The daily musings of a substitute teacher in East Central Illinois.

Driving on Fumes and a Prayer

Today I was a 6th grade Language Arts teacher at Mahomet-Seymour Junior High. However, I was not subbing for the teacher for whom I have regularly subbed at the Junior High. Instead, I was subbing for her colleague across the hall. The Junior High is currently doing some research to determine if they should move from being a junior high school to a middle school. This would be a drastic shift in the philosophy of education in the building, and more so in the division of labour. Many of the teachers seem to favour the idea, but I don’t know what will happen. Anyway, this teacher happens to be a member of the committee that is looking into this.

During my week-long assignment before the break, she had requested me for today. It was kind of funny, because I didn’t actually know who she was, and had asked one of my classes if they knew her. They looked at me like I was a dummy and said that she was the teacher across the hall. Whoops. I guess I deserved the look. In my defense, though, she had only introduced herself by first name, and had only come into the room to say hello and offered to help out if I needed it. The really great thing, though, was that I had never subbed for her before and she was requesting me anyway. Glad to know that my reputation precedes me in a positive way!

The assignment was for a little more than half the day, starting just before lunch and going until the end of classes. So I was able to take my wife to work and have the car. This was particularly advantageous since it also meant I would be able to get to my evening wind ensemble rehearsal on time. So I took Gretch to work, came home, did some reading, got ready for work, and left, giving myself just enough time to get to Mahomet on time.

Of course, I forgot that the car still needed gas today. It “empty” light had turned on just as I dropped Gretch off, but I didn’t have my wallet with me at the time, and I managed to forget about it in the two hours I had before leaving. I didn’t want to be late for work, so I said a quick prayer and hoped I’d make it there. Fortunately, I did. When I filled up at the first gas station I passed after work, I realised that I must have been driving on fumes because the tank was practically bone-dry. Wow.

But I had made it, had a good afternoon teaching sixth graders the nuts and bolts of writing a research paper, and I made it to a gas station, all on fumes and a prayer. There is probably a deeper message in here somewhere but, honestly, I’m just glad I made it without any problems!


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