Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

December 20, 2011

Wanted: Little girl with bean stuck in her ear

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 4:17 pm

In the last several days I graded papers for four classes, all of which involved a great deal of writing. As much as I love my students, near the end I felt as if I would rather kiss a snake on the lips than get within ten feet of another ungraded essay. Now the last one is done.

So that’s one step in the end of semester grading process. After that, I emailed all students in all classes and strongly urged them to check their scores before I entered the final grades. Once that’s over, I logged on to the program in which grades are entered. Halfway through that process, the program decided I’d had enough time and logged me out. I logged back in and entered grades for eighty students. Then I went back into the electronic grade book—different log-on—and loaded each class individually to a part of Blackboard called My Content Collection. Then I emailed all of them to an office where people are waiting anxiously because they have a deadline, too. I usually have to do this part several times before I get the permissions right and send them to the correct email address.

After that I waited for the trickle of students who wanted to negotiate their grades. Once I issued a “No,” “No,” and a “You will not die. Don’t you know the world is run by C students?” I was actually, officially through with the semester. The sense of freedom I have then is a lot like the one I had when I first got married. No, not that somebody finally married me, thank you very much. That was just an unfortunate incident. Just kidding!

But I digress. The first couple of years after I married TBL, I babysat five days a week to make a little extra money. I cared for two little girls and a toddler boy. The boy and the youngest girl were very little trouble and I actually had fun. The oldest girl did things like peel the wallpaper off the wall in the playroom, smear her face and that of her sister with my makeup, and try to flush her shoes down the toilet. On one memorable occasion, she was in the playroom and I was in the hallway. I heard her say, “Uh oh.” That never boded well.

I really didn’t want to see whatever it was, but I went into the playroom and knelt in front of her.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“It’s in my ear,” she whispered.

“What is?”

She leaned closer and cupped her mouth with her hands. “I thought it would come out of my mouth,” she said, still whispering.

I turned her face to the side so I could look into her ear. There, pushed so far into her ear it was barely visible, was an uncooked pinto bean.

I won’t go into the details of how we solved that sticky wicket, but it’s just one example of fixes she got herself, and, by extension, me, into. She was a bright, curious little girl, and if thought it, she did it. Consequently, at 5:10 on Friday afternoons, after all the kids had been picked up, there was joy in Mudville. I don’t mean a sigh of relief, but a whooping, air-punching, jumping on the couch, end-zone-happy-dance kind of joy.

That’s kind of how I feel now. Except I’m too tired to do my happy dance. But I’m free at last.

Oh. Wait. Now I have to get Christmas cards sent, buy gifts, make it through Christmas day, read two books, and get all four of my online classes completely ready, including one I’m designing from scratch. I have to do all that before next week when I go to OKC as part of the requirements for my MFA. I’ll be there ten days. Except for the one day right smack dab in the middle when I drive back to Tulsa to attend a mandatory, all-day, all-faculty meeting, after which I return to OKC.

Crap. Where’s a little girl with a bean in her ear when you need her?





  1. I am definitely that little-bean-eared girl. As a child, I was the one who would go outside with my sister in our Sunday best, after being cautioned not to to get dirty. My sister could sit for hours on end in the shade, with her white-gloved hands folded in her lap. She was the good girl.
    But in ten seconds flat, I was muddy, bloody,with a torn can-can slip, a broken buckle on my patent-leather shoes and a missing glove. The other one was right there, twenty feet over head in the pear tree.
    As a child, I was embarrassed about being that bean-girl, but not now. I relish her awkward, adventurous soul.


    Comment by lottie — December 21, 2011 @ 8:50 am | Reply

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