Volunteering

I wanted to go back to bed, but I had a date with the flu shot clinic at Paul-n-Other-Jim's high school. The call went out (or the email was mass-mailed) for volunteers to man (or woman) some stations at the H1N1 flu shot clinic at the high school. I usually don't get to sign up, but, lo and behold, I didn't have to babysit! So I signed up. I had to be there at 7:55 a.m. (normally, I'm in my robe with a bowl of oatmeal to keep me company, and Matt is puttering around the house forgetting to brush his teeth and do his cat job. I can't remember the last time I was showered, breakfasted, and ready to leave the house before 8 a.m.) I was leaving Matt to his own devices, which causes me a few moments of panic only because I still see him as "THE BABY" and babies can't take care of themselves. But he's 11 and he assured me (via the classic method of preteen communication: the eye roll) that he could take care of himself and wouldn't miss the bus.

So off I went to the high school. If I could volunteer at the high school as a career, I would do it in a heartbeat. I find the teenagers very energizing. All of the ones I dealt with today--I located and handed them their pre-filled-out immunization authorization forms--were pleasant and polite. Most smiled. Those who were fearful of vaccines in shot form were still easy to deal with. Those who weren't on the list of approved recipients of the vaccine (those whose parents had filled out a form and sent it in prior to today) didn't argue or get angry. They shrugged it off or waited patiently as the clinic supervisor or the school nurse called a parent. There was no shoving in line; the line-waiters were well-mannered and gracious to others. I was heartened by the overall behavior of the students. We hear so many bad things about youth today; it was nice to spend two hours in the company of teenagers without suffering disappointment.

My boys must have forgotten (or I neglected to tell them?) that I had filled out their forms and sent them in because they didn't come down to the clinic when their time came (the kids were called alphabetically by last name). Fortunately, I knew where Paul was and he had to pass by me to get from one class to another, so I called him over and put him in line. I had to have OJ paged over the PA system. He wasn't happy because I prevented him from taking a math quiz. Sigh. I suppose it is my job as parent to endure many instances of dissatisfaction with my fulfillment of parental duty. If the math teacher has a problem with it, he or she may call me and I'll take the blame. And if OJ is still mad at me later, I plan to placate him with the offer of an oral application of M&Ms.

Even though flu season is almost over, I accepted the offer of a free shot (who doesn't like free shots?) when the clinic was over for the students. And now my shoulder is a wee bit sore.

But I got to fraternize with teenagers and, as I said before, I enjoyed it, so the sore shoulder is a minor inconvenience.

Comments

Jen said…
Good for you to help out with such a good cause and who wouldn't want a free SHOT. We tried to get our shots a couple of times at Mike's work, but the first we got there one hour too late and the other time the date was written down wrong. Grrr. We've all been so sick this season that I just don't have the strength anymore to find us some shots.
Jenni said…
I'm glsd you enjoyed your foray into the teenage cesspool. As you are acutely aware, I work in a high school and would have never stayed here subbing if I didn't in some respect enjoy these blasted kids. They make me laugh. They make me roll my eyes. As much as I don't want to work, I love being around these kids (and many of my kids are NOT the delightful ones)!! I must be crazy. Anyway, glad you got the chance to do that. Isn't it strange to spot your child in the school setting (out in the wild)? They function and all that without us. They have a life that we don't control. odd...
mastubz said…
I used to enjoy those kinds of duties at the high school - back in the day. But alas, one day while helping at the blood drive, a girl passed out and pee'd on my shoes. Then there was the time Jos and another football buddy raced to see who could fill their blood bag the quickest, by pumping their veins. Boys!
I don't like going to the high school anymore - too old!
I look forward to the time when I can do more things like that. And I needed to hear your renewed confidence in the youth because I had a week of bad news about them (some specific ones) that was hard to swallow.
Dennis said…
Visit Dakota Ridge School someday. It gives teenagers a bad name.
Jenni said…
The truth about teenagers: One can't judge all teens based on what someone says; how one, two, three or even more of them act; and there are awful ones and great ones at EVERY school.