Thursday, March 03, 2011

Nice Work If You Can Get It

I shall be fragmented tonight.

- I am worried because I appeared to be late today. I actually was in the theater inventorying our paint supplies in anticipation of set-painting next Saturday. I walked over to the other building a minute or two after the first class started (I have 1st period prep). I went through the back entrance because I was enjoying the sunshine and wanted to walk outside a little longer, but that meant avoiding going through the main office. I've been fretting all day that my principal now thinks I snuck in late.

- We're talking Greek philosophy this week in Humanities. Since I'm covering all of it in about 2.5 days, it's a pretty quick synopsis. Still, many of the kids are very much into it. Yesterday we did a 20-minute Socratic discussion (mostly trying to answer "What is beauty?") and spent quite some time today wrestling with Plato's Theory of Forms. Three of them declared how much fun they were having and asked if there was a class in philosophy they could take. I explained that this was the closest to that at this school, but recommended they get themselves to college asap and in the meantime read Sophie's World.

- One of my students turned several missing assignments on Monday. Her mother emailed me on Tuesday wondering why they weren't in the computer yet. I wrote back (after deleting several not-so-polite-sounding drafts) that the late work will be put in the computer soon. I didn't point out that if the student couldn't be bothered to do it for several weeks, it would only be fair for me to be granted the same amount of time to grade it. The mom responded that I should at least delete the "missing" marks in the gradebook because her daughter's grounded until her grade goes up. I'm still not entirely sure how that's my problem.

- The musical is coming together pretty well. We had a dance review day which meant I got to play with Jack while Rachel tweaked the dance numbers. As she put it, "they're past the embarrassing stage." Less than two weeks left! Whoo!

- The first grade won't come to the matinee show because the teachers don't think they can watch a play that's longer than an hour. Aren't they watching movies by that age?

- The district's abuzz about budget issues. The good news is that my principal announced in faculty meeting today that "we've talked to the people that's going to affect the most" and I haven't heard anything from the admin yet. I assume that means they're keeping me on.

- The superintendent sent out a survey to all district staff and parents. (Notice that they didn't ask the students.) (And yes, my Master's thesis was about the lack of student voice in policy-making.) It proposed several possible budget-reducing options. Interestingly, the one that seemed the most popular among staff (65% in favor) and parents (53% in favor) was going to a four-day week. Happily, the proposal to cut all non-core-academic programs wasn't a popular choice in either group. There was also a lot of bitterness over the idea of moving the 5th grade to the middle school to better use resources.

- The optional-comments-section responses from the survey were sent out to everyone along with the pure numbers results. I found those interesting mostly because I was surprised at how rare proofreading seems to be. A lot of the comments were angry, bitter, and biting.

- Someone apparently forwarded the comments on to the local paper, so that should have some fun consequences in the days to come.

- A few of the comments echoed the "teachers are just glorified baby-sitters" sentiments that are also getting battered about in Wisconsin. Although they are certainly not the majority, I'm still baffled that anyone sincerely believes that.

- One parent also suggested eliminating the prep period for high school teachers.

- I would like that person to know that I've skipped lunch four times in the last two weeks because I needed those 15 minutes to grade papers/cast a show/make copies/respond to various urgent emails/and so on.

- They also reminded us at faculty meeting today that midterms are next week and grades are due on Friday.

- Friday we're doing a double dress rehearsal. I'm not entirely sure how I will get grades done on time.

- But in two weeks and two days I'll be free!

- Free!

- F-R-Double-

- Now, not so fast. I didn't think. The way I am I just cast the spring show for the Beginner Drama class and I'm holding auditions Monday for the Advanced Drama class' other show.

- Still, those other two shows are in-class productions. Which means that in three weeks for the first time since August I won't have after-school activities.

- Plus, I get to go on adventures with Emily and then go visit my folks.

- In the meanwhile, though, I've moved into the condo in MT. It's so nice to have the option to skip the commute.

- I should get to bed now, though. I want to walk into the building extra early tomorrow morning.

(Can you see me? Can't you see me?)

(Too bad about all the prostitution. Funny Thing would be a really fun show to do next year, wouldn't it, Rachel?)

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