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Showing posts from June, 2005

Politics and Math

Well, walking by it anyways... I went for a very long walk this afternoon and ended up walking by a somewhat deserted bay front. Somewhat, because there seemed to be several people sitting their cars just watching the water (waiting for the tide to come in?). It seemed a bit late for lunch, but then again, how would I know? I haven't held an office job in years.

While perusing my Blogroll, I check out Skippy the kangaroo (for those that miss the reference, you really need to visit Australia sometime - fantastic country!). It's a political blog - very left - thus comments about Bush's speech were expected. Personally, I only saw the sound bites. The way our President speaks makes me break out in hives. It's worse than Shatner in really early Star Trek episodes... But I digress. The entry was really focusing on the commentary afterwards and the drifting support for the current quagmire. I find it interesting that so few people are bringing up the idea that maybe support i…

I couldn't do it

I couldn't go an entire month without doing something related to school. Mostly because I, A. have no real life outside of school; B. am bored out of my mind. Yes, I am bored. Just sitting around my apartment waiting for it to stop raining... which it does only in the evenings, when there is nothing to do but sit in the bar. So it was either become a raging drunk or find something to occupy my mind.

I signed up for two online courses. I probably won't get any clock hours for them since they "weren't approved" and they're online - but they're both from seemingly recputable sources. The first one is offered by ASCD (the people who publish Educational Leadership). It's about motivating students - something I can always use help with. For some reason, students don't just walk in to class intrinsicly motivated to work - go figure. Anyways, it's fairly cheap and gives you access to a lot of ASCD resources, which are fantastic.

The second one is via


I read about 20+ sites a day - newspapers, blogs, etc. It's usually a variegated group that can change at any moment. The one that has remained a constant has been Rob. I know it's been well over six years of reading, because his daughter is 5 and I remember all the excited doings of baby expectation. I've followed along through cross-country moves and poopy diapers. A few hours after Rob was given the diagnosis for his daughter's silence, I was reading about too. It's where I, along with thousands of others learned all about Congenital Bilateral Perisylvian Syndrome and got the crash course in Special Education from the parent's perspective.

Now that you have the background... a week ago I read this post and was filled with shame. Shame regarding the actions of someone in a profession that I am not only employed but work very hard to maintain a high level of professionalism and positive efficacy. You see Rob's daughter (Schuyler) cannot speak. The CBPS affe…


So much for my idea of avoiding all things school rated for a month. I've been dreaming about school almost every night... trying to work things through? I did dream up a great first day speech, but forgot most of it by the time I found a pen and paper. I also dreamed dealing with a new crop of ejits - which was not so positive.

I also got a phone call about a teaching job in a small town near my Grandmother's. Somewhat of a dream... close to the right area, but massively small and depressed. It sounded like a great staff to work with, but not the most idea living area. It's a nationally honored school, great programs and a real dedication to student learning and achievement. Later, I thought about working in that type of environment and basically decided that those students are really lucky to have all those great teachers - but what about the students in my current placement? Don't they deserve those types of teachers? I would like to believe that I am that type of te…


originally uploaded by Hedgetoad. My niece's birthday was last week - so of course, Auntie had to find the coolest present known to humanity. That's right, I bought a pool! Large enough for adults to relax in while the kidlets splash around. Did I mention the cup holders? It has cup holders for the ultimate in kiddie pool lounging.

It was immediately set up... thank goodness for the rural lifestyle of my family. An air compressor/pump meant it was about 20 minutes to inflate the entire thing. Aproximately 3 senconds after that, the "kids" were splashing around.

It's going to be a fun summer!

Las Vegas

las vegas,
originally uploaded by Hedgetoad. Every teacher should head out to Vegas the day after school gets out. There is no better way to start the decompression process that lounging by a huge pool with your every whim catered to... or at least a steady stream of frozen cocktails comin' round.

Summer Edition

Now that school is out, I'm taking a slight break from doing anything academic. Ok, not really because I'm a freak who must have something planned at all times... but it's basically been reduced to attempting to learn spanish and golf. And gardening. Possibly painting (*shhhh, don't tell the landlord).

I keep coming up with fantastic ideas for next year - but I'm afraid I'll burn myself out on what is supposed to be a break. While sitting at the airport, I came up with a great idea. I've started writing it all down in a little book and leaving it there. The idea is recorded and I can worry about it several weeks from now... so far, it's the best compromise I've come up with.

Oh yes...

I think I forgot to mention (although it should be obvious from the previous post) - I decided not to move to NYC. Firstly, it seemed like a huge hassle... one that I really didn't want to deal with at the moment and secondly, it seemed like a better idea to not be moving around so early in my career. Smart? I dunno.

Plus, all the moving money could be used for shopping. And a weekend in Vegas. And possibly a road trip this summer... and paint for the kitchen. And plants. And lots of booze. Lots of booze.

Packing Up

This past week has been insane. I feel like I've been run ragged every night! Everyone is working on putting the finishing touches on their portfolios for the year... which means I'm running around the room answering 400 questions an hour. One student insists that I read everything written before publishing - nevermind the other 30 students in the class. I may go insane. And I was told that I'm really a mean teacher because I'm "forcing" students to work until the last week of school. I really wanted to reply something horribly snarky, but thought the better of it...

I'm hoping that I get to move classrooms next year. One with four solid walls and no movie soundtrack for every lesson.. but this means that everything must be fully packed to be moved. I spoke with someone about it this morning, listing the reasons why it would be a good idea. One of them was that it would be easier to talk with teachers while still watching my classroom - I then informed tha…

Winding Down

As the school year slowly grinds to a end, I'm finding less and less time to post entries... I keep on thinking of fantastic entries while driving my car. Unfortunately, death caused by fiery car crash is not on my top ten list, so they've been pushed to side.

A couple of weeks ago, I read Margaret Spelling's inteview on closing the achievement gap. I think it was posted in NYT, (but done on NPR?) but it's been archived, so I'm going off of memory. The comment that made me stop short was one in which Ms. Spellings said something along of the lines of Hispanic mother's questioning their schools as to why their child wasn't achieving as high as other students. The first thing that popped into my mind, was how unRepublican the remark was... isn't the foundation of the Republican party that individuals are responsible for their own success and that the government isn't? Shouldn't this mother be sacrificing something (electricity? - Abraham Lincoln di…

Checking out

Yesterday, the sophomore classes were to turn in the last essay of the year - we've got more than half a month of school left, so I didn't think it asking too much... after a year of writing various essays, one would think that they could whip out the essay in an hour or so.

One student turned his in. One. The rest of them whined pathetically.

So very disappointed. And yet, somewhat expected. Somehow, my relationship with these classes has disintigrated to the point where they do nothing and whine constantly about every assignment.