How silly of me to think that the end would arrive in the form of a zombie apocalypse like I have been preparing for! THEY’RE COMING according to the Omaha World Herald (March 12), and THEY are Emerald Ash Borers. No, not a group of US Senators dressed in green for St. Patrick’s Day. The Emerald Ash Borer is a metallic green beetle about a half inch long that will kill everything on the planet. I know, I didn’t realize there were metal bugs, either, but it said “metallic green” in the article.
Of course, I didn’t read the entire article; who has time to do that with bell-to-bell instruction and data team meetings at school and my busy schedule at home? But I did read the title and at least a portion of a paragraph, oh, and the captions, so I get the gist. In our state alone, the damage is expected to be close to a billion dollars when the inevitable attack by these cyborg insects is launched later this year. I think North Korea is probably behind it. Imagine, billions of these little genetic wonders infesting our “Good Life” in Nebraska.
Strategically speaking, before any major attack, an enemy army will send scouts ahead. I knew that if I could intimidate the scouts in my neighborhood, perhaps I could stave off the destruction to come. I needed the early troops to see that I meant business. My first thought was what would former Husker football coach, Bo Pelini, do in this situation, so I quickly ran outside this morning and began cussing like a sailor while yelling at the small tree in my front yard. This is war; bullying and intimidation was needed. When I finished, I turned red-faced to go inside. Mrs. Johnson, the elderly woman who lives next door, stared at me in disbelief with her mouth gaping.
“Just saving the world this morning,” I called to her. “It was good to see you in church Sunday morning.”
She did not respond. I am sure she was speechless that I was already doing my part to thwart the robot insect horde that was heading our way. I tried not to speak of the impending doom with my daughter on the way to school this morning. There was no need to worry her about the end of the world… at least not until after spring break. It could wait.
As I entered the school in the morning, I wondered what emergency plan was being put in place, just in case the Borers attacked sooner than later. I sought out my principal, Mr. Alfrey.
He directed me to Mr. Kerns, our assistant principal, saying, “Jeffrey is better suited for emergency preparation procedures like this one.”
I was impressed at how easily my principal passed on this important issue to Mr. Kerns. That is trust.
“I still can’t believe he goes by Jeffrey,” I commented. “You would think he would grow out of that at some point. I mean, the guy is going to be a doctor soon.”
“Glad I’m not sick,” I heard Mr. Alfrey mutter as he went back into his office.
I found Jeffrey chatting about data with a group of teachers sitting around him in the library. He had the teachers mesmerized. Their expressions showed just how engrossed they were in what he was saying. It looked like the teachers were actually looking straight through Mr. Kerns, like he had them in a trance… blank, expressionless, unmoving. They were totally dialed in, and I hated to interrupt the master at work.
But this was important! The Terminator-like army being sent by Skynet to destroy Nebraska was practically going to maybe sometime probably going to enter our borders. This student data Jeffrey was speaking about would matter no more if the Emerald Ash Borer made it to my school.
“Do you need something?” Jeffrey asked.
“Yes, defender of student achievement and Jedi Master of data, I need a moment of your time,” I responded reverently.
“Sounds important,” Mr. Eastridge said. “We will give you guys some privacy.”
As if shot out of a cannon, the entire group of teachers bolted for the library doors, clearing out in a matter of seconds. I am always impressed by the dedication of our teachers to get to their classrooms. I knew their meeting was supposed to go another 20 minutes, but I teach with so many devoted professionals; it is quite humbling sometimes.
I explained to Jeffrey about the article I had read about the Emerald Ash Borers and showed him the front page of the newspaper. Then Jeffrey got a serious look on his face. You probably have seen the look I am talking about on the face of your boss at one point or another. His face looked like he smelled something nasty and he wanted to figure out who the perpetrator was without giving away that he was trying to figure out who it was. I could tell he was serious.
He listened and nodded. When I was finished, he told me he would look into it and contact the district about what they were doing to prepare for it. He is so smart. I didn’t even think to contact the district. I should have tweeted our district’s superintendent right away this morning.
When I mentioned to Jeffrey that I would contact the superintendent for him, he said, “Oh, I don’t think you need to contact him. Why don’t you let me take care of that?”
Jeffrey is such a great guy, so willing to take on the leadership role on this important and possibly deadly issue. The guy really is like Batman, you know. They both are technology savvy. Batman wears tights and a cape, and Jeffrey dresses in clothing that would look silly on most people, too. (Really, who wears sweater vests?) Most importantly, both Jeffrey and Batman have smooth tops of their heads.
Well, I adjusted my lesson plans to let the students know about the coming invasion, but I have also told the students not to worry because our principals are on top of it and are working on a plan to protect us all. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Talk to your bosses about their plans to thwart the coming invasion. To quote the philosophical musical, High School Musical, “We are all in this together.”