Here is the quandary... if I don't share this masterpiece of an issue, the masses will not have the correct image of what cape-wearing truly entails. If I do share it, I will have crossed the line of decorum. I know this.
But you must know!
Today, I was assigned "Dookie Duty" in my classroom. The school custodian and the teacher next door agreed that due to an issue we have been having in the bathroom, "someone" needed to check the bathroom after each use for... dookie. No joke.
It appears an unidentified student has been putting their... dookie... in the garbage can instead of the toilet. The unisex bathroom is in my classroom (let's not discuss why this is problematic in middle school). The issue has not remedied itself, nor have the reminders to use the toilet and the provided toilet tissue had the desired impact. For this reason, the solution of "dookie detection" was devised. I must add here that the while I have zero brilliant ideas as to what else could have been done, it still irks that this particular solution was created by people that knew darn well they would never have to take part in it.
So how did this caped teacher handle it? Oh, with the utmost class and decorum, of course. I pulled out my old fashioned welders goggles (a must in this profession) and announced that I had been tasked with checking the bathroom garbage after each use. I explained that while they might feel that this new procedure "sucked," they may want to take a minute and remember it from my perspective. I reminded them that I, as their faithful teacher, respected their right to use the bathroom and, even, to go "number 2" if needed, but that I felt strongly that I should not have to deal quite so directly with it. I said I would do what was needed, but that they should take pity on me, again as their faithful teacher, and make it so that I no longer had to be quite so abused. I then reminded them of their age, their ability to take good care of themselves, the fact that employers frown on such behaviors, and of basic bathroom guidelines (like... wipe and flush). I reiterated the very lameness of this state of affairs, and continued on with the doo-ty (sorry--had to say it just once).
For those who are also cape-wearers, you are most likely not as startled by this story. You know that bodily functions come with the job. For those who have not been graced with this knowledge, let me attempt to explain. No--there is too much. I will sum up: I understand that there is, quite possibly, an underlying issue here. A teenage person is messing around with his or her... mess. I know this is problematic. First, though, we had to deal with the fact that it needed to stop. Neither the assumption of tact, nor the sly messages, nor the counselors pleas were working. So we have to go to the source, as it were.
Now I will shock you. I will tell you that I might know who it is that is doing this dreadful deed, and I might even be able to forgive this child for the behavior. Why? Because while this is a disgusting problem for me to have, a loathsome duty to be given, and even, dare I say it, "not on my contract," it is still real and present, is it not? Bottom line (no pun, see?), there is a child who is having some sort of issue and needs something. I have not a clue as to what that something is, but I will attempt to take care of it once my "dookie duty" has stopped and my caped-ness can resume.