Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Doubts

At the beginning of the week, I talked with one group of sixers about an article by a teacher I know. In her piece, she wrote about reading books about racism, war, and oppression to her K - 2 multi age class. Many sixers felt the books were inappropriate and several expressed doubts that the littles enjoyed this type of literacy work. This being Banned Book week, I followed up our conversation with a slide show about banned books. The sixers were appalled and disgruntled by the idea that so many books they loved had been challenged. In my smarmiest voice, I said, "But I thought you told me just yesterday that many books should be kept away from little kids? Littles might get upset and we need to protect them from scary ideas! Didn't most of you say that?"
They stared at me snarkily until one sixer broke the silence with, "Touche."

I'm enjoying these peeps.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Refills

Something odd happened last night. I asked for another glass of wine at the restaurant and the waiter said in all seriousness, "We're going to have to charge you for that." Then I said yeah okay no problem and when we got the bill later, I wasn't charged for the wine. Crazy talk.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Mask

We were on lock down at the compound yesterday and police were everywhere. Little kids at recess thought they may have seen a gunman in the woods near our playground. We spent the day locked up, quelling rumors right and left. I was happy to be teaching the sixers and cincos because when we went in for book buddies with the Littles, I kept hearing comments like, "I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure a guy shot out the back windows of the school" and "A guy had a gun and he was shooting at us."
Turns out a neighbor told us today he was walking his dog in the woods around that time and he heard some Littles commenting about seeing a man. He knew they meant him, but didn't realize they would later decide he had a gun and a ski mask. We even made the front page of the paper this morning. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Treats

I'm probably getting sick. Throat hurts and I'm out of sorts. I had planned to boycott the faculty pitch in luncheon, just on surliness, but when I saw the dessert table as I walked by, I had to venture in. I stood by the desserts listening to another teacher talk about how her father almost died from hiccups. While she talked, I ate 5 rice krispie treats and a big bowl of this green jello/koolwhip/marshmallow combo. It was pleasurable, but then I had to go back to the room and give more ISTEP tests to unsuspecting sixers and cincos.
A happy end to my day will be seeing James Brown tonight. Life's been a little boring and depressing of late. The Godfather of Soul will perk it up perhaps.
p.s. Thanks to Menosky and Burke for the tickets.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Shark

For the past six months or so I'm embarrassed to admit that I've been going to bed ridiculously early. I don't sleep. I watch television, drink a glass of wine, listen to my radio. I'm tired but not tired enough to conk out so I vegetate most ignominiously. I don't even read. Okay, sometimes I try to do a sudoku. This week my slothism had hit rock bottom. Coming to my senses, I decided that, like the shark, I would continue to move until 10 pm and only then would I be able to enter the inner sanctum. If I don't sit down, I can achieve my goal. I wash the dishes, clean off all flat surfaces in the home, cast on knitting needles for sixers, go to Target, fold clothes, walk over to the corporate book store, come home and re-wash counters, you get the picture. I keep moving in a relentless drive to avoid horizonticalism. The kitchen's looking clean and my self respect is on the rise. My next step is to add meaning to my evening activities, but that's a long way off.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Coverup

Just saw Hollywoodland and I'm fairly certain that George Reeves was murdered. His death was not a suicide. In my kidlife, I watched all 104 episodes of his Superman over and over again, so I'm quite annoyed.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Cast

I have been knitting a scarf for over 2 years. I know one stitch and I know it well. I brought the scarf to school because an amazing teacher I know knits with her students and I wanted to emulate that teacher. She told me that the kids just teach one another and it’s a lot of fun. During the first week of school I brought the homeroom out for extra recess and I did some knitting while they frolicked, which is probably not a good idea in terms of liability issues, but I didn’t think of that until later. A sixer told me she would bring in her knitting too and I urged her to do so. Dreams of the grand knitting circle we would soon have filled me with glee. We decided to set up shop at a picnic table at recess on Thursdays. Two Thursdays ago, I worked on my scarf and the sixer sat next to me glumly because she couldn’t remember how to cast on. I told her I could not cast on and that I only knew one stitch, but I would ask Teen Daughter to cast on for her and return her knitting the next day. I heard from some other kids that they might want to learn to knit, so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought needles and yarn for six knitters. Teen Daughter started off a few rows on each set of needles. 8 girls showed up for the knitting session on Thursday. Two said they knew how to knit, but they were total liars. And the rest could not learn worth a damn. After 20 minutes of me trying to help, recess was over and I had a tote bag of bare needles that need recasting. I didn’t get to knit at all, so that was a bit of a drag. As the kids filtered in after recess, many told me they plan to come in next Thursday. I told them that I suck at teaching knitting, but they’ll probably show up anyway. I have a habit of thinking I can do things I can’t. I’m curious about this knitting predicament. Maybe my dream of the knitting classroom will come true if I just keep trying. And teen daughter keeps recasting.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Labor

I spent Labor Day laboring over essays, editing away. Still not done, but I did fight the good fight. I ventured out to the park for a slog in the late afternoon. Sadly, some gal walked behind me for all 3 miles, humming away. My ipod earphones kept falling out so I couldn't hear the podcast I had downloaded, just her humming and heavy footsteps. Did I mention she was walking? So irksome. Heading out to dinner with Husbandman and that should cheer me. On a totally unrelated note, did you hear on NPR last week that the Detroit teachers buy toilet paper for their students because the school system doesn't? The day I have to buy the toilet paper, I'm picking up the picket sign my friends. This is no lie.
Foto credit: Bob. These are not my feet. How I wish they were.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Intercom

You see and hear a lot of odd stuff at the compound. You never know as you walk down the hall what you're going to encounter. You may come across some kid screaming his head off telling everyone he passes that he's sure he has a temperature and he really should be at home right now or maybe you'll overhear a kindergarten teacher trying to explain to a child why it's not a good idea to pee in public or you might have to step over a kid blocking the entire hallway as she collects lint from the carpet because she has a lintball she's working on.
Today I was educating some sixers when the intercom blared into our room. This usually irks me but the announcement was a classic and we all laughed to hear a voice proclaiming, "This announcement pertains to the fifth graders. Especially those who are playing a game called "fish" at recess. This game involves running with your eyes closed. Some students are playing this game while on top of the play structures. We would like all fifth graders to stop playing this game as we feel it is unsafe." After some chortling, we all agreed that the game actually sounded like it could be quite amusing.

Gratitude #9: Power of Song

We've been listening to , singing, and reading about, songs for social change.  Fables of Faubus, Which Side Are You On?, Wavin' ...