Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Day Homer Simpson Ran An IEP Meeting

Note:  Below is a very fictionalized recounting of a true event.  Names and genders have been changed to protect the incompetent.

Homer Simpson scratched his ass, belched and looked in the mirror to shave. The face looking back at him was not his but that of a mixed race middle aged woman.  He shrieked.

Marge...," he called.

"What is it, Homer," Marge called from the kitchen.

"Can you come up to the bathroom?"

"In a minute," she replied.

Homer stared at the face in the mirror.  Then he looked down.  "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god," he exclaimed.  "This can't be happening!"

Marge came upstairs and stood in the bathroom doorway.  "Homer?"

Homer looked at her.  "Marge, I can explain everything.  Well, actually I can't.  Can you?"

"Can I explain why you seem to have metamorphosed into a thin, mixed race middle aged woman?  No, I cannot." Homer shrieked again.  "But I'll be alright, right?"

Marge shrugged.  "And if you're not, you're a nice looking woman.  Nothing to worry about."

Homer found himself transported to a high school.  People addressed him with the honorific of Dr. and an unfamiliar  surname.  "I must not be a medical doctor or I'd be wearing a white lab coat.  I must be one of those other kinds of doctors, a PhD."  He decided he liked being a doctor regardless of what kind of doctor he was.  He had an office and a secretary.  He spun around in the desk chair several times.  "Whee!  whee!  whee!"

Homer walked up to the secretary and squinted at her name badge.  "Good morning. What appointments do I have scheduled for today?"

The secretary answered without looking up from her computer.  "Should be on your laptop."

Homer looked intently at the laptop.  What he saw made no sense to him. IEPS?  OTs?  PTs?  AT?   He felt flop sweat starting to form on his brow.  "OK, Homer.  Don't panic.  Ask the secretary what an IEP  is."  He started to get up from his chair.  "But, wait.  You don't want your secretary to know you are incompetent."  Followed by a thought from his usually dormant brain, "She probably already knows."  He gave himself a stern look.  "Shut up brain," he said. "You only speak when spoken to.  Got it?"

After a while women and one man filed around this long table.  Then a middle aged woman with no name badge entered the room. "That must be the mom person," he thought.   She sat down next to the teacher.  There was a look of expectation on her face.

"Everyone is here," he thought to himself.  "I can leave now."   He stood just outside the room and listened in.

The teacher passed copies of the report done by the private physical therapist the woman's daughter saw once a week.  The occupational therapist explained that the school's  physical therapist couldn't make it,  but they could do a conference call when it was her turn. The mom consented to that.

"Whew, that's a relief," Homer thought to himself.  He figured the mom person could not get mad if she could at least talk to the PT by phone.

"Can we also call up our physical therapist at the same time," the mom asked.

"No," the occupational therapist explained.

 Homer started to feel building resentment.  "No?"  Did the occupational therapist just say no?  "Why that little..."   Homer didn't know much, but he knew it was never a good idea to deny a mom person's request.  Looked very bad.

"But I can give the PT your PT's number," the OT continued.

The mom considered this for a moment.  Not what she had hoped for, but a private conversation between the two PTs may not be so bad.  She decided to not object to it.

"That was close," Homer thought to himself.

Then another woman spoke up.  "The speech therapist cannot be here.  She's at a meeting at another school, and we cannot reach her by phone."

Homer groaned. D'oh! Why did this woman have to point that out?  Maybe the mom person would not have noticed.  Please, he was praying silently, don't say the "R" word.

"Given that she is the main reason to have this meeting," the woman continued, "maybe you'd like to reschedule?"

Homer groaned again.  "Oh why'd she have to say it," he thought to himself.  "That only makes more work for me.  Please don't want to reschedule.  Please, please, please, please, please."  Then Homer brightened up.  Maybe he could get someone else to do the work.  They've always done his work for him before.  Lenny and Carl covered for him all the time. Then he remembered. He wasn't at the nuclear power plant.  He was at... what was the name of this school again?

The mom thought for a moment.  She hated to reschedule, but she knew the woman was right.  No point in having a meeting for a  a girl who needed assistive technology without the one person there who was most qualified to talk about it  She sighed.  "OK.  Let's reschedule."

Another case manager who was there looked at the calendar.  "What about next Tuesday," she asked.

"That's my yoga day," the mom complained.

Then she reminded them that Tuesdays were early dismissal.  "How would I be home in time," she asked.

"Maybe you could walk to school and ride the school bus home with your daughter," the social worker suggested.

The mom brightened up.  "That would be a good substitute for yoga."  She paused.  "But you'll have to get permission from the bus company."

Homer felt his panic return.  "Oh, no.  I may have to do something."

"I'll handle it," the teacher volunteered.

Homer smiled.  "Good old whatshername," he thought.  He had a feeling that this was not the first time this woman had bailed  him out.

"Do something gracious," Homer's brain said to him.  "Offer her a ride home if that doesn't work out."

Homer scowled.  He didn't want to give a ride to a fat middle aged woman.  "No way, man," he said to his brain, "I only want to give rides to hot young women."

"If you offer her a ride," his brain countered, "the mom person will like you and maybe she will not call up the principal to complain about how inept you are."

"Good thinking," Homer said to his brain. "Also if I am giving a ride to a fat, middle aged woman," he reasoned, "Marge would have no reason to feel jealous."

"I can give you a ride home if the bus permission thingy doesn't work," he said to the mom person.

Homer frowned.  He couldn't decipher the look the mom was giving him.  Could she be giving him a look of revulsion?  "No way," he thought to himself.  "No one could be disgusted by me," he decided.  "Even though I don't have a lab coat, I am still a doctor. That makes me cool, right?  Right?"

Homer's brain shook its head and sighed. Perhaps it was time to give up while it was still a head.  


  1. Debbie...

    Don't know if it is my browser...but the font on your blog is really dark and hard to read. I will try to read the post from my phone.

  2. I have no idea how it changed, Tim. I will try to fix it tomorrow. Should look like previous posts.