Before I began teaching for the year I got a call that I needed to go to a week long conference in Atlanta to be trained in the AVID program. I had no idea what this was, but apparently I was going to be teaching it in the fall. I figured that I better attend and agreed to join the convoy. I showed up at the school board office at 6am one sunny summer day totally unprepared for the insanity that was about to occur.
I was introduced to my new assistant principal. She seemed like a perfectly normal, albeit, perky lady complete with a perm and poufy bangs from the eighties. She invited me to ride in the front seat of one of the vans with her while she drove. I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to get to know my superior. Before everyone climbed into their respective vans the ass. Principal handed out walkie talkies to each driver so we wouldn’t lose each other.
About fifteen minutes into the eight our trip I was ready to throw myself out of the moving vehicle and into the path of another. The ass. Principal began her interrogation of me as soon as the doors clicked shut. I couldn’t even keep up with all the questions she was asking, “Where you been?” “Who do you know?” “How’ve you been?” “What have you seen?” “What are you reading?” “Seen any good movies?” “Do you like Coke or Pepsi?” “Did you see that bird?”
After about an hour I couldn’t take it anymore and pretended to sleep for the next five hours. The unlucky lady behind me didn’t think to take the same approach and she was the ass. Principal’s next victim. She had to read to read to the ass. Principal from an educational journal for two hours. I felt bad but it was the survival of the fittest time in that van.
About six hours into the trip the ass. Principal had no one else in our van to interrogate so she switched to a new tactic, using the walkie talkies to bother the other vans. Because we were the lead van she decided to give the other vans traffic updates, “The road looks clear Y’all! I only see a purple car about 100 yards ahead of us. Uh-oh, I see something on the side of the road up ahead. I am going to put on my brakes. Slow down! Watch out! Slow Down! Oh, it’s just a paper bag don’t worry about it. So did anyone see America’s Got Talent the other night?”
She never seemed to notice that no one ever responded to her. When we finally got to Atlanta I walked up to a group of riders I had never met before and said, “Can I ride home with you guys?” One of them turned to me and said “I’m sorry we couldn’t rescue you. We turned those walkie talkies off after the 4th question. What is wrong with that woman?” I shrugged dejectedly and we all walked into the hotel fast friends.