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Showing posts from September, 2005

How many days until payday?

Friday people, two more days.... until then it's left over chicken and applesauce.

In my quest for extra cash, I learned how to work the scoreboard last night. For the unimportant activities like volleyball, I can now work the scoreboard for a little extra cash (heavy emphasis on little). At least I hope I can... scoring is not the same as it was in PE or even in coaching middle school. It's fairly fast paced now and concentration on the referees is definately a must.

I also volunteered to be a department representative. Unfortunately, I have to share this duty with two other people. Again, emphasis on little extra cash. But it's better than a kick in the head.

Poverty

I am feeling the pinch of a teacher's budget this month... and probably will for the next few months. Right now my bank account reads in the negatives thanks to a very busy beginning of the school year. I really couldn't have been bothered to sit down and figure out that I had been paid a couple hundred dollars less than previous months, or that I was having to pay out a couple of hundred dollars more. Whoops!

I'm hoping to make it too the end of the month without spending anything (spagetti again? wonderful!) I do have to buy football tickets for a game next month. This may sound frivilous, but it is a moral imperative. Or at least a familial obligation. I'm taking two younger cousins to a WSU football game and a tour of the college. One will be entering high school next year and we want to keep him on the right track. The other has had a very tough and will soon be facing more challenges than should be acceptable for a 4th grader. Plus, I'm desperate to visit the …

Weekend Update

We lost the game. Our team scored the first touchdown, but when the final siren rang it was the only one. While losing the game was a sad moment, the excitement of the crowd and community spirit was fantastic. The game was attended by nearly 10,000 people - a huge number for a non-championship football game. There was tons of great foot (although the I think someone needs to show the concession managers a photo of an actual nacho) and lots of old traditions revived.
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Week two went by pretty quickly. I have a huge pile of essays to grade tonight and need to figure out something good to do for the short story unit. So far, even I'm thinking it's a huge waste of time... and I'm the one planning it. Revamping is definately needed.
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My huge class of 35 shows no signs of being reduced. Luckily, two students have never shown up, so I squeeking by with only 32 desks and a computer. To be honest, I don't really feel I have the right complain - my number of repeaters (…
Tomorrow protends ominously... actually tonight does as well because it's a mischief night. My school plays our biggest rival this weekend. It's a big rivalry... HUGE! So huge, the entire town is going nuts.

As usual, the nights prior to the game, both sides attempt slink over to the opposing school to do some sort of damaging prank. If they're lucky, someone will paint the mascot. If that's not possible, they'll let loose on the rest of the popluation. Long story short, tonight and tomorrow, every kid out past 8pm will be rousted and no one will park on the street if they can help it. Tonight the janitorial staff is guarding our school instead of cleaning. Tomorrow night, the rest of the staff is holding a "BBQ" right next to our mascot statue.

Tomorrow is also spirit day. How crazy will it be? We had to warn students to be fully dressed - more than a couple planned to sport body paint while half naked. We'll also be having an assembly and the most spi…

Football Mania

Tomorrow protends ominously... actually tonight does as well because it's a mischief night. My school plays our biggest rival this weekend. It's a big rivalry... HUGE! So huge, the entire town is going nuts.

As usual, the nights prior to the game, both sides attempt slink over to the opposing school to do some sort of damaging prank. If they're lucky, someone will paint the mascot. If that's not possible, they'll let loose on the rest of the popluation. Long story short, tonight and tomorrow, every kid out past 8pm will be rousted and no one will park on the street if they can help it. Tonight the janitorial staff is guarding our school instead of cleaning. Tomorrow night, the rest of the staff is holding a "BBQ" right next to our mascot statue.

Tomorrow is also spirit day. How crazy will it be? We had to warn students to be fully dressed - more than a couple planned to sport body paint while half naked. We'll also be having an assembly and the most spi…

Letter Home to Parents

I sent out a letter home to the parents of my freshmen today. The letter contained a quick note about being excited for the school year and how important parents are to a student's success - along with a chart of how to help the student and my contact information. It was read over by two people and I edited it... but I'm still terrified that it probably includes a hidden typo somewhere. Or some sort of local insult no one has bothered to tell me about.

