Slouching Toward Bedlam

Confessions of a Bedlam Doughnut Eater Or Professional Development Comes for the Librarian

Gord Winkle sighed with happiness. It was second period, his free period. The only other person to share his free period was Carrie Wellema, the choir teacher—and since the choir room was so far away from the staff lounge, she seldom made the trek. That meant that Gord was all alone with the five big boxes of doughnuts from Vern’s Bakery. And although they were technically for Bedlam’s student council to sell during break, it was understood that the teachers were each allowed one doughnut gratis. Gord would be able to take the covers off all of the boxes, spread them out on the work tables, and take his time before choosing the one special doughnut that was calling him. And if, perchance, there were two doughnuts calling him, well, Carrie Wellema had practically told him he could have hers. Maybe he would have a long john instead of a cake doughnut. Or maybe a fritter. Maybe two fritters . . .

The far door to the staff room slammed open and Bedlam’s librarian, Jon Kleinhut, stomped in, his entire face red with fury. He threw a pile of papers down on the table and pointed his finger straight at Gord.

“This is the stupidest stupid thing I have ever heard!”

Gord, who was perhaps the most deeply nonconfrontational man on Bedlam’s staff, hated when Jon got angry. Gord could never tell if Jon was angry at him or at someone else. And worst of all, Jon’s finger was forcing him back, away from the doughnuts that were calling his name.

“First it was the faculty book club. OK, I like books. Then it was the mandatory two professional development events per month. That was a pain, but I could handle it. I watched the stupid webinars on whatever stupid new educational buzzword Vanderhaar was obsessed with at the time. None of them had anything to do with the library, but since I am technically a faculty member, I did it.” Jon drew in a long breath, gathering himself for the next assault. The whole time his finger remained leveled at Gord, which made Gord feel guilty, especially because he’d liked the book club and the webinars. Both had given him new ideas to try in the classroom, and Vanderhaar had arranged for some terrific snacks at those meetings. One time he’d even served O-Ke-Doke cheese popcorn.

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