Friday, November 03, 2006

Can I get a "do over?"

So this last week?

Thank heaven, the work week is over.

I mean, I am not expecting anything miraculous this weekend. The way this week has gone, as long as there is no plague of locusts, or rain of blood and frogs, it's all good.

I am going out on a limb saying that, because I am taking Greyhound to SF again this weekend, which may be considered another sign of the apocalypse.

I am usually incredibly responsible when it comes to work. However, being sick messed me up in more ways than I ever could have imagined. (Note to self: you are human. Suck it up, let someone else take care of it!) Besides the chills the other night, I had a temp over 102, which for good old sub-normal temp me, is more like 104. Evidently, it boiled my brain. I missed several appointments, and generally was in a fog for two days, during which I made at least 4 major work-related mistakes that I am still kicking myself over.

I am feeling better today, and I am hoping that I will be good to go for another week at work. I got the news today that I am basically booked through the end of the year, which is just insane. I am going to be training people to pick up some of the slack next week, because the demand is huge. It's thrilling for me, because I love this company, and I am doing my best to get them as many bookings as I can finagle.

It pleases me to no end, however, to find out that I have a waiting list. Teachers are calling in, requesting me to come to their classes again, and when they find out I am booked, are actually requesting to wait until I have an open day...even when they find out it will most likely be sometime in February. That is about as cool, and as flattering, as it gets. I am blown away.

It does make things harder on some level. I am thrilled that the kids like me, and incredibly happy in my job.

Here's the problem. I take questions at the beginning and end of my classes. Being kids, the first questions usually have nothing to do with why I am there, but I answer them anyway. Questions two and three are usually things like, "What's your favorite color?" and "What's your favorite animal?" Question number one: "Do you have a family? Do you have kids? Or just "How many kids do you have?"

When I say no kids, I have a big huge husband and a lot of pets, they get...well, indignant is the best word.

"But why not!!! Your kids would have so much fun!!! You could do science with them at home, and they would be so lucky!!!"

Ouch. Just....ouch. Luckily, I am out of the teary stage, because as it is, it damn near does me in. EVERY time.

Anyway. Today I managed the Big Three Questions from a class full of fourth graders and then another little boy raised his hand.

"When's the guy getting here? Isn't there a guy?"

I was puzzled for about a second, and then I pointed to my lab coat and said, "I'M the guy!!!" And I made a silly face at him.

The class all busted up laughing. The teacher explained that she had talked to a guy on the phone, which was why they had been expecting a male scientist- but wasn't it great that I was a woman? Because girls can grow up to be scientists too!

I guess the little girls felt empowered, which is great. They all swarmed my table after the presentation- asking where to get dry ice, and telling silly knock knock jokes. I hit them with the vintage interrupting cow joke and they went bananas. It was hilarious- they were all squealing and slapping their teensy knees, and then they followed me out into the parking lot, offering to carry stuff for me. The teacher from the class saw them and called after me, "I'm jealous! You already have groupies!!"

The good outweighs the bad- definitely. And I have to remember, my knock knock jokes from 1982 will always be a hit with the fourth graders of the world. I have found my audience! If I had my own kids, they'd eventually hit puberty and find my mere prescence to be totally humiliating.

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