Passing the Puke

I recently went to the local movie theatre to watch Transformers 3 with a friend and coworker. On a side note, I highly recommend the movie. It had some amazing action and it was nice to see my local downtown Chicago getting blown up. However, as we were walking to the screen where our show was playing there was an employee telling us to watch our step. He informed us that a young movie patron has lost their dinner in a pile on the floor as well as a trail from that point to the men’s room. As we navigated around the soiled carpet one of the theatre employees was beginning to spread the magical “puke powder” on the spot.

A few minutes before the movie started I walked back out to head to the rest room for my pre-pee ritual.  On the way I noticed that the pile of powder was still there as well as the expelled food parts. I then overheard the original employee who spread the power standing and telling another employee, 
“Let’s just leave it for the night guys to clean up.”
I sort of laughed at the moment but then was kind of irritated by the statement. These two individuals did not want to deal with the mess so they were passing the puke on to their late night counterparts. How often do we do this in our schools? When you have a difficult kid do you ever find yourself thinking just get through the year and let next year’s teacher fix it? When you see a depressed kid do you talk with them or assume someone else will? When you see garbage on the floor of your school do you pick it up or hope someone else will notice it? When you see a dress code violation do you just think next period’s teacher will catch it? When you hear of a teacher doing something wrong do you assume it is an administrator’s job to deal with it? What puke are you passing off to others?

Personally, speaking I know I have passed the puke in the past and pushed things off that I should have dealt with myself. Whether it is time, experience, or uncertainty, we all have the urge to push work off on to others. As a new school year will be here before I know it, I am making it a goal to not pass the puke but clean up all my own messes and not ask others to do what I will not do myself. Unlike those movie theatre employees, I would like to clean up, fix, and make better whatever happens under my watch. 


Unknown said...

I love the analogy and am going to steal it. I teach Chemistry and the sciences are so disconnected from each other that I often hear teachers say things like "well they'll never take another Bio class so just give them the grade they want and let them move on." I think sometimes teachers get caught up in all of the other difficulties of the job and forget the real reason they went into this profession. Either that or they are doing this for all the wrong reasons.

RB said...

I love this post and fully agree, although i think most teacher deep down are in the profession for the right reasons. I guess the main factor is the educational environment. If you are a cleaner in a sea of passers, then it can be very indeed!!

elysabeth said...

Kind of a weird analogy (puke is not a good thing for some who may have weak stomachs) but it is a well-stated point. I am not a teacher but find what teachers have to offer often rings true in other aspects of our intertwined lives. I wish you much success in cleaning up, fixing and making things better as you encounter them during the school year. - Mrs. E :)

Ma America, The Travelin' Maven (aka Elysabeth Eldering)
Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

Where will the adventure take you next?

PS - if you will add an email subscriber, I will sign up and follow your postings that way. Thanks - Mrs. E :)

Bill Ferriter said...

Hey Pal,

Just a quick note to say thanks for sharing this. It hit home for me -- and left me more than a little convicted.

Rock right on,