Monday, March 12, 2012

Poppy seeds, Cheesecake, and Restraint Training.

Do you ever clean the bathtub because you're feeling like a slacker and maybe that fresh bleach scent clinging to your hands will mean you've actually accomplished something? 
Yeah. Me too.

I shouldn't feel like a slacker. I actually accomplished some things today. My first ever cheesecake got done chilling and firming and it actually tastes pretty good. I've baked a HUGE lemon poppy seed cake that's cooling on the counter and I'll throw down some cream cheese icing for it as soon as the monsters are in bed. I finally took the red dress to the dry cleaners. And, hey, I spent the morning getting my restraint training certification renewed.

Restraint training. It's not what you'd think.

Ideally, restraint training would be something like an anger management class. It would actually do what it says; train restraint. A tall, balding therapist in slacks and last season's sweater would teach a group of impetuous gumnuts like me to hold back on those wacky impulses that lead us to do crazy things like eat at Arby's or start a blog. We would leave with shiny certificates of completion, a well-deserved sticker on our lapels, and a rubber band firmly anchored around our wrists so that, when restraint is needed, we can snap that rubber band and use the pain that ensues to redirect our thoughts. 

Alas, that's not what today's restraint training was about. 

I spent the day with my arms wrapped around other teachers (and administrators) as we practiced the systematic handling of students who pose a physical threat to themselves or others. If you've never wrestled an assistant-principal to the ground, you are missing out on an experience. As if remembering the right way to move your feet, position your hands, duck your head, and push your hip isn't enough, you get the additional worry of physically hurting someone in a position of tremendous influence over your career. And then there's that split-second panic as you and the administrator you're currently dragging to the ground hit the floor where you wonder if you've done the right technique or if that old karate training has kicked in and you've accidentally blocked the wrong person's windpipe.

"My bad. I hope this doesn't negatively affect my yearly evaluation."

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