Tuesday, October 28, 2014


By now, most anyone who has used email has made the dreaded “reply all” mistake, or inadvertently sent something to the wrong person, sometimes with disastrous results. And while I’ve seen my fair share of those, being in The Middle makes things even crazier.

Teachers are notorious email checkers, and with many public computers housed throughout the building, they can sign in and check from their classroom, the library, the computer lab, some else’s classroom, etc.  

The problem is, many forget to log out, so when the next teacher goes to use the computer, they suddenly find they have access to someone else’s email account. 

Now, the polite and proper thing to do would be to log out, but where’s the fun in that? No, what WE do is take advantage of the opportunity to hack their account and send flirty emails from the unsuspecting teacher to some other equally unsuspecting teacher. Or volunteer them to chair dance committees. Or offer to host the next Happy Hour.  

Harmless fun that no one takes too seriously. Though occasionally, the jokes get carried too far. Usually by me. 

A few years back, after Hurricane Katrina, our music department sent out a district-wide email asking teachers to donate any gently used instruments to replace the damaged ones in the affected New Orleans’ schools.

The moment I read it, a funny joke popped into my head, but I refrained from responding, as it was a bit off-color. Problem is, that joke was still on my mind a few hours later when I sat down at a computer that a female teacher forgot to sign out of – so – as HER, I sent out the following response, to the entire district:

“If you’re still looking for donations, I hear Rich Sufalak* has a small organ he never uses ;)”

Funny, right?

My principal didn’t think so. 

I was chastised, told to apologize to the entire staff, and written up. A union rep was even brought in to watch as I signed the official reprimand, which can still be found in my ever-thickening permanent file. I'm guessing it's somewhere in The Middle!

*name changed to protect the innocent, but it was a fellow teacher with an equally rowdy sense of humor who totally appreciated the joke!

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