There is this woman I work with, Mrs.Abernathy (a good as name as any) who drives me bananas. She is from a company that partners with our school to help prevent drop-outs, missed school, and boost scores for students of a particular ethnic origin. This alone should tell me her heart is in the right place, and I should have kinder thoughts towards her.
But I don’t.
It’s been 4 years, she still forgets my name. She bursts into my classroom without a care, interrupting the lesson looking for her assigned students. More often than not, her students are actually assigned to go during Art and Computers; Band and PE are off-limits. I remind her daily of this. It doesn’t matter, she tries again the next day and mumbles about me under her breath (not enough under because I can hear her).
She’s pushing retirement age and is always cold, she says I’m trying to freeze her out (thermostats in our school control 2 rooms simultaneously). She has snuck in on a number of occasions, and turned up my thermostat to 78°. Once we are roasting, we discover the issue (of course).
Her life struggle is always worse. Totally agree, her life was hard-core. I tried bonding with her once, big mistake.
She responds to HER EMAILS LIKE THIS WITHOUT PUNCTUATION OF ANY KIND AND SHE ARE ALWAYS USING WORD WRONG AND IT IS AGGRIVATING YOU JUST DONT NOW HOW MUCH IT MAKES ME FEEL LUKE IVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG.
Then… The things she says… “So there will be live music at the band concert this year?”
At the end of last year, I’d had it. Learn my darn name, stop talking about me around my kids, and learn your schedule! I’ll wear short sleeves if you’ll wear long. Come on! It’s not your way or the highway!
Admittedly, I’ve had unkind thoughts about her. I have.
This summer I went home feeling pissy and angry towards her. She’d hit my buttons right before we left.
So I prayed about it. Seriously. I was at the end of my rope with her. So I prayed one good angry vent prayer upwards about Mrs. Abernathy’s ridiculous ways. The more I vented, the more the fight went out of me.
When school started I vowed to be better, and do better with Mrs. Abernathy. I know that she is a family woman with 8 kids, all her own. I know she has pride in her ethnic purity and culture. I also know she is very religious.
I’ve tried to gain a foothold with her through motherhood, but she is far removed from where I am. She will reminisce but, past that, no dice.
I share some of her ethnicity; as in our ancestors while of different areas, are considered cousins. If I looked like Rose, my sister, I may have gained a foothold there but, my glaring pale skin did me no favors.
So. Religion. We aren’t the same religion. We share the same God, and we read from the same book but, she has an extra text to read from.
Mrs. Abernathy is Mormon. I know about the SisterWives kind of Mormons and even then, I really don’t know anything.
In music we often listen to excerpts of songs sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (beautiful voices). When students ask what a Mormon is, I have to skirt the issue. I really don’t know.
So I asked Mrs. Abernathy one morning, and she lit up. Suddenly she wanted to bring me the Book of Mormon. I explained I was not looking to convert, I just wanted to understand. She thought this was an excellent idea.
Days later I received a Book of Mormon with a “testament” from her written inside. I said thank you and that I would do my best to read it. I also explained it might be on weekends. She seemed disappointed about that, but I’ve got other commitments.
She’s been very nice since I’ve received the book. I’ve been able to ask about the “nice young men,” a couple of houses down. I wasn’t sure if they were Mormon. A bunch of young men living together doesn’t mean they have to be Mormons. I asked some innocent questions about their Missionary period.
I learned its 2 years long and that they must spread the word and why they ride bikes. Apparently the church only allows a certain number of miles per mission. If they run out of miles they do not get gas money. Biking is a way to save miles.
Mrs. Abernathy was so pleased with my questions, she asked if she could ask missionaries to come by to speak with us.
Hmmmm, I’m totally curious. Again not going to convert, but I know they need to actually make visits with folks.
But they are men, I’m a woman and with just me and Connor some nights, I wouldn’t be comfortable…
Apparently, neither would they. They are not allowed to be alone with women. I dunno if we’re talking period or outside of the church, but they will want my husband there.
I said, sure they can come by!
Little did I know they would come by Sunday night at 7:45PM! Here I am in PJs, my living room is covered in crayons and toys and ripped up scribbles and my son is chasing cats with drumsticks. My husband is cooking dinner. Cars the movie is loudly finishing up on the TV and I hear a knock. A loud knock. I think how late it is, and how I’m not opening the door. My husband peaks out the window and finds two young men wishing to come right on in.
I thought people visited in the afternoon. Every pamphlet I’ve gotten was during the day. I look like I need Jesus a lot apparently. I must have a natural ode de heathen about me.
So it’s just shocking to be visited after dark. They really thought we’d let them come inside.
We politely scheduled another meeting Monday, still at night. Maybe because they know we aren’t converting, they are fitting us in? You really don’t want an educator to impart the wrong information. Or maybe they are booked solid for church duties. Who knows?
I do know I will have Mormons in my living room tomorrow night.