Monday, April 23, 2007

Frogs Have So Much Spring Within Them

Ah, Shakespeare Day. Or what should be, at least. His day of death, his probable day of birth - it ought to be a holiday, don't you think?

Since last I posted, I enjoyed a wonderful spring break in Denver, hanging out with my sister and the rest of my family. Hanging out with my sister included hanging out with her husband's new puppy, Jem. Here's a picture of Jem and her owner, courtesy of my sister's blog:
Shopping, eating, playing games - it was the usual delightful family get-together. And here's the miracle - I wasn't sick! Nor have I been since then. I don't know why, but for the first time in my memory, I finished a production in health. Go figure.

Since then, I've kept busy by rolling straight into the next production - the annual 9th grade Shakespeare festival is this Friday, so we're rehearsing a 20-minute version of Romeo and Juliet, as is our tradition. I did myself a favor this year, and instead of trying to incorporate all of my Advanced Drama class into this production, I only cast three students in it. Yes, we have to rehearse after school, but three actors are easy to cope with, and these guys are pretty good.

It never stops, though. I'm also taking applications for and selecting next year's stage crew (although I don't know what I'll do without my crew from this year. Especially Chris, my sound guy. He's fantastic - far more so that your typical ninth grader).

Midterms are this Friday, but miraculously, I am totally caught up with my grading at this point. I KNOW! Four days early and I even have the daily participation points in the computer. You would think I know what I'm doing or something.

The state Criterion-Referenced Tests start on Monday - a stressful time for the students. Then again, it's a nice way to temper the spring crazies, too.

Speaking of, we had a riot at our school a few weeks ago. After school, so we weren't too involved (alas!), but three kids were tasered and several arrested. Fun!

I've also been taking my AVID class on a couple of field trips. We toured a big, private, religious university earlier this month, and a small private liberal arts school last week. They seem to see the possibilities that are out there, finally, and they're excited.

Two favorite moments from the field trips:

1) During a Q&A, one student asked "What's the school dress code?" The admissions rep replied, "Um... I don't think there is one. No one really cares what you wear." And with that answer, I think I saw their minds explode.
2) I witnessed, perhaps, the iconic junior-high school moment: Claudia, a bright young woman, sitting front and center in a college admissions Q&A, asking an intelligent, mature, and well-phrased question about going into medicine, while clutching a Hello, Kitty! doll in her lap.

I love this age group!