you know the day isn't going so well when you wonder what a classroom might look like if you were to tie up one of the students by her ankles and use her as a pinata as an example for the rest of the students.

"corona, back in your seat," i command.

"but why?"

"because you can't see the teacher."

"no," he turns his head, "see? i can see."

"corona, don't argue with me. sit in your seat."

"i don't want to."

"corona, how old are you? 14? 15?"

"i am 15," he says proudly.

"then act like it. don't act like a five year old. sit in your seat and don't argue with me."

"no, i am fine here."

at this point the sub yells at a student for spraying some perfume into the air. don't do that! but why, the students ask. some people might have allergies, or they don't like the smell. i am far off to the side, but i smell it. the students are roaring. the classroom is out of control; kids are walking around, no one is doing his work. a perfect opportunity for a bathroom break. the voices fall behind me, and adriana's voice is the last that i hear. "teacher! teacher..."

i return and they are silent. corona is back in his seat and actually doing work. twenty minutes later, the sub realizes most students are working in their grammar book, and not their reading workbook. she tells them to switch, and receives whiny feedback. i don't have it. i didn't bring it. i go around asking, where's your book? i left if at my house. i have nothing to say to that. bring it next time. bring it with you everyday.

worried that the students are going to bust out of the classroom as they do everyday, i find gil, the head security guard, and tell him my predicament.

"just stand in front of the door," he says. "you or the sub. make sure the door is closed, and stand there." in reality, i've tried this before, but they pushed past me, and i know it's against regulations to physically restrain a student.

"all right. i've tried that last time, but it didn't really work."

"well, i'll come around just in case. room 58? no, room 57."

"thanks, gil."

by the end of the period i wait by the door, secretly hoping that karen or yara or adriana will leave before the bell so that gil can pick them up. it was like that time the staff at tower records was watching two teenage female shoplifters. voyeuristic crimespree. unfortunately, the sub threatened them with saturday school, so none of the girls inherited gil's wrath. he's a portly fellow, white hair, ex-marine. turns red when he's really pissed.

i'm a real sadist today.

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