Sunday, September 27, 2009

No, really, I'm much better.

After nearly 4 years in a crappy rental house, the husbo and I were fortunate enough to stumble upon this fantastic duplex that just *happened* to be available for rent. It also just *happened* to be bigger than our previous crapshack and just *happened* to be cheaper. Like, $210 A MONTH cheaper. So we've spent the last 15 days preparing, painting, packing, and finally moving. We're in the final throws of cleaning 4 years of grime out of the house, and even though there are a few things left to do, I swear the house is cleaner than it was when we moved in. And I bet the landlord will find some asinine reason to keep our security deposit.

In work-related news, I like my job as a tutor, but still feel largely redundant in class. I'm not really there enough to feel like a giant ass full time, but the six hours I'm in class I never know how to "be". It's not my class, but I have an overwhelming urge to teach. To prevent anything that can be construed as overstepping my bounds, I don't say anything. The problem is, neither do any of the students. No one ever seems to willingly contribute to class discussion, and as a result, one professor in particular turns to me to answer questions. The only response I want to give is, "I already have two bachelors degrees. Why don't you ask your students?".

I do have little glimmers, though. I have a student who has "never written a paper before". He comes to me to get help, but he hasn't done any of the pre-writing assignments yet. Hell, he was provided with source articles that he hadn't even read yet. The paper is about weather or not Michael Vick should be allowed back in the NFL. Personally, I think he should be allowed to play ball again when his dogs can.... oh, wait, they're dead. But personal opinions get pushed aside when your goal is to get a student to do his damn work. So I ask if he's read the articles, and it turns out that he's read one... the one that supports HIS opinion, that Vick should be let back in. So I tell him, "The best way to construct an argument is to anticipate what the other side is going to say and make a counter-argument". Translation: Read your damn homework. He sat there and read it... and when he finished, he sat back in his chair, looked at me, and said he was going to change his mind. I got goosebumps... not because this kid suddenly decided to agree with me, but because he came to a conclusion based on research right before my eyes (okay, "research" is a loose term, but I'm going with it). I have no idea if he actually wrote the paper, though...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is better?

As a part time tutor at the community college, I get to sit through two classes three times a week. It's basically a high school level class, so I mostly read or write shitty poetry for the amusement of my friends. I don't have the same one-on-one interactions with the students like I did in the high schools, and it bugs me. Mostly because everyone is so quiet. It's not my class, so I can't start dancing on the desks to get their attention (well, I could.....). Even in the hallways, it's too friggin quiet.

The first class I sit through is at 8. Lord, 8 AM comes early after a summer of unemployment. And it's pretty apparent that the students are of the same mindset... especially the girl who's 8 months pregnant and comes in late every day, reeking of cigarettes. Lately, she's been sick, so she comes in, stinks up the place, hacks up a lung, and chugs Diet Mt. Dew. She's maybe all of 19, and she has a 2 year old. It kills me that I'm going to be 30 this year and have done everything in my power to *not* get pregnant.....

In the second class, I have a student who has Flintstone feet. It's pretty insignificant, but I find myself staring at them for the whole hour. He wears the same pair of oversized Adidas sandals, and they offer a perfect view of his stubby toes. In my head, I have nicknamed him Fred.

In other news, for those of you keeping score (the, what... 3 of you who read this?) my sister finally got a job. A real, grownup job with a grownup salary and grown up insurance. I am terribly, terribly excited for her, and relieved, and jealous beyond belief. She'll argue that she's been unemployed since February, which is valid... until I point out that I've been a glorified baby sitter for over a year and have *2* college degrees to her one. So I win the pity contest; hopefully the prize is a waiver for the massive student loans I'm staring down....