Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fool

Consider this my April Fool's Day post. I was just joking when I didn't post last night.

No, really I'm sick, and all I had energy for yesterday was teaching teenagers and my evening with my 2-year-old granddaughter Coraline, which lasted until almost midnight. I actually feel worse today, so here are my terribly random, foolish thoughts.


In spite of my 3 days of failure last month, I'm trying to decide whether to make a commitment to writing every day in April. The jury in my head is still out. On the one hand, I write more and that's always good. On the other hand, I need more sleep. I guess if there's a post here every day, the decision has been made.


My junior class didn't show up for class yesterday. The bell rang; the seniors left; the juniors across the hall went into their classroom. I sat alone in my classroom .... waiting. I shuffled some papers, looked out the window, drank some water, considered a 30-second power nap. No students. Finally as my co-teacher was closing her door, I walked over to my door and asked if she knew why my students weren't coming to class. I felt, I have to admit, somewhat bereft

She just laughed and looked down the hallway. I stepped out and there on the stairwell were all 19 of my students, being quieter than I've ever seen them. We all laughed pretty hard at their trick, and then I laughed again 10 minutes later when I remembered it was April Fool's Day. Did I mention I'm sick?

When I told my daughter Elvira about it, she said, "Were they late to class then?"

I said, "Probably some of them were. Maybe all. I don't think I went looking until the second bell rang."

"They're lucky you're the teacher they pulled that on then," she said.

"Why?" I asked. "Who wouldn't think that was funny? It's a creative writing class. They were being creative."

"Because at least half of my high school teachers would have sent the entire class to detention for that little stunt," she said. "They must trust that you wouldn't."

"The thought never crossed my mind," I said. "Who wants to be an asshole like that? No wonder you hated some of your teachers."
I've gone over that conversation several times. I don't understand those teachers who would punish an entire class for an April Fool's joke. But I have to imagine that they would think the kids were trying to put one over on them by wasting class time? Or that they were usurping some authority? I don't know how those teachers think. I do know life is too damn short to treat kids that way, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next year.


I had to miss karaoke tonight. Even with drugs, I couldn't get off the couch except to fix food. I hate missing karaoke. First because every night is different, and I'm afraid I'll miss something interesting, like last week when a guy thought he was going to get a 3-way with his wife and me. He was so wrong. But that's another story.

The second reason I hate missing karaoke is because I've gone 11 weeks in a row, according to Foursquare, and I wanted to continue my streak. I was tempted to lie. Karaoke is close enough to my house to come up on the list of possibilities. I could just check in anyway .... but I didn't. I'm a fucking Pollyanna, I am.

Have you ever lied on Foursquare?


Since I turned off my internet, which I haven't missed one tiny bit so fuck you TWC, I've been on a House of Cards marathon ... if a marathon can last for several weeks. And I've come to a decision. 

My new alter ego is going to be Claire Underwood. I know I'll never be a tiny, fit blonde woman with a pixie (do they still call short haircuts pixies?) who runs for miles and can wear 4" heels for 17 hours without limping or slipping them off under the table, but I'm sure some version of that woman lives inside me ready to out-maneuver anybody who tries to fuck with me or the Vice President of the United States.

So if the temperature drops to below freezing when you're with me, you'll know this hot-blooded redhead just went Claire Underwood on somebody. Put on your hat and mittens.Liquid nitrogen is a soak in the hot tub compared to Claire Underwood and me.


A student was caught on camera and suspended for receiving a blow job in the stair well. It's not my job to judge my students' personal lives, only their writing. However, in spite of the stunning notoriety he will receive in addition to that blow job, I do think he was a fool to get caught. And because he got caught, he deserves every zero he gets. Some lessons learned in school have nothing to do with academics.


Finally, one of the requirements for all of my students this quarter is that they submit a piece of writing somewhere. A large part of my junior class plans to submit to a local literary magazine -- a freebie that comes out a couple of times a year. Most of them are excited about it.

When I contacted the publisher, who used to teach at the same school and who is a personal acquaintance, to get some back issues, she said she expected me to submit too. I hadn't really thought about it, but I agreed that she was right.

(And then I immediately fell into the pit of insecurity that surrounds every writer and thought, What if a student, or students, gets an acceptance email and I get a rejection? What then? And my response, as I climbed up out of that fucking pit once more, was, I'll be
proud as hell, that's what. Every teacher should want her students to surpass her, and I certainly do.

That doesn't mean I want a fucking rejection email just so I can put my largess to the test though. I'm not that free of ego, nor will I ever be.

So now I'm down to the deadline, which is Friday at midnight, and I have no idea what I want to submit. They accept any genre, but they especially want nonfiction, which is mostly what I write these days. I'm sure I can send something I've posted here, but the fact is, I've been functioning barely above the minimum this week.

The piece should probably be G-PG, because they take submissions from all ages. That should narrow my writing down to almost zero, right?

Help me out here. Have you read anything here you think might work? Something that's not about vaginas? (Or maybe, since I can send 3 pieces, I should try to sneak in a vagina piece?) What do you think?


  1. Well, you recently posted some interesting thoughts about dating. How long would your submission have to be?

    1. They can be up to 2500 words, but the publisher prefers under 1000. Which is quite a gap.