A couple of years ago, a student of mine called me out on something he had observed. After roughly a year and a half in as my student he concluded that my behavior and overall personality differed wildly from Monday to Friday. He came up with names: “Monday Mister Higa” and “Friday Phil.” He was particularly proud of picking these monikers because both utilized alliteration. Again, its horrible when they use things I teach them against me. But he was right. I hadn’t noticed it in myself, but further consideration seemed to corroborate his theory. I suspect that the primary cause of this phenomena is the exponential decrease in my own energy as the week moves along. My ability to maintain the facade that is Mr. Higa falters like the Enterprise’s front shields in a dogfight. That is certainly the case today. I am toast.
I hit a non-Open House, non-Back to School Night personal best last night, leaving campus at 8 PM. As you know, I refuse to work on the weekends – those are reserved for the two girls, watching my football bets miss, and watching the Cowboys throw interceptions and give up conversions on third-and-long – so I do my work in the darkness of early weekday mornings and nights. We’re three weeks out from the end of the quarter and a week-long slice of utopia called Fall Break, so I’m making that final push in hopes of not having to do much work during that week. Madison is going to demand the water park, after all.
I knew as I merged ever left on the H1 last night that this morning would be a struggle and I was right. I really really wanted to take a nap during my drive into work this morning, but that would probably have been unproductive. In the perfect scenario, I would have pulled into the parking lot and taken a 45-minute nap, but I had today’s work to get to. The saving grace: I have last period off. I hope I did not just jinx it.
Because I often stay late, Lynnette usually sits with Madison as she makes her way through her homework. Wednesday, though, was a different story. Lynnette’s parents are off on a trip and I had to pick up Mad from school. On the drive home, I mentioned to her that I was in the process of leveling-up my Shelgon to a Salamence. She knows exactly what this means. “Oh, can I help you when we get home?” she asked. “Of course,” I said. We were at it for about 25 minutes before Lynnette got home. Madison was not dressed for dance, but I wasn’t worried. We still had plenty of time. “Did you finish your homework?” Lynnette asked. My eyes bulged from my head. I had not considered this possibility because I am rarely the one at home. I don’t know the routine. Shameful. I looked at Madison and she made the same face. I laughed (but not loud enough for Lynnette to hear it). “Do you have homework?” I asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “This is my fault,” I said. Lynnette smirked, which was about 2,000 times better than what I expected. “I will sit with her tonight when we get home from dance,” I said.
Apparently, her class has been learning about states of matter, solids, liquids, and gasses. She seems to have a pretty good handle on them. She drew a blanket with a heart in the middle of it for a solid. She drew the olive oil in our kitchen for the liquid. She kept looking up as she was drawing. I finally figured out what she was looking at and it made me smile. She got stuck on the gas. “What do we barbecue with?” Lynnette asked. “Oh, propane,” Mad said. “You know what propane is?” I asked her. “Yeah, it’s in my book,” she said. She went on to give me a brief lecture of how it’s hard to see gasses sometimes. I wanted desperately to ask her why we call gas “gas” if it’s a liquid, but that would have confused her horribly and resulted in more than a smirk from Lynnette, in all likelihood. I also wanted to make a joke about farts, but again assumed it would derail this entire homework thing. So I said nothing and politely sat through Madison’s lecture on textures and various adjectives to qualify them.
OK, Friday. Let’s get this over with.