Lady Lawanda’s No Bitch Left Behind Team Meeting

Note: When one of Val’s friends saw a recent post, Two Rules For Any Man Who Wants An Outrageously Wonderful Relationship With A Woman, that mentioned her, she wrote, asking if I could repost a May 7, 2009 entry about a meeting Val organized for her team of teachers. So, here it is.

Remembering Lady Lawanda

It was about this time last year that Val’s (aka Lady Lawanda1 ) illness exacerbated, and she began an inexorable deterioration that would result in her death in June. Consequently, she has been on my mind.

I have many memories of the time she and I had together that are soulful, sweetly gentle, and tinged with tragedy.

The teaching team meeting episode falls into another category altogether.

The Teaching Team Planning Meeting

Lady Lawanda and I had not been together long when she decided that the ideal location for her teaching team’s annual planning meeting, a two day affair for seven female K-7 teachers, would be my place.2

hoiusepix

Having never met any of the other women on the team and having no connection with the school program, I, of course, immediately agreed.3

Meetings, Mimosas, And Mix CDs

I will not provide a full account of the actual event because (1) the details are unimportant and (2) the statute of limitations may not have run out on some of the potential charges.

In any case, a few observations seem sufficient to characterize the meeting, its attendees, and, especially, Ms Lawanda, the Team Leader.

  • Being unfamiliar with educational methodology, I, for one, was unaware that a mandated component of these planning meetings was the consumption of pitchers of Mimosas on arrival.4
  • I’ve attended many medical staff and hospital committee meetings extending over months and years that accomplished far less than these seven women did working furiously for 7-8 hours on that Saturday.
  • The unity and self-regard of the team perfectly fit the “No Bitch Left Behind” title of that Planning Meeting.5
  • I’ve since discovered that not all Planning Meetings have their own mix CD, but I’m glad this one did because
    • The liner notes, “Teaching Team Identification Guide,” some examples of which follow, are instructive:
      • If you know precisely how many months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes until your retirement, you may be an elementary school teacher.
        If you know precisely how many months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes until your principal’s retirement, you may be a 4/5 team member.
      • If you have to assure that all the clothes exchanged during the day get back to the right student, you may be an elementary school teacher.
        If you have to assure that all the clothes exchanged during the day get back to the school personnel from whom you borrowed them, you may be a 4/5 team member.
      • If you find yourself calling the parents of students about spandex dresses that are too revealing and too tight, you may be an elementary school teacher.
        If you find yourself calling your husband or boyfriend (or both) to tell them about your spandex dress that is too revealing and too tight, you may be a 4/5 team member.6
    • Lady Lawanda selected each song. (Click on image to enlarge)

It is important to me to remember that Lady Lawanda, who organized a final planning session with teachers taking over her individual students in her hospice a week before she died, was a profoundly dedicated and skilled teacher – and that I loved her madly.

Note: Originally posted May 7, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of AllanShowalter.com
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  1. I cannot emphasize enough that “Lawanda” and “Lady Lawanda” were the blogonyms she selected. []
  2. Lady Lawanda inevitably referred to the house as “The Crystal Palace.” For more about the house, see Allan & Julie Build Their Dream House With A Little Help From Bo The Builder & Hugh Jacobsen (In Absentia) []
  3. See Rule #2 of The Two Rules For An Outrageously Wonderful Relationship With A Woman, Whatever she asks, never tell her “No” []
  4. On Friday night prior to the work sessions which began on Saturday []
  5. The “No Bitch Left Behind” illustration was adapted from an old porn movie poster. I’ve deleted the name of the school from the Meeting’s graphic and cut a section that listed the names of the participants. I’m not certain the elementary school’s students who might see this are prepared to see their teachers endowed with nicknames such as “The Pump Room Diva,” Jane “Perpetual Party” Doe, or Mary “Get a Room” Smith. []
  6. More about that spandex dress at another time []

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