Monday, August 27, 2012

Houston, We Have Re-entry

My brain is set on "whirly." That is an entirely different setting than "coherent." So here are some of the thoughts whirling in my head today:

Kids arrive a week from tomorrow--PANIC: I'M NOT READY and THIS ROOM ISN'T READY.

I think I will ditch latitude and longitude this year and dive right into colonization.

Hey, no rat dookie.

NO, ant scout, you must not live. 

The custodians took my desk like I asked them to. YAY! There's room to polka! If I wanted to polka. I don't want to polka. Should I pronounce the "l" in "polka?"

Why doesn't the pricey rotating fan that I bought with my very own money rotate? It rotated in June.

PANIC: Should I switch my computer desk to the other side of the behemoth Promethean board?

Where should I put the iPad cart?

PANIC: I don't know how to use iPods in history lessons. I suck.

The custodians took my desk like I asked them to. PANIC--where can I shove stuff I don't know where to put?

I better start making copies of the syllabi before the machine breaks and the Christmas rush. PANIC: I have to make the syllabi, or find them--are they on the Mac? The PC? Aughhhhhh--

Syllabi is a funny word, and coincidentally my principal said "foci" this morning. What else sounds like that? Alibi. Lullaby. 

Lessons are more important than the room. I should work on the lessons immediately.

I can't work on the lessons--this room is unacceptably chaotic. 

How can other teachers just show up on Wednesday all calm and serene? Is it medication?

No one has been in here for July or August. So why is it so dang DIRTY? Brown dust is coated everywhere. 

Hey, class sizes of 32. Nice!

Hey, just when did "32 kids" become a good class size in my district? That is just so wrong.

No more separate GATE classes--all the kids are mixed together. Lord, help me stretch them all.

Where'd I put those Glade plug-ins? They don't make these any more. PANIC: How will I keep my 8th grade bungalow with no a/c from smelling like an 8th grade bungalow with no a/c?

OK, so in over twenty (gahhh--over twenty???) years of opening days, I have ALWAYS been ready on time. (Well I wasn't ready for the opening day when ten minutes into class E. threw up. Nothing can quite prepare you for that. Ready to stand and deliver, I mean.)

Odds are on my side.


  1. You can do it! Time has a nasty habit of creeping up on us when we don't want it too, and of course slowing down when we want it to pass faster. But in the end it is all perception and you have the same amount of time as always, you'll get things done and your lessons will rock as always. =]

    I still remember plenty of your lessons as if I was in your class yesterday! Supreme Court cases (I had TLO), Bill of Rights, Glory, the civil war (highlight of the year!), and making our own government. Oh yes, and all the plays. My point is, you've been doing something right so you'll keep on being awesome, especially since you've been varying things up and trying to gauge what your students enjoy. I don't see that often. I haven't had many teachers ask me to evaluate their performance. In college, its required to evaluate the professors to receive a grade but they treat it as just that - something that's required rather than taking it to heat. I know so, since I've had a couple of teachers more than once and they taught exactly the same as the first time I had them. One teacher I had has been teaching so long he was the teacher of another teacher. His style of teaching really shows too... it was just so incredibly dull too, which is a shame because he is such a great and intelligent person (I've spoken to him in office hours and outside the classroom). He basically just reads from a book the entire lecture and will periodically look up to take questions. That's it, and you can follow along on the overhead. Yikes, huh?

    Your teaching methods is something that's always stood out to me and I've admired. No matter what you do, you will pull it off and the kids will be sure to remember not only you, but the material as well.

    When I took my US Government class in 12th grade I felt super prepared and was often answering the teacher's questions. You know why? Because I already knew a TON of it from your class many years before! It was almost shocking how many of my classmates did not know their amendments.

    Finally, I wanted to leave you with this song:

    It always helps motivate me for anything whenever I need it so hopefully it can help you too!

  2. You are my hero. I blasted that song today!!!! My room is ready, my lessons are getting ready, and even though I don't FEEL ready, your encouragement lifts me! I am so blessed that you remember so much (well, I am NEVER amazed people remember Glory--what a film!), and I KNOW--not just in my head but in my soul--that it'll all be ready on D-Day. I will be posting about my new opener sometime after Tuesday. It involves pie. Thanks again, my friend, for helping me. I am hoping you are doing better yourself. I'm praying for ya and your second sentence popped out at me. Hope time is being friendly to you. "♪♫♫♪♪♫♫♫♪♪♪♫ Feeling strongerrrrrr!! ♪♫♫♪♪♫♫♫♪♪♪♫"

  3. Haha, I got a big grin out of your reply. You are very welcomed and I meant all I said, you will do amazing as always. Oh, I agree about Glory, I've re-watched it several times even (including this year). I look forward to the post on the opener then, especially the pie part, whoo!

    I've been feeling better, definitely made progress, though certainly have a lot more time before I am better completely, but it's a process. Thank you, though, it means a lot to hear that, and the song too!

    Oh, I took an advanced history class for a GE credit about a year ago, and there was an exercise I thought was pretty interesting. This was a class that studied American History specifically, and there was a theme of crime. We've studied various cases of crimes where potentially innocent men went to jail simply because they were native American or such. So, the teacher had us pick cases to research and we had to go to some archives to find actual court case records and files to examine the evidence against our selected person and determine if he was really guilty, potentially innocent, etc. and state our own cases and support it in an essay. My guy was pretty obviously guilty (he even admitted to the murder) so his case was more about whether his claim of having psychological problems held weight or not. I don't recall the case much anymore, so don't quite remember what I came up with but it was interesting anyways.

  4. WOW, interesting assignment. I love that he had you be the diggers of sources and the arbiters of justice. I love law. I also love the poem by Auden called "Law, like Love," and maybe you will, too.

    Glad to hear of your progress. That's what it's called, and some days are definitely better than others. Just be in it, and be good to yourself.

    BTW, class sizes have swelled back to 36. Sigh.

  5. That is quite a poem and it speaks the truth too well.

    Oh and now that I think about it, it was actually California History not U.S. thus why it could go deeper in depth. So we also learned the rise of Dodger Stadium and Disneyland and such.

    Also just saying I'm still looking forward to the post on your opener if you manage to find the time to do so!

    Still reading Narnia - 4/7 books down!