I think I'm going to drive myself insane with the stress over every minute detail. Last year, I was just trying to make it through each day. Now I'm trying to make it better that just survival. Not much fun at the moment.

Week Two

... of year two! How many are left?

My freshman classes started reading "The Most Dangerous Game" this afternoon. We got to the part where the two main characters are having dinner and one is about to spring a horrible hunting idea upon the other. I had the students get out index cards and write on the back what they thought the two characters would be hunting the next day. In the earlier class, more than a couple wrote that they found the story boring and didn't bother to pay attention. This means that tomorrow, I'll have to be having a chat about the fact that I really don't care if you don't like it - we can't hit everyone's taste throughout the year - and you are required to read it and pay attention. This would be similar to the idea that it's not a really good thing to tell your boss that you didn't listen to his presentation because it was boring and stupid. Welcome to adulthood.

Freshman. Still thinking the world was built by the Disney …

Down Memory Lane

On my Sunday morning blog stroll, I came across mechanic post. Until that moment, I didn't even realize what today was... am I that focused on school? Or did I subconsciously want to ignore?


Four years ago today, my life was humming along. I was living in one of the largest cities in the world, contemplating jumping into politics, thinking about writing and pondering another weekend of drunken escapades... both past and future.

Riding the subway to work (wondering if today would be the day the axe finally fell), my phone rang and my life took a quick left turn. Suddenly, the world wasn't all played out on the nightly news and a lot of things weren't so important. After last week's disaster, I wonder how many still remember that moment? Every year, it seems like fewer people care about those around them - it' seems like it is always about me and mine - to hell with everyone else. When did we become a country where a person would claim that those evacuated are better o…

Onward and Upward

The first week is over and it's left me depressed. Being a hard ass isn't really me and the constant negativity wears me out. I already had one detention for being late, one cell phone confiscation and one (almost) desk cleaning for swearing (apparently the boy's bathroom had no paper towels, which I really didn't want to know!). The students all think I'm incredibly mean for enforcing the rules from day one... I wonder how they will survive in the real world, where rule enforcement involves loosing your job in a tight market.

There were some highlights. Several students from last year stopped by to say hello. One told a younger sibling in my freshman class that I "would grow on him" and eventually he'd enjoy the class. Another claimed his younger sister said I was "mean" to her... and I couldn't even remember saying anything individually to the student; he told her that it was all a big joke, just do the work and she'd be OK. My neig…

Day 1 is finished!

About two thirds of the way through my fourth class, I realized that I had not really introduced myself to any of the classes and pretty much spent most of the time going over the rules multiple times. This would explain why the time seemed to be going by so fast... usually I love to talk about myself.

I think my whole "this year is going to be so much better on the classroom management front" worry took over my brain. Back to the grind of it today - I cannot let myself be lulled into thinking they're going to behave after one day. Or even three weeks. They will not be sucking me in with their angelic little faces.

I also forgot how high you can feel after a day of being "on stage" and how hard the crash can be when you get home. I went to dinner with my family and was sound asleep by 8 pm. Unfortunately, I woke up around 2 and couldn't get back to sleep for a few hours. Definitely need to hit the gym after school today to keep my evening energy up.

12 hours/20 minutes to go

Today I did nothing school related. Well, except wonder if I've forgotten anything... everything should be where I left it on Sunday, patiently waiting for the students to come pooring in.

I had breakfast with my family today, including my younger brother. Also a teacher (in another district), he started last week. This is his first year as a public school teacher, having taught the past six in a private school. He spent most of the morning telling about the thousands of dollars he has to spend on school supplies and extra paid personal days. Plus, I believe there is even a staff bathroom right near his classroom! It's like teaching Nirvana. My mind is still reeling at the amount of money he gets for classroom supplies. With that kind of money I wouldn't have to beg for cast off furniture! I could buy a classroom library! Heck, if I did used books, I could even build one bigger than the school's library.I could buy a classroom set of Shakespeare Made Easy. I could buy …