Imagine that you work at a small private Christian high school. Imagine that your job is equal parts administration and teaching high school literature. Imagine that, by and large, your job is good, if a bit weird. Because let’s face it- teenagers are weird creatures. They are constantly testing societal norms, their own moral centers and, well, seeing how much their relatively impervious bodies can withstand. Not to mention, of course, that their senses of humor are still in the works and so the things that they are willing to do and say without a sense of shame are vast.
Now imagine that one of the things that you frequently say to these, your odd students when they act out (and they frequently do in order to illicit such a reaction), is “I always think that I’m going to be prepared for your weird- but I never am.”
Now, consider the following scenario:
You have just arrived to work. You have a cup of coffee and a scone. The sun is shining. All signs point to it being a very satisfactory morning. You turn on your computer and turn on ESPNRadio to listen to NFL Draft analysis (because you are a closet sports dork). You check your email and answer the most pressing ones. Perhaps best of all, your office, so often the epicenter of noise and chaos, is completely quiet.
Then, your cell phone rings.
It is a student of yours. A senior. He is supposed to be in Bible class. You pick up the phone.
“Cyle?!” Because in this scenario, your name is Cyle- which is an excellent name to have, if you’re going to have a name at all. “Cyle?! Oh, thank G-d!!!” The voice shouts again. You notice that there is something strange going on. You seem to be hearing this voice in stereo- though one voice is muffled and has an odd echo to it.
“Why aren’t you in class?” you ask. It is a reasonable question, after all.
“I’m stuck on the toilet!!! No one will answer my text messages!!! There isn’t any toilet paper!!! Come save me!!!”
You are, for obvious reasons, confused and a little disgusted- because you realize that this student is shouting at you, pleading from the toilet in the bathroom fifteen feet away from your office.
“Yes, seriously!!! I’ve been here for like, thirty minutes!!! Please come save me!!!”
You cannot help it. You begin to laugh. Hard. With great gusto. You may or may not slap your the palm of your hand on the desk a few times- if indeed, that’s the sort of thing you would do.
“Stop laughing!!! Come save me!!!”
You hang up your phone, still chuckling to yourself. The more you think about it, the harder you laugh.
“Stop laughing!!!” comes the muffled, panicked shout from behind the bathroom door. “Come save me!!!”
You retrieve the key to the janitor’s closet and open it. You scan it quickly for toilet paper, but do not find any. You begin to laugh even harder because the idea of there not being any toilet paper to “save” this student with is, well, wonderful and ironic.
The student is now moaning from the toilet.
You find a roll underneath some rags. You close the janitor’s closet door behind you. You walk into the bathroom. You ask the only question that you can think of.
“So, can you feel your legs? Are they numb?”
“YES!!! I’ve been here for thirty minutes!!!”
You now laugh hysterically and unabashedly. No restraint. There are real tears coming from the corners of your eyes. You sit back down at your desk as the student comes out of the bathroom, walking bowlegged.
Your face hurts. Your abs have gotten their workout for the day. You realize that you will never be fully prepared for the weird of this place. Ever.
You wonder who you will shout to, imploring them to come and save you.