Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Sidewalk


Of course #1 son waited til last night to ask for help with acquiring a costume. He found one among the dregs. A mask that makes you look like your head is a basketball. Bought him a Pacers shirt. He's in action.
Teen Daughter and creative pals are the characters from Peter Pan. She's Captain Hook.
Halloween's a bit of a bust now. Los kiddos go off with friends right after school and we pick them up after it's all over. No one comes to our house to trick or treat because we have no side walk. No handing out candy, no cruising the neighborhoods enjoying the ghouls and goblins, crunching on the fall leaves. There should be a center for Halloween Wannabes, where we can pick up a kid and just head out. What I really want is to pass out candy. Is that asking too much?
Foto credit: Emma's mom. Emma looks HOT as batgirl.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Details

After a storyteller came and told us a creepy story yesterday, I decided to pull out ye olde gory story lesson plan. I began with friend Sam's classic write up of an infected spider bite, and then moved into a semantic map about Husbandman's renowned tennis toe. We brainstormed a list of possible topics...wart freezing, fat lips, blood blisters, mishaps with staplers. The stories behind the scars started pouring forth. Disgusting dog stories followed. A sixer's dog chewed its own toenail off. The injury was bloody and the family spent a great deal of time searching through the blood for the missing toe nail. One cinco decided to write about "The Beetle with Diarrhea," and included the golden lines, "Normally, beetles have bowel movements frequently, but this beetle was pooping every few seconds. Also, this was the first time the wonderful children had ever seen a beetle urinate." A + heading her way.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Hilarity


A parent I like a lot and have known lo these many years cheerily shared a story with me this afternoon, that she just knew I was going to find funny. Her sixer came home talking about how cranky I was and told her mom that I probably should go back to half time teaching. Then sixermom laughed pretty hard and added, "And she's so sick of this social justice stuff you're still doing!" I looked at her and said, "Could you please not tell me anything else?"
The thing about interactions like this, is, as they're happening, I instantly recognize that I'm going to be bugged for a long time. And so it has been, lo these many hours. My mind keeps returning to the words and my impatience grows as I wonder how long this one's going to stick in my proverbial craw.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Hood



Small town teaching reality. #1 son, middle school student, is now friends with a bunch of former sixers, and they keep showing up at my house. I have a problem knowing how to act. I ask about their reading habits and how they're keeping up with homework. They grunt a few comments and then huddle around the myspace hub, worrying me with fervid typing and loud cackles. I want to offer snacks, but I remember how they threw trash in my bookshelves that time I brought in poptarts. It's all very confusing. I know what some of these sixers are capable of, so I want to keep an eye on them. At the same time, I want to run far away.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Drafts

The first drafts of sixer stories are slowly coming in. Not very good, but we'll get them cleaned up through the collaborative editing relationship. In order to do some research while they're writing, I'm asking sixers to find and read texts that connect to their themes. They've been slow to bring things in, but some sixers are reading stuff about cyber bullying, animal rights, stereotyping. I was a little disappointed with how unsubtle some of the stories were, but when I google-news-ed "racism," for a few kids whose stories need a ton of work, I got quite a few current examples of blatant racist acts, so maybe their stories aren't that unrealistic afterall.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Departed

The Departed is a good movie. Matt Damon's great as a bad guy, Nicholson's eerily over the top and Leonardo is tormented and messed up . Don't delay; see it today. It's on the bloody side, just fyi.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Shampoo

My pal is in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery. She has an impressive scar, bruised and swollen arms and legs, and an excruciatingly slow walking pace, but on the good side, she told me that they have a shampoo cap that they put in the microwave and then put on your head. You rub it into your hair and it cleans it. Honestly, her hair didn't look that great, but if they worked on that technology, it could be something I would use daily. Drinking coffee and reading the paper while shampooing my hair. I