One More Parent Meeting Before I Go…With a Bike Story Chaser

I. Dear Parents of My Students:

I love ya. You are great parents and I’ve truly enjoyed meeting you during the last three days of parent/teacher conferences at my school. I’ve even enjoyed those with whom I’ve shared going over IEPs together, about five or six such meetings in the last week or so.

But I can’t take it anymore. One more parent meeting and my meeting-addled brain will melt. One more look into my grade book to see what your son/daughter has right now and my eyes will bleed a flood of red pen red. One more slow head nod of understanding from me, and my head might just fall off.

It’s being held onto my neck with staples and toothpicks now.

And today I have another IEP. And another one next Tuesday. And another next Wednesday. And I forgot to mention the IEP I’m helping something else out with later today as well.

Time for some more staples and toothpicks.

II. Riding Home Yesterday

The bike ride home yesterday was the funniest, if not funnest, bike ride I’ve had in ages. Fate and a “cold” front combined to have me trying to stay vertical as I rode directly into 50 mph winds. Frequent sandstorm squalls raked me, every tumbleweed created in the last twelve months rolled unpredictably around and through me, large plastic bags hovered and swirled like “War of the Worlds” spaceships just over my head.

I spent about ten minutes cleaning up debris from a fallen tree that completely blocked the river bike path. Once or twice I had to pedal as hard as I could just to keep the bike from falling over, as my speed was somewhere around 1.2 mph.

I came very close to being simply swept into a car waiting alongside me at the light at MLK and Broadway. My teeth were sandpaper by the time I got home, and my face a circle of pitted dark encircling the clean patch of where my sunglasses had been.

It was crazy. Damn it was funny. And I’d do it again in a second, especially if I can keep my brain from realizing that I had a better than half-decent chance of being killed by a giant hunk of flying sheet metal or large, wind-blown cow yesterday.

Oh, the exhilaration of silly, preventable near-death experiences. I will reminisce on them often this morning as I slowly nod my head through another IEP. I hope the staples hold.

Have a good weekend everybody.

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