WARNING: Here is a long and essentially pointless story, which I am telling you because I am back in school and teaching my class this morning felt like running into a brick wall. Repeatedly.
Once upon a time, when I was a brand-spanking new mid-year hire, I discovered the magic coke machine. Sometimes, when you put in a dollar bill for a 75 cent diet coke, the machine would give you an extra quarter back as change. Magic coke machine!
Legend had it that the coke machine could predict the future. Extra quarter= good day. No extra quarter= bad day.
I am already a superstitious person. I did not need any extra help believing in the machine. I also may have made a spreadsheet documenting correlations between cheap coke and good teaching days, but I may have not done that, either.
Sometimes, though, shit happens and you don't have a dollar. So you frantically dig through your bag and your desk searching for 3 quarters.
But alas, in your early morning delirium you mistake a nickel for a quarter. You come up short. It is going to be a very bad teaching day. You accept this, and hit change return.
And get back 4 shiny quarters.
You try the same tactic again the next day, and it works. And the next day. You get your diet coke, and you make a small profit. 55 cents = 1 dollar= 45cent profit=Diet Coke for 30 cents.
And then you feel bad. It isn't a magic Coke Machine God that capriciously grants you an extra quarter and a good day of teaching. It's a broken piece of machinery that you deliberately manipulate every day so you don't have to pay as much to feed your addiction.
This of course causes much internal reflection. Am I stealing? Do I care if I'm stealing from the Coke Corporation? Is it my fault the machine is broken? What about that one time the machine ate my dollar? Can I consider this compensation for how little I get paid?
If I clutch my husband's coat-tails firmly enough, can I make it into the Celestial Kingdom despite my morally bankrupt quasi-thievery?
What do you think?
No seriously. Either help me rationalize, or sermon me into repentance.