Monday, October 02, 2006

Just another Manic Monday

Monday's have been a little tough for me since I started school. Every Monday morning, we meet at 7:15 for staff devotions before the students come in at 7:50. Most Monday's I'm lucky to have 5 minutes to prep for my day unless by some miracle I get to school before 7:15. So, this weekend I decided to bring everything home with me so I could take the time I needed to review Monday's plans and be ready before staff devos. I also spent a few extra minutes Sunday night getting my clothes out and ready, packing my lunch ahead of time, etc. I thought I was sufficiently prepared to finally have a smooth Monday. The kids came in at 7:50 and by 8:00 the first wasp appeared. There was nothing I could have done over the weekend to prepare me for the next 6 1/2 hours.

I tried to tell the kids to ignore it and get back to work. After all, it was hovering around the light and there was no way I could reach to swat at it anyway. But then another wasp was spotted. Pretty soon there were five. I could no longer ask 16 fourth graders to ignore the five wasps flying around the room. So I sent a student down to the office to request a fly swatter or some assistance. Ten minutes later, a maintenance man appeared with a can of wasp spray and by that time we were up to about 20 wasps in the room. Trying to muster everything IWU ever taught me about Classroom Management, I had my students all gather to one side of the room so our hero could spray our flying pests to their deaths. There was no controlling them. The screams, the mobbing, it was complete chaos. Meanwhile, maintenance is spraying wasp spray all over the room, coating everyone's desks and leaving a trail of dead wasps all over the floor. He no sooner had them all dead before five more had appeared. By the time he was done, he had sprayed and killed about 50 wasps. Please believe that I'm not exaggerating. Trust me; I listened to my students count as each little wasp fell. It was roughly 50 wasps. So at that point, I have my students go sit in the hall while my student aide and I clean up the aftermath. All the while, more and more wasps are appearing. We ended up FINISHING a whole can of wasp spray in my classroom, meanwhile hearing my students from the hall, yelling "51! 52! 53! 54!" We get it all cleaned up, I invite the kids back in, lecture them about how I don't want to hear any more talk of wasps because we've got work to do. And then I look back and Brandon's about to throw up. I realize that my poor students can't even breathe because the fumes from the spray are so strong. So then we waste MORE time trying to find a fan to vent the horrible smell out of the room. Ok, now we're ready to get back to work. Wrong. Every 2 minutes I look out and they're all pointing in one direction yelling, "There's another one." This goes on for another 1/2 hour while I DESPERATELY try to teach! I told David that I literally could have been standing there naked and I don't think they would have even noticed because they were so fixated on finding more wasps. Fortunately, it was time for P.E. After dropping the kids off, I stopped in the office and told the administrators what I'd been going through. They got maintenance back on the job and they found the wasps nest outside underneath my air conditioner. They sprayed and literally hundreds of wasps fell out from underneath. Those that didn't die tried to escape....into my room. So I now had about 15 more wasps and much stronger fumes in my room. And it was time to pick up my kids. There was only a half hour now until lunch so I finally gave up and told the kids to grab a book; we were going outside. I was tired of trying to compete with a swarm of wasps. We would, in fact, have to go outside to GET AWAY from the bugs. Go figure!

Fortunately, by the time recess was over, the wasps and the smell were pretty well cleared out. For the most part we were able to get through the afternoon relatively smoothly. There were still a couple of random wasps, but nothing, NOTHING like we'd experienced that morning.

By the way, the death toll in my classroom came to 73 wasps. And I am proud to share that not a single student was stung in all of the craziness.


the lambs said...

Unbelievable! How does this stuff happen to you? Kind of like the rabbit in your car. I'm glad no one was stung!

Jenn said...

Famous people always seem to know how to handle chaos and mobs! Well done! hehe

I am glad that no one was hurt-Jake and I are both allergic to bees/wasps so he would have totally freaked out if it had been his classroom.

Hope your Tuesday is calmer!

Kris & Megan Hutsell said...

Holy cow Melissa! I still think you would've made Tommie Barnes proud!

Shelly Buck said...

A teachers worst nightmare!!! It would be even worse if the teacher were as scared of the students! Sounds you pulled it off without a hitch!!

Dan & Angie said...

Melissa, you are an awesome story teller. I gotta tell ya...MN wasps are crazy, we get them in our auditorium DURING Randy's sermons! One time when we were still in the Community Room (old sanctuary)a couple of years ago, Randy swatted and killed some as he was speaking. Got quite a rise out of the congregation. Our maintenance guy at church has been spraying several nests the past few days! Yuk!!!

Robin said...

Holy arthropod infestation Batman! Glad everyone made it out unpunctured! Nice job teach!

matt and joelle said...

I concur with the Hutsells Melissa, you are a great storyteller. I am sure your students love you as much as we do. BUT I must say I am glad the wasp thing happend to you and not to me, I would not have held it together so well. Have a great rest of the week!

Anonymous said...

That is so crazy! I would have lost it for sure because I am a wimp and am scared of wasps (as well as any other animal that can sting, bite, or peck me...ok, that covers about every animal).

Way to hold it together, Melissa!

Keetha said...

Once when my kids were small a similar thing happened in our FAMILY room, only we literally had 100's of wasps swarming down from a tiny hole in the ceiling.

I called one exterminator who said he'd come a "week from Tuesday" I told him that wasn't nearly good enough.

The next exterminator I called said they'd be there ASAP.

Since there was no doorway between that room and the rest of the house, I quickly hung a blanket to 'contain' the wasps. I 'sneaked' back into the room and opened the windows and sliding doors so they could fly OUT if they so wished.

When the exterminator got there SHE found a HUGE nest in the ceiling. Seems these wasps had been burrowing into the drywall of the ceiling and the nest, with over 8,000 inhabitants was about to FALL INTO THE ROOM at any moment.