wanted to be a preacher. Instead he became a teacher. Sadly, he's a long-winded creature. Without a redeeming feature.
Back to Rat Finks. You give me a sandbox and a dozen Rat Finks, and I'll show you how to spend an afternoon in an alternate universe without ever hitting a computer key. Forget all about the collectible crap! I'll make them a castle. With a moat!