Every day begins the same: I greet the students, “Good morning, children”; the children answer, “Good morning, Missus Bloodaxe.”
I have them sit “criss-cross Ragnarok” for attendance. Attendance is a challenge. There are seven Leifs and a half-dozen Gunhilds.
Time for language class! The more advanced students write basic sentences in their workbooks: “The—dog—says—woof” and “The—villager—screams—aarrrrrgggghhh!”
The rest of the children practice the alphabet by singing their ᚤᛒᛈs, while I accompany on the new war drum that I bought out of pocket.
(The head on my old drum broke and I asked Principal Torsten the Cheap for a replacement. “Sorry, not in the budget.” Somehow he found the budget for his new wolf-pelt toupée but whatever.)
Next up, math: To learn basic numeracy, I ask the children to count the branches of the world tree connecting all the known realms. All nine of them. Nine is the biggest number.
Uh-oh, I need to put some of the children on time-out. It seems they’ve been bullying Leif 4: calling him names, taking his lunch farthings, doing the blood eagle on him. It’s not so much the brutal execution method that I disapprove of, whereby the ribs are severed out the back; it's that they didn’t ask permission.
Recess! The children’s favorite game is capture the flag. It gets a little competitive. Many are wounded, Leifs 2 and 5 are killed. Parent-teacher night is going to suck.
After recess, the children are thirsty and I hand out drinks: apple juice in a human skull. They're from this Viking juice company, Capri-Sun—the name is short for decapritation.
Some sad news as our class pet, Halvor the Hamster, passed away this morning. The children stage an adorable and touching hamster funeral, burying him in a massive ship with spectacular treasures.
The children are still upset and ask if they can sacrifice Leif 1 to speed Halvor’s passage to Valhalla. I normally don’t approve of classmate sacrifice, but of all the children, Halvor liked Leif 1 best. So just this once.
For arts and crafts, the children make construction paper war helmets. A fun little twist I suggest is to add flair with stickers: “Cute rainbow, Olaf,” I say. “Nice gore-spattered wolf, Sigrid.”
(I’ll give you three guesses whether arts-and-crafts supplies also come out of pocket. Honest to Odin, I’ve got half a mind to shove that toupée down Principal Torsten’s stupid throat.)
The helmets turn out adorable! Even cuter than their pipe-cleaner swords from last week.
Time for a field trip! I have the children grab their helmets and swords and get in line in order from most to least barbarous.
They walk single-file from the classroom to the big orange warship outside. The ship driver is the scariest Viking of all, Brimlad the Unpleasant.
“Sit down and shaddup,” she commands. The children don’t make a peep the whole voyage. It’s the most relaxed I’ve been all week.
The children love every second of their trip to the peasant village, from visiting the huts, to meeting the townsfolk, to burning the huts and slaughtering the townsfolk. Leifs 3 and 6 are killed, but Leif 7 gets a gold star for Most Improved Plunderer.
Back at school, it’s story time. I read to the children from Furious Thor And The Man In The Yellow Helm. In this story, The Man In The Yellow Helm offers to take Thor from his home in Asgard to see the big city. This makes Thor furious, so he drives his hammer into the man’s yellow helm, crushing his skull and dashing out his brains. It’s the children’s favorite story, way more than Green Eggs and Heimdall.
Where does the time go? It’s the end of the day, and the parents’ warships start to arrive outside the school. I say goodbye to the children and send them home with their crafts and plunder, which they can’t wait to show off. Seeing them so full of pride, I’m reminded why I got into teaching in the first place.
But the day doesn’t end there for Missus Bloodaxe, oh no. On my way home, I swing by Viking Walmart to buy more pipe cleaners and skulls for the classroom. Fucking budget cuts.