I’m a very independent person. Apparently I have been this way since a very young age. My mom always recounts how I would never let her dress me, instead opting to pick out my outfits entirely by myself. I was also often heard taunting my parents by saying, “Don’t want to – not going to – ha!” Charming, right? I already see this independence in my son, and it’s often the source of tension between the two of us. Lord only knows that this is foreshadowing for the years to come. Pray for us!
This need to assert my independence often just isn’t practical. I can’t stand micromanagement, and while of course we can all agree that is natural, I often balk at any type of management at all. I just know that my way is best, and nobody else needs to tell me what to do. This does not lend itself very nicely to working at a school. Obviously there are always people telling me what to do, whether it be my superiors or even my students. It just kind of comes with the territory.
What also comes with the territory are notes, posted notices all over the place. You know what I’m talking about, right? All workplaces have them, but perhaps schools even more so. These notices are always reprimanding the masses for something or telling them the proper procedure for doing things. In short, they annoy me and my independent nature.
This morning I arrived in my classroom and pulled out my desk chair to sit down. Waiting on the seat for me was a little handwritten note which read “Please make your students pick up their trash.” Some necessary background here: at our school, which is a boarding school, all students must have some sort of after school job. This means that in lieu of hiring actual janitors, students clean the facilities. So this note was written by a student. On the one hand, I understand that maybe it’s annoying to pick up trash left by your peers day after day, but on the other hand I am in my classroom every day and if there were a majorly trashy situation going on I would be aware of it. There is not. I take this note to be a student telling me how to do my job because he does not want to do his. It irritates me.
Then, moments later, I went to use the restroom, only to discover a new notice awaiting me in the stall. This one gave detailed instructions on how to flush the toilet. I confess that my initial thought was, “I’m glad that with my college education I need someone to help me understand how to flush a toilet – a toilet I have successfully been flushing for five years without detailed instructions nonetheless.” Then I had to check my attitude. There is probably a justifiable reason for this posted notice…I guess.
The point is, leave me alone. I’m too independent for this, and, furthermore, I’m an adult.