FAKE EDUCATION NEWS
People are talking about Monica Starling. Especially the five people who had planned to take her out Friday night for her 27th birthday. Starling teaches algebra at Montpelier High School in Montpelier, VT. Sources tell Teachbad Education News (TEN) that Starling was so caught up in her work that she forgot her own birthday.
TEN caught up with Ms. Starling for an exclusive interview.
Teachbad Education News: We have heard reports at Teachbad Education News that you forgot about your own birthday because you were so caught up in your school work. Is that really true?
Monica Starling: I know it sounds funny. But it’s true. I was sitting at my desk working on some…
TEN: Hold on…I’m sorry to interrupt. But I shouldn’t have started off with that question. It’s way too direct and this whole thing might be over in 25 seconds. I don’t know if you’re boring or an idiot or whatever. And it’s not like this is CNN or I’m some bigshot at the Washington Post like Brian. We have ample time and space here at TEN….So, I need some back story first.
Anyway, I guess that was awkward…I’m nervous…I apologize…Let’s just start again. OK?
MS: Sounds good.
TEN: So, tell me, what’s the matter with you? How the fuck did you forget your own birthday?
MS: Well…I…I was really busy…
TEN: Sorry…it’s weird now…I mean, between us, right?
MS: Yeah. A little.
TEN: Please, go on…
MS: OK. So…about teaching and my birthday?
TEN: Of course…please…
MS: OK…It’s just that there’s so much to do. You know?
TEN: [leans forward, folds hands, cocks head, furrows brow and nods sympathetically]
MS: But it’s all such cool stuff. I mean, don’t tell anyone, but the best part of this job is when I’m not teaching. I don’t even like kids that much. They’re sort of whiny and lazy.
TEN: True dat. But you know that sort of talk can get you suspended.
MS: Suspended WITH PAY, you mean. Sounds OK…anyway, my kick is repetitive tasks. I love ‘em.
MS: I LOVE doing simple things over and over and over. I also love things that don’t matter. That’s what this job is about. I could be grading 75 quizzes. They are all the same and after 3 hours I feel let down when it’s over. Kind of an emptiness…
TEN: Are you crying? Here’s a tissue.
MS: Thank you.
MS: Anyway…I pick myself up and find that I still have many small, repetitive tasks ahead. For instance, the scores from these quizzes I just graded aren’t going to enter themselves into the computer, now are they? Also, I have some grades to enter from third period. Fifth period needs a new seating chart. I need to update my parent call log. After I enter all the quiz grades I’ll be able to update my data wall. See? So I have ways to pick myself up out of the doldrums when I feel anxious that I’m running low on busy work.
MS: If worse comes to worse, I can always get out my notebook and type up the notes from Team Meetings and email them to everybody. I’ve had a pretty mixed response to that, but all in all I think the Team likes it.
TEN: OK…so…wow…you’re as cute as a button, but way more creepy.
TEN: Take me back to the night of your birthday. What happened there? How did you forget your own damn birthday?
MS: It all starts the night before. I was just tired I guess. I was up until 2:30 in the morning rearranging reading groups for first period and then I got up at 4:00am to work on my presentation about rubrics for the Team Meeting at 8:00.
I hope they liked it.
TEN: It probably sucked. I mean, you only got an hour and a half of sleep. Weren’t you tired?
MS: No. I mean yes. Of course I was tired.
TEN: So you were tired…and what about your birthday?
MS: Well, people were calling me and texting me and emailing me about my birthday and going out and stuff all day long. But I forgot my phone at home and never even checked email once I started entering data into the standards tracker. You can just sort of lose yourself in that. Then I fell asleep under my desk and next thing I knew it was Saturday. When I got home I heard all the messages and remembered that it was my birthday.
TEN: You’re an idiot.
MS: I know.
TEN: Did you know that the other teachers are mostly betting that you will show up for work on Presidents’ Day?
MS: Well, I did last year. But school was closed.
TEN: Happy Birthday, Ms. Starling. And thank you for talking with us today.