Tuesday, February 5, 2008

lost in the specifics

We all need to vent now and again, right? You've been there, haven't you? When something just gets under your skin and sticks you. Ugh! Sometimes life just gets the better of us and it is so frustrating to have a plan, a program, a routine that is messed up by other people. Other people that really aren't intending to do you harm. Other people who don't have bad intentions. Other people who just can't see why the system has to work the way it works. Anyone with me?

Do I have a point, you ask? Yes. In a library, you check out the books! You don't walk out with them. That is called stealing. Because my library is situated sharing a space with a computer lab, I cannot just close the door if I have to step out. I am also the gateway to the copy room, and teachers have to use it whether I am here or not. So I cannot close the door and when I eat lunch I am not here at my desk. Evidently, during this time, students have been walking in and just taking the books.

I wouldn't have even known about it, but one mom came forward and said her daughter had about 30 books at home that were all library books. She said her daughter would be bringing them back in stages. When she asked her sweet little fourth grade daughter if I had checked out the books to her, she replied "I think she knows I have them!" Uh, I am not a mind reader. I cannot tell you who has what book...that is what the computer is for. That is why the books are barcoded. That is why I scan everything that comes in and goes out. I will not even get into what would happen if you could just take what you wanted, when you wanted, no matter if you brought it back. Maybe libraries were like that ages ago, but I call that a bookstore. And you a criminal.

Ok, so where do I find the blessings in all this? Well, I should be glad the mom came forward, and I am. I am also blessed that she will be returning the books and they won't all come up missing in May when I do inventory. I should be thankful my students are taking books and not other things. At least they are reading, even if the acquisition method isn't quite right.

Maybe the Lord is teaching me to flex my boundaries. To allow for childish misinterpretations of the rules. To be specific in what I say to students.

In this case, I specifically told said fourth grader today, "If I am not here, you cannot take books." She laughed, but I hope she got the message.

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