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Beaver action…

November 30, 2009

This weekend both Starshine (1o) and Little Gem (7) each lost a Chicklet in honour of Kyle Wellwood and his second goal of the season…

Earth to Kyle: Take your magic on the road… 

Now to business…

When you drive by a school you should always assume that there is a lot more going on behind the stucco walls of the physical plant than you can see from outside…

As a teacher, if you’re clever, the first person you make friends with when you are assigned to your post in a school is the custodian… one shouldn’t waste time in this department…

Nowadays it is rare for a school to have a daytime custodian… when I resigned from my district it was not only my contractual duty to teach the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, responsibility, nutrition, personal safety, physical fitness, time management, emotional literacy, assessment, evaluation, parenting, nose wiping, jacket zipping, shoe tieing, anaphylactic shock and epileptic seizure responsiveness ETC… but also blood and vomit removal…

This is the fine print of being a public servant… 

And unlike the Sedins, teachers do not make $62.50 per second when they are on shift…

(thanks to Prudence for working the real figures on her solar powered calculator)

Back in the old days, when I drove a horse and buggy to school, there was such a thing as a day time custodian and he was my friend… it didn’t take anything more to create and sustain this relationship than showing interest in his life as a father… inviting him to our classroom potlucks… expressing gratitude for the little things he did in my classroom… and apologizing for my mistakes (classroom rabbit destruction)…

A little goes a long way in a world that is generally consumed with itself…

When I was nine months pregnant Quinton fainted from the pain of a pinched nerve in his back while moving tables around the school, and I caught him before he hit the floor…

This cemented things for the remaining eight years we worked together…

Quinton worked beyond the call… my students liked him because he was fun, so I could always count on him to translate the truth for me, out of Cantonese, whenever a group of five and six year old boys had been hauled in from recess by the noon hour supervisors for getting caught during a collective exposure and urination ritual into the storm drain… I already understood why they did it… I would have done the same thing if I’d had the same equipment… but I relied on Quinton to let them know that although what they were doing was okay they should try not to get caught next time…

One rainy Fall… on a day very similar to today I went out into the pod outside my classroom and in the corner of my eye saw a brown furry creature lumbering along the parking lot…

my school was in a suburb… not wilderness… and the creature was a young beaver…

I had to watch my class so I called Quinton and asked him to keep an eye on the beaver while I tried getting a hold of some wildlife experts…

The next thing I knew Quinton was running around in the subdivision out behind the school with a few grade sevens and a Rubbermaid Roughtote…

A few minutes after that he was at the door to my room with a big proud grin on his face and an announcement…

The beaver has been secured in the boys’ washroom…

I said, “I asked you to watch the beaver not to trap it…”

When a beaver feels threatened it can turn on itself and chew off a limb in an act of self-annihilation… we weren’t getting a response from Wildlife services so the administrator, all in the name of restoring order in the house, called the RCMP…

for immediate pick-up and relocation…

The same story that went down in history…

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