The Factory is not closed for me…

As faithful readers may remember, my job as a Quality Control Inspector at the Young Human Factory underwent a transformation this fall. I was put in charge of teaching English to members – or potential members – of the Middle School Mafia. A daunting task, but I am buoyed by the vision of them communicating without grunts, egg-flinging, and ritualistic doorbell-ringing.

For the same low price, I now deliver eight more hours a week of service AND the daily 53 minutes of preparation time was eliminated. But it has really helped my time management, since I have so little.

Weekends are not my own, nor vacations. Continue reading

Good neighbours

Last night (and this morning) I was sleepless because of the dog-that-never-stops-barking and the attendant drama.  The wretched creature lives on the street that parallels mine and, judging from the sound, a few houses down from mine. The incessant barking comes day or night.

Then there are the people who shush the dog. One of them is a middle-schooler with the voice of a disgruntled bullfrog. “Shuuut uupp!” he croaks. It’s bad enough during the day, but after dark I want to throw a brick at him. Preferably a brick still attached to a wall.

(No, I don’t think he’s part of the Middle School Mafia. I’m just a morning person, which means I become a homicidal maniac when someone prevents me from sleeping.) Continue reading

Hurray for rainy nights!

Despite the threat of flash flooding, I rather like the evening rains. It dampens outbreaks of Middle School Mafia.

Like cicadas and virulent plagues, its appearance is cyclical. Summer is the height of infestations because of the increase in leisure time and uselessness allows for greater levels of dumb-assery. (Please let me know if these descriptions are too esoteric. I sometimes fall into professional jargon.)

All three conditions must be met for a group to coalesce. However, it will dissolve or revert to a more benign form unless the group perceives an external threat. Please note: This doesn’t involve an actual threat, such as an angry parent or a patrolling officer or Mister Guy-Who-Just-Wants-To-Be-Left-Alone.

No, not at all. The perception is the key. Continue reading