Monday, July 22, 2013

So THAT'S why...three of 'em....

Little nodules in my throats
Little nodules gets my goats
Little nodules isn't noice
Little nodules takes my voice

Size of salt grains, all you is.
Cut yous out? "Oh, no," is his
opinion--get some rest and then
your voices should come backs again

But this my jobs, my livelihoods!
If I can't talk, that ain't no goods!
He signed me up for speech rehabs
They 'spose to teach me how to blabs
More easy- how to use my chords
efficientsly. And so towards
this goal of resting nodules,  I
won't say no mores. (At leasts I'll try.)

Doc says mine aren't symmetrical, which is unusual.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Is good spelling a waste of time, or a waist of thyme?

Day At The Races Dress- Black
I can never buy this dress.

Man oh man. We are are either getting dumber or lazier, not sure which. Tooling around on a fun fashion site, I clicked on a link that took me to a sentence containing two consecutive Autocorrect problems that no editor checked/caught/knew enough to spot--read it and weep, and try to ignore the unnecessary comma:

"Day At The Races Dress- Black 
We love the fit of this dress! So classic, and cute! The synched waste is sure to show off the best parts of you!"               
 I am grateful that I was born a great speller. Got a word that needs spelling? I'm your go-to. (Except "occurance" or "occurence" or "occurrance" or "occurrence"--only one of these is right* and I truly didn't know without the little spell check feature on this bloggy.) But I know that spelling is not a function of intelligence. HOWEVER, good publishing demands that someone spend some time editing and checking, lest embarrassing moments happen to otherwise good writers:
That's one laep forward, two laeps back
Mr. Rogers wants you to be his neighhobor
Hey, aren't we supposed to be creative?

*The last occurrence is correct. It was the last one I typed and I truly was surprised. (Every time.)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Strictly Surprising, Somewhat Unsettling

Soooo. A friend of my mom's is a kindergarten teacher, retiring any minute now. L. tells me she ran into a former student of mine, that they discovered this mutual connection somehow, some freakish incidence of Six Degrees from Lola Bacon. Apparently what he told her about me as a teacher is that I am very..... strict. Strict???

Though I've been teaching since the dawn of cell phones, this is the first time I've had THAT feedback. I kinda don't know what to make of it.

It's better to be remembered as strict than as lenient, I suppose, and "strict" is waaaay better than "horrible." asks students to rate a teacher's helpfulness, clarity, and easiness. I do really well on the first two and think that is a teacher's goal. Students do not perceive me as an easy teacher. Is that the same thing as saying someone is strict?

What does that word mean, anyway? When I was in elementary school, it kind of was synonymous with "mean." If a teacher was nice but was in charge, we'd say, "She's nice, but she doesn't let kids get away with stuff," because the word "strict" had some bad connotations.

Am I strict? In September, I am super strict, I admit (a little defensively proud of it). There are only four rules for class and I have to make sure 35 or so 8th graders, crammed together in a small wooden bungalow with no a/c, LEARN stuff that they don't, let's face it, care about. When kids learn how to behave in September, that pays big dividends for the rest of the year.

But am I strict? I don't write referrals because my kids behave. The principal (well, the one who just left who was at the school for eight years) sends in student teachers and visitors and staff members to watch me because she thinks I'm a good class manager with good class rapport. Am I strict? Did that former student REALLY mean I was "mean?"

Postscript: This morning I read a blog that is usually way above my head, and I caught whiffs of my  post and of other doubts I've had about the meaning of my life, that I've never written a book, about possible self-delusion, and personal struggles as a teacher in a public school setting (a Christian teacher, what's more).  This post by Dr. Holly Ordway gave me a handle:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Homework done!

I've rediscovered
the joy of days I choose to fill
(NOT paperwork--NO!)
Chick Fil A gave free
breakfast to us, dressed as cows,
my awesome cousins

And then alfresco
lunch at the winery with
mom and dear friend

Theater tonight!
Playing on my retirement
island. (C'mon, Lotto!)

And I just finished
one of the best books I've read
in years of Sundays