Friday, February 18, 2011

Student Quote of the Day

I have three best girl friends in one of my English classes. Ordinarily they drive me nuts with their incessant need to gossip about boys, shopping, and who knows what else, but every once in a while it's totally worth it. The thing that you need to know is that one of the girls, "Kelly" is bi-racial-

Kelly: Mrs. D, did you go tanning?

Me: Uuuuh..... no? I've never been tanning in my life.

Kelly: You look tanner than usual.

Me: Nope, I'm my usual pasty self.

Jennifer (to Kelly): Do you tan? You're always so dark.

Kelly: No, you idiot. I'm half black.

I had to walk away. Quickly. And go talk to another group. If I didn't, I'd have inadvertently laughed in poor Jennifer's face.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Because my job's not hard enough...

I've had a really bad week.

I'm used to challenges. I just wish they didn't decide to fall into my lap at once. Or be so emotionally charged. Let's just get to the point; this week I was diagnosed with lupus. It makes teaching interesting. Typing and writing is uncomfortable, but since it's been caught early it probably won't get any worse, or go into my organs (which means my sister can keep her kidney- she's thrilled). My students know, or at least know my hands hurt, so they're willing to help pass out papers and whatnot, which helps.

The harder challenge is that my mother-in-law, a woman I love dearly, has just been given a very grave diagnosis. To take this job, we moved 4 hours away, and part of me is wracked with guilt over that. We found out on a Friday, so I have to pray I can get through Monday without breaking down in front of my classes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Student quote of the day

Teaching Speech isn't my forte. And the class I have is proving to be especially challenging; because it's an elective, they seem to think they don't have to do the work or can screw around and be disrespectful. the past two weeks have seen me approaching each class period with dread; however, today seemed to be a turning point. They were better behaved, more respectful, and overall made me feel much less homicidal than normal. We're talking about symbols and the meaning behind them. I gave them a worksheet that had the Twittter logo on it. Then this happened:
Mike: I hate Twitter.
Me: Me too. I never got the appeal.
Mike: The logo is like a backwards F.
Me: Oh, so it is. I never noticed that.
Mike: Yeah, it's like it's making fun of Facebook. And Mark Wahlberg.
Me: ::blink blink:: What does the Twitter logo have to do with Mark Wahlberg?
Mike: Didn't he invent Facebook or something?
Me: ZUCKERberg, dear. Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook.
Mike: Oh. I got my Bergs mixed up. I hear he's a douche. (turns to the German exchange student, Jon) Hey Jon, do you know anyone named Berg in Germany?
(Jon looks confused.)
Me: Berg is a suffix, Mike.
Mike (to Jon): Is there anyone with a name that ends in Berg in Germany?
Jon: There are eight million people in Germany. I'm sure there are a few.

So maybe this class doesn't suck.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Here's what you missed-

Some of the highlights of my job include the mundane day-to-day comings and goings of high school. I like getting to work with teenagers, even though teenagers are, generally, giant hormonal balls of emotions hellbent on driving me insane. That aside, I have a pretty good rapport with my students. They come in in the mornings and are generally chipper and at least talk to me (the girls come into my classroom to use it to primp; I have a wall of floor to ceiling mirrors. It's the highlight of my day).

But you know they trust you when the shit hits the fan.

The first incident happened during finals week. I had a student OD on pills. In my class. I'm not 100% sure how I handled it; looking back, I know I handled it correctly, by my brain snapped into survival mode and I can't explain the how or the why. About a week later, as I was grading English journals, I found a victim's outcry in a student's journal, which about knocked me over with a feather. I turned it in to the administration like I'm supposed to, and that student was supremely pissed at first, but they've at least calmed down to the point that we can be in the classroom together and I can help on papers, homework, etc. It's been a weird couple of weeks.

On an upside, a former student contacted me via Facebook to tell me that she's naming her kid after me. Which is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I directed her years ago, when I was still doing clinicals for school and she was a senior. She was in a rough patch and I came along at just the right time, I guess. She's expecting her second now, and her baby will have my name as a middle name. Which is the awesomest part of my job.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Okay, so here we go...

There's been so much to post, so I did what any sane person would do- I avoided it.

There are many reasons why I avoided it. The biggest being that as the job unfolded, events transpired that were not in the job description. Namely, the best parts of the job as it was described to be in the interview, the interview by which I based the decision to uproot my and my husband's entire lives and move to a different STATE, had been given to someone else. The whole deal was very shady and back-door; I was very angry. VERY angry. Like, stormed-into-the-principal's-office-and-demanded-to-know-why-I'm-here angry (hey, I didn't yell and I didn't curse, so all in all I did pretty good). And I'm pretty sure I was lied to on three separate occasions concerning the situation, but I realize that I am a first year teacher. We are pretty dang low on the totem pole 'round these parts. My options were to 1. keep my big mouth shut and keep the job I've been searching for for two friggin years, or 2. take a stand and, while it may be noble and right, noble doesn't pay the bills.

It was very hard to resign myself to "defeat". I know it's not defeat, since I still have a job, but it's not the job I thought it was. Ergo, in my mind, it's defeat. Or at least it was. I have a hard time at times accepting that I'm a grown up; all those middle school insecurities come flooding back at times like this and so here I am, the new kid, who thought she was getting her dream job, but sees the best parts going to the popular kids, and those popular kids aren't inviting me to come play.

All of this transpired in late August and early September. It's now late January and I'm just now able to let go of all of the negative feelings. I resisted the urge to post here for all these months because I knew that it would be reactionary to the anger and hurt; one could argue that maybe I needed that outlet, but instead my poor husband got the brunt of it. I couldn't bear to put the black feelings into black and white because even if I ended up deleting it later, I would have seen it in print and that makes it all so final.

So I learned to let go. It was hard, and it will be hard to see someone else doing what I love, what was promised to me, but I'll get trough it. Lord knows I have enough to keep me distracted.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Never a dull moment.

Today we launched right into Theatre History. I warned them all ahead of time that I totally geek out over this stuff. And, true t form, I did. But not because I'm overly enthused about theatre history.

I got to explain to them the plot line of Oedipus Rex.

The faces on these kids was *priceless*. And the highlight was this exchange:

Me: So Oedipus marries the queen and has kids with her. She also happens to be his mother.
Student: UGH! That's worse than incest!
Me: *blinkblink* Honey, that IS incest.
Student: Yeah, but, like, it's so much worse than if it was his sister or brother or something.
Me: Uuuuuh.... I don't think think they differentiate. Incest is incest.

It took everything in my power to not spout out, "If you can't keep it in your pants, keep it in your family."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What do I need....

1. A bigger desk.
2. To never wear heels to school AGAIN (even though I know I will completely ignore this advice with the next cute pair I foolishly justify buying with "Oh! I can teach in these!" No. No I can't).
3. My paycheck.
4. To be able to print worksheets and not be sent to 6 different people to fix my inability to log on to a computer.
5. An instant understanding of EVERYTHING MY COLLUGES ARE TALKING ABOUT. What the hell is a Power Indicater? I have to use them, and I don't know what they are...
6. A beer.