This Monday was one of those days that before it even technically begins is a disaster. After an early morning meeting, I headed up to my class. The first thing I did was take off my shoes. I like to be barefoot, and I tend to take my shoes off and forget them. The second thing I did was check the fish tank, where I noticed that the tank full of guppies now had half it’s residents floating belly up. In the months since I inherited all my colleagues fish (roughly a billion, by my counts) when her tank cracked, not a single one had died. Now the whole top of the tank was a mess of tiny, disintegrating corpses.
I was attempting to fish them out when my colleague came in to borrow a book. She told me some of her fish had died, too, and guessed that the freezing temperatures last night this late in the season while the heat was off sent the temperature in the rooms way down. While we were talking, a wasp suddenly came out of nowhere and dive bombed us. I jumped, flinging dead fish all over the wall and surrounding bookshelves. My colleague then managed to kill the wasp by smacking it with the book, leaving a swear of guts and a new dead thing on the counter.
Of course, the kids arrived then! My colleague left to go to her own class, leaving me in my circle of death. I explained to the kids that some fish had died, and that I had accidentally flung them all around the room. And there was a dead wasp, too. And I’d clean everything.
To back track a bit- one of our art caddies has a drawer that doesn’t stay shut. It also slides slowly open and closed on it’s own at really strange moments. Being the mature adult I am, I joked that the room was possessed by demons. Now when the drawer opens or closes on it’s own, the kids blame demons.
It was a logical next step.
“Demons killed the fish!” One yelled, and word spread.
“Where are your shoes?” Asked another. I had no idea.
One of my students is the kind of kid who seems like an old man in a child’s body. He get’s huffy when things change, walks with a slouch and his belly protruding, grumbles to himself loud enough for others to hear, and uses quaint colloquialisms like “jeepers, creepers!” And ” Well golly!”
He surveyed the scene, sighed loudly, threw up his hands and announced to no one in particular “The fish are dead and it’s MAYBE because of demons, there’s a wasp invasion, and my teacher is barefoot and can’t even find her own shoes! Is this a Monday, or what?”