Saturday, June 14, 2008

things they don't teach you in library school (yes, you have to go to school for this)

1. they do not teach you how to remove crayons from pencil sharpeners

remember those old fashioned metal pencil sharpeners they had bolted to the wall of your elementary school classroom? we have those. now, common sense might tell you that a pencil sharpener is for pencils. it is not a general sharpener of all dulled objects. for instance, you cannot sharpen knives with a pencil sharpener. it is for pencils only. i could go on and on and list the various things you should not put into a pencil sharpener, but i won't. however, aside from knives, you also shouldn't put crayons in pencil sharpeners.

we have these three siblings that come into the library. there is a 5-year old, a 9-year old, and a 13-year old. girls 9 and 13 are supposed to be looking after boy 5. but they do not like looking after boy 5. so instead they ignore boy 5 completely and allow him to run amok around the library while they socialize with older boys. lovely. here are some various predicaments which have arose from this custodial situation: boy 5 stood outside by himself in a downpour and got soaking wet, boy 5 ran outside during the heat wave and began picking up various discarded soda bottles on the ground and drank from them, boy 5 filled up a watergun in the library bathroom and was very close to going on a shooting spree, etc etc.

i have, on several occasions, told the older sisters that they must watch boy 5 AT ALL TIMES. and when i say this they usually roll their eyes at me and/or suck their teeth at me. so charming.

boy 5 happens to be very preoccupied with the pencil sharpener. on many occasions i have caught him taking apart the pencil sharpener and sticking his fingers between the various gears. i have also caught him shoving crayons up there. now, one would think that if you shoved a crayon into a pencil sharpener you would see that it didn't fit and you would cease and desist this activity. but oh no. instead he jams the entire crayon in there so that it is so deeply lodged in the pencil sharpener that it cannot be removed.

i wound up leaving it in there a few days so that the other children could learn the valuable lesson of "listen to miss dewey decimal when she says no crayons in the pencil sharpener."

so today i decided it would be my saturday mission to fix the pencil sharpener. it took 45 whole minutes. first, using a paper clip i tried to bore wholes into the mass of crayon. i coupled this technique with using the thin end of a pen cap to dig out crayon. then large chunks of crayon would be dislodged from the sharpener only to re-lodge themselves in the gears. then i would have to use said paper clip and pen cap all over again. the whole process was very painstaking, but eventually i got all the crayon out and now pencils can again be put into the pencil sharpener. and i made a cute little sign saying "pencils only" with a picture of a crayon with a big red line through it. ahhh, another action packed saturday in the children's room.


fifi said...

If boy 5 had stuck one of the fingers of girl 9 or girl 13 in the pencil sharpener, they'd watch him from now on. Perhaps you need to beat them.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

You're a true hero, Ms Dewey Decimal.

As usual, I'm going to request a pic- of the sign you made (brilliant!).