Sunday, December 16, 2007


With the remnants of my purple hair color growing out into way-too-obvious roots, I decided to dye my hair this morning. I had bought a DIY "Dark Golden Brown" kit and followed the instructions right down the the strand test.

Of course, the joy of DIY is the unpredictability of the results, right?

Actually, I don't think this photo does justice to how startled I am when I look in a mirror. I actually don't mind it too much, but it is way darker than I intended.

Hair color experimentations aside, things are busy, but fine. With the concerts, special projects, and, of course, the much-anticipated winter break, it is taking more and more energy to reign them in long enough to teach them each period. In my Advanced Drama classes, we've started work on Shakespeare monologues. I assigned a unique monologue to each of my kids - something that took quite a bit of time on my part, but that paid off in their eagerness to see which speech they each "get" to do. They do like individual attention. In addition, as classes we've choreographed "To Be or Not To Be" and "All the World's a Stage". I've now got them memorized, and my students are not too far behind. They are catching on to the impressiveness of being able to spout off such famous speeches on cue.

The musical is going along fine as well. Kelley and Janelle and I were noting the other day how much easier it seems to be this time. I think we're figuring out how to do these things. For example, instead of trying to take roll by calling it outloud (as we did two shows ago) or in small groups with appointed-but-sometimes-flaky section student leaders (as we did last year), this time we've created boxes for each 25 students. The boxes get set out across the stage at the top of the rehearsal, and the student go to them to pick up their sheet music and to sign in on a clipboard. Meanwhile, we have three excellent students who check off the clipboards and put away the boxes at the end of each rehearsal. They're the ones who figure out who's missing too much unexcused practices, who's coming late, etc. A lot less work for us directors, but it keep the kids accountable.

Speaking of special projects, it's "babies are bad" time at school again. Rather than the raw egg I had to carry around as an eigth graders, our ninth graders get flour babies - ten-pound sacks of flour that the Home Ec. teacher wraps up in duct tape and the students personalize with blankets, baby clothes, and the occasional Cabbage Patch Kid's head. While the caring requirements certainly convince the students that a baby's inconvenient, I have my doubts about whether this assignment promotes abstinence. That "indestructible" falsehood they buy into at this age also applies to the consequences of sex - you know, "Sure, I know that sex=babies, but it won't happen to me."

The project did lead to an amusing scene outside my door, though. The flour babies unit coincided with the winter dance. While some teachers though the students should experience the difficulty in dancing with an "baby" in your arms, others (thankfully) realized that turning 400-some-odd students loose in a gym with dark lights and bags of flour may lead to some undesired white powder flying, well, everywhere. So, they set up a day care center. For 75 cents, the student could leave his/her baby outside of the dance, tended by one of our school aides. It was pretty popular with the "parents", although it must have been uncomfortable for the "babies":

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