green skin, ripped shorts.

6:00 AM: Alarm sounds (one of those I-think-this-will-be-a-peaceful-sound-to-wake-up-to-but-end-up-hating-it-after-one-day kind of alarms)

6:15 AM: Phone rings and a peppy voice asks me if I’d like to go babysit substitute for the day! I groggily answer “yes” with a voice that tries to sound much more awake than it is.

6:30 AM: I finally roll out of bed, shower, and put on clothes that resemble my every day outfits in high school (Dress pants, collared shirts, sweaters…Yep. I was victim to a dress code).

7:30 AM: The transformation.

Well, I’m not sure when it begins, actually. I say 7:30 because that’s when the bell rings in the middle and high school to start the day. But honestly, I’d probably say it begins after my first interaction with The Student That Shall Not Be Named.

It’s rarely the same student. Mr or Ms. TSTSNBN (if you say that fast, it has a nice ring to it) always seems to know exactly what will set me off.

I’m really not an easily angered or annoyed person. I wouldn’t necessarily give myself the Patience Award, but I rarely approach a classroom immediately assuming I’m going to have to put on my “Mom” face. I think every class, every student deserves a shot at earning my trust and respect.

Mr./Ms. TSTSNBN on the other hand…they throw your grace out the window with one inappropriate word, one outburst, or one blatantly insubordinate action. It’s disheartening, really. And angering.

And you wouldn’t like Mrs. A. when she’s angry.

When I return from a day of subbing and tell señor and my friends about TSTSNBN and his/her behavior that made me lose my cool, they want to be a fly on the wall. They want to see BA Laura. Or, Hulk Laura.

Similar to Lou Ferrigno’s version of the Hulk. Not so much the computer-generated hulk. Lou was a little more realistic. Although, I’m not sure how that green paint appeared and disappeared so quickly… This likeness is perfect. His stance is eager, his fingers are ready to grip, and his face makes him feel intimidating but people don’t really take him seriously. Kind of like students when you try to reprimand them.

The point is, TSTSNBN makes me feel like my purple shorts (Have I ever actually owned purple shorts?) are gonna tear, my skin is going to go all Jolly Green Giant, and my muscles are going to explode like I just chugged a liter of Muscle Milk and have taken steroids since I was a baby. Unfortunately, they seem to define my entire day. I go home thinking I had a bad day because TSTSNBN decided to test my patience, cheat on their tests (which happened twice today by the way), or say something out of line…heart rate increasing, blood boiling…

What I try to remember, though, is that while my green skin and ripped shorts come out every so often, I still have a soft heart toward the students who do what they’re told and work hard during class. Did the Incredible Hulk not have a soft side? He was tender under that rough skin and purple shorts…purple. Goodness, I can’t get over the fact that Lou Ferrigno wore purple shorts. And judging by this picture, I’d say they were actually jorts. Yikes–what a combo.

To reassure you, I have never thrown a desk across the room or growled at a student because they did something inappropriate. This Hulk knows how to at least be even-tempered despite the occasional TSTSNBN. Overall, I am really starting to like these kids.

Especially the ones that think I’m married to Lance Armstrong.

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