To prove to you the sadist I am….

Yesterday, a Preying Mantis came to play.  (No, I am not trying to be poetic).  So I took this picture….

And this one…..

And this beauty……

Playing with Mantis, I recalled one of the best birthday’s of all time (which, after reading this, you will take great pity on me, and avoid me like the plague for fear of being sucked into my vortex of lameness OR you will decide that I am truly a sadist and be drawn into my circle because…. well…. you know you like that).

I was teaching 9th grade Earth Science.  A student returned to “the pit”  (my very old classroom that literally had a pit planetarium off to one side), from the restroom and informed me that a Preying Mantis was in the hallway (the PM from now on will be referred to as Natasha, an 8 inch beauty).  I excused myself from the class for a few moments to rescue Natasha, because, although she is cunning in her skills, she is no match for rambunctious teenage boys.

I found Natasha, swept her up in my hand, and carried her back to my classroom to show my students.  By the time I reached my classroom, Natasha had climbed the full length of my arm and was sitting on my shoulder.  (I am now sitting here, laughing a maniacal laugh at what follows…. I can’t help it).  Two of my female students sitting by the door turn to look at me as I enter, Natasha at her resting place on my shoulder.  Both scream (later they tell me that it was because they thought it was a bird….. as if I am freaking Snow White, skipping and singing through the halls of the high school, little birdies landing on my shoulder.  Oh, and we need to scream at birds because they are OH. SO. TERRIFYING).

Natasha, alarmed by the ear piercing scream, takes flight into the classroom, aiming right for the heads of my students.  Mayhem ensues. Teenage boys and girls dive out of their seats as if they are avoiding a missile.  Chairs are knocked over.  Two students next to the pit actually flip over the railing to avoid being Natasha’s prey.

I stand back, take in the chaos, and fold in half laughing.

Natasha, lands on the wall to take rest.  The class turns to me.  I am laughing so hard, sound isn’t coming out of my body.  My students are thinking…..”She is INSANE.”

“Now, what?”, the student laying three feet down in the bottom of the pit says.  The students next to Natasha are moving slowly away, as if they expected her to bite off their heads (too many life science movies for them).

Chairs litter the aisles.  I can’t get through.  I hop up on one of the lab tables, and walk table to table until I reach the wall, still chuckling the whole way.  One of the students moving away, knocked a chair into a table.  Natasha startled again, taking flight once more.  Students scrambled again. I fell off the counter after a student jumped into me, avoiding her flight of death.

I grabbed a mason jar, jumped from table to table until I caught her in the jar.

I looked down at my students who were disheveled, battle weary.

The bell rang.  And I felt more energized than ever. Certainly a birthday to remember.

Note:  Natasha was not harmed during the course of this adventure.  My students on the other hand might have suffered some deep psychological scars.

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22 Responses to “To prove to you the sadist I am….”

  1. heather 15 August 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    That rocks :-)

  2. RedHeadMom 15 August 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I am dying. Long live Natasha!

  3. Caroline 16 August 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Bugs rule! Reminds me of how we used to bring dung beetles to class and listen to them scrape along the tops of the desks until the teachers insisted we get them out of there and set them free. It certainly helped pass the time.

  4. Corina 16 August 2008 at 9:25 pm #

    Thanks everyone. I guess (at least you three) thought me the latter, and not the lame crazy teacher that needed to be pitied and shunned. I feel better now.

  5. conversemomma 16 August 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    From one teacher to another, your students lives are richer for having you share those types of experiences.

  6. ali 17 August 2008 at 1:50 am #

    Too funny!

  7. Corina 17 August 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Conversmomma: There are many more experiences like that I tell you. My students must have won the lottery getting me as their teacher!

    Ali: Thanks! I feel it played out like a movie.

  8. Stonefox 19 August 2008 at 1:38 am #

    Bugs are awesome! Yes, I think some of your students watched too many sci-fi movies. And by the way, that flower photo is gorgeous.

  9. [...] 3.  Down-To-Earth Mama [...]

  10. Elizabeth Channel 19 August 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    Ok, friend, I just tagged you for a major award! Check my blog for details!

  11. BS Sunday, part I-don’t-even-know-anymore…

    Every week we do Blog Share Sunday. We highlight great posts, you visit them and discover new writers, then you tell us what we should be writing about next week. It’s a good thing. “She answered her cell and I……

  12. Jenny, Bloggess 24 August 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    Featured on Good Mom/ Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle:

  13. Lynne 25 August 2008 at 6:28 am #

    I think I’m going to go outside and find me a bug to release in my classroom. I need to recreate that spectacle – after of course setting up a video camera in the room.

  14. Corina 25 August 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Thanks for the award!!!!! I will be posting it later this week as I need to focus on who to pass it down too…… Such a difficult choice!!!!!

  15. Heather 3 December 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    My senior year of high school I took a couple of Ag classes where we worked in the school greenhouse. We had to spray pesticides (don’t worry we practiced IMP Integrated Pest Management) and caught our preying mantis and collected the egg sack and moved them inside. Well the preying mantis made it back inside the greenhouse but the egg stack…..needless to say we walked into class one day and spent the entire period knocking tiny preying mantis into cups to release outside. There were hundreds of them. Totally cool, and very very crazy.

  16. Heather 3 December 2008 at 4:15 pm #

    Now that is a good story!!! PM’s are interesting creatures.

  17. Robyns Online World 3 December 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    Too funny – I can picture the whole thing! Glad Natasha was safe. Happy belated birthday!

    Robyns Online World’s last blog post..

  18. Mia F 4 December 2008 at 12:34 am #

    That story is great!

  19. Craig S. 4 December 2008 at 10:46 am #

    I can just see the kids doing that to.

  20. Renée aka Mekhismom 6 December 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    That story is hilarious. You told it so well I can picture the whole scene.

    Renée aka Mekhismom’s last blog post..Tis’ The Season! GIVEAWAY

  21. Beeb Ashcroft 9 December 2008 at 12:19 am #

    LOL! Great story!

    My boyfriend used to have a praying mantis as a pet. It would sit by the computer sometimes, and its little bug eyes would follow the mouse cursor on the screen, pouncing to try and attack it.

    Beeb Ashcroft’s last blog post..Recycling Centers: How I Get So Many Coupons For Free

  22. flared0ne 9 December 2008 at 1:07 am #

    Maniacal laugh very much called for!! Keep this one to pull out in times of wondering “why am I so weird??” because it truly illustrates “because it can be so much FUN!”