Thursday, May 26, 2011

sunny side

I am suffering from a lack of positivity. This week has been full of disappointments, academic and behavioral, not least of which are two students expelled for selling drugs. Thefts, lies, apathy, parental anemia...the gamut.

So I must focus on something lighter.

We were playing our Civil War paper wad game (more in a future post), and a "dead" student was beseeching his general to use her one resurrection on him (what, you thought my game was realistic??). D. said to his general, "Please? I'll even map out the sentence for you: it starts with 'Resurrect' and ends with 'D.' "

And quick as quick, his general said, " 'Resurrect Alex,' said D."

Also, A. came after school yesterday to StudyFest and left confident: "I'm gonna ace the test tomorrow, Miss M!" He worked the whole hour this morning, checking his answers, and turned in his test with a nod of his outsized head. He came and high fived me in the afternoon when he learned he'd earned a B+. I am so proud of him. Seems funny, but sometimes it takes middle schoolers to the last test of their 8th grade year to put it together--that scoring well isn't magic or luck, and that it only takes a bit of time and effort.

More good news: SDCS may be rescinding some of the teacher layoffs.

And this weekend is my 2nd to the last weekend of grading! Woot.

And my colleague brought for me from the D.C./NYC trip a picture of Washington's dentures--and they are perfectly gross, gross enough for middle school US History! I leave you with this smile as I go to brush my teeth before bed:

from me this year--and never before:

...stolen: two glue caps,
a MacBook and power cord,
Pujols baseball card,

half dozen sodas--
And more than you bargained for:
all of my trust. Ugh.

what is going on?
where have all the boundaries gone?
disappointed...? Crushed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

3 F's in May: the Titanic, baseball, and Batman

What I said: "Of course, Mr. X., we can meet for a conference this Monday."
What I thought: "Really? With three weeks remaining? Where have you been the other 33 weeks? You really think grades move much at the last minute? Have you never heard of the Titanic? How about end-of-season batting averages?"

What I said: "I'd like it if you would bring your son to the conference."
What I thought: "That way he can't play us off each other."

What Mr. X. said: "I'll try to get him to come."
What I thought: "Holy parenting, Batman, that's the problem."

What I would like our background music to be during the conference: CLICK HERE
What I wish Mr. X. had learned earlier: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WHAT IF there's a disaster drill?

One of the vicissitudes of public school teaching is the Disaster Drill. There are a wide variety of such drills, each with its own procedure: the fire drill--calmly leave the building and sit down in the designated area; the shelter-in-place drill--close all windows and doors to secure against toxic fumes; the lock-down drill--lock all doors and windows while students lay silent on the floor; the earthquake drill--students sit quietly under the tables with their ears and neck covered.

When we debrief, kids start asking questions:

How will locking the bungalow door stop someone from kicking in or shooting the glass windows? What if he has a grenade? What if he sets fire to the bungalow? What if an earthquake kills the teacher? What if you die, Teacher, can I be in charge? How will the fire engine get to the bungalows when we are lined up on the blacktop blocking their way? How will the louvered windows stop toxic fumes from floating in? Is it true that if you scream, the gunman is more likely to kill you? Will you be our human shield? What if we are on lock down for hours--where will we poo? Where will we put the dead people? If there's an earthquake, do you think this table will protect me, especially since I am 6' tall and can't fit under it? What if there's an explosion and we all get deaf so we don't hear the "all clear" signal? Can I be in charge of the bandaids? How will bandaids help if Ive been shot?


In the spirit of WHAT IF--you might enjoy this video of WHAT IF questions that come in handy if you happen to be hanging out with the Queen of England. (What if there is a mosquito on the queen's face? What if she has lipstick on her teeth? What if her dress catches fire?
WHAT IF you click here?)

I wish you "serene good fortune," and may all your drills be espadrilles.