Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Gun Song

I've been busy since my Shakespearean friend Jennifer enlightened me to this missed opportunity for professional development:


Wednesday, October 18, 2006


This one definitely beats the crayon factory as my favorite Sesame Street memory....

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Fall break time! Two days off school - bliss! I haven't talked to anyone all day. Marvelous. And what have I done with my free time? Practically nothing:
In the last two days
- I've read three books
- I beat "Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker"
- I took advantage of Teacher Discount week at Borders and bought 4 books and the Scrubs Season 4 DVDs
- I watched "Good Bye Lenin!" Ah! Nostalgia.
- I made chocolate-chip pancakes (mmm... tastes great reheated after being frozen!)
- I taught one of Heidi's classes at Westminster
- I went to lunch with Heidi at a new Scandinavian restaurant near Westminster
- I had pie with Janelle
- I hung out with my brother (We watched old Sesame Street clips on You Tube. Ah! Nostalgia again.)

In other words, aside from calling my insurance company about my car, I have accomplished nothing that was on my chore list for this weekend. My bliss drowns out that nagging pioneer guilt. I'll say it again: Mah-ve-lous!

Ah! Is this not happiness?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Trashing of the Car

I attract careless drivers, it seems. For over four years my car was collision-free. This peace-streak was preceded by 17 (17!) car accidents. My mom would be quick to point out that I am not entirely guilt-free. Yes, the first two were my fault. When I was 10, I crossed a street without looking and was hit. When I was 14, I rode my bike while angry, and didn't heed a stop sign. However, since that time, I have been blameless for the damage to my car.

Anyway, the topic comes up today because during my last class, the head custodian appeared in my doorway and gestured for me to come out to talk. I let my Advanced Drama kids to their dictionary work (yay Camp Shakespeare!) and met Jorge in the hall. He started off with the good news: he had finally received my email from a few weeks ago and would be able to help me with most of the requests on the list. (He's been in Uruguay, it turns out.) I was relieved - the last time I had talked to Jorge, it was in "the meeting" in my principal's office when I was accused of systematically destroying the auditorium among other things (SO not true, by the way!). So when Jorge proceeded to say "That's the good news.... I have something else, too," I figured he was going to be angry with me about painting the cubes for the stupid Rainbow show next week, despite the tarps we bought and laid out to protect the stage floor.

Nope. But so great was my fear at being "in trouble" again, I was actually relieved when Jorge told me that another janitor backed up into my car and tore off the front bumper. Whoo. We swapped insurance information, with assistance from the detective, and Jorge was kind enough to wire the bumper temporarily back on so I could drive the car another day until I can get it to an auto shop.

At least it's a short week so I can go sans vehicle a bit easier than usual. Sad about the end of my streak, though.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Throw It Out

In a fit of procrastination via distraction (I was trying valiently to ignore the stack of papers I took home over the weekend to grade), I went through m closet and discarded any clothes that were too big for me. Anyone who knows me is probably aware of my pack-rat tendacies. I think it comes with the theater manager traits - everything comes with a "I could use that if we ever produced (insert show title here)!" thought. Still, I was good. Out it went if it doesn't fit!

And so, I resolve to never go back.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Color Song

One of my favorite eductaional films from my childhood....
(I had forgotten about the butterfly)

(via Fark)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Heart Behind These Hands

We had a lock-down drill today at school.  It was a surprise to the faculty - usually we get advanced notice of such things, but I didn't think too much about the lack of notice, since the administration is terrible about communication.  Since I've gotten home, though, and was able to watch the news, I'm wondering about the motivation for the drill.

During a lock-down, we're supposed to turn off the lights, lock and shut the doors, and keep the students absolutely quite.  Yeah.  Try keeping a group of middle-schoolers quiet for even 30 seconds under normal circumstances.  Keeping them quiet for several minutes in total darkness - well, it's difficult.  After the drill, I explained the point of the rules - what if there was a gunman in the school?  The point is to keep the gunman guessing which rooms are empty.  I mentioned the drills we did when I lived in LA.  A student said, "Yeah, but that's LA.  It won't happen here."

I am amazed at his naivete in one sense - how can he still think that, given what's happening in schools?  Is it a good thing that he's innocent, or is it unwise?

I'm debating whether to change the writing prompt for my English class tomorrow.  Should I have students reflect on these things, or would that be 'too troubling for these children'?  

This is one of those days when I feel the weight of my profession.

In a tangent that originally wasn't related, I was doing some math today and I realized that I interact directly with over 120 people on a daily basis.  120+ kids.  Again, weight.  What kind of contact am I making with so many students passing through my room in so few hours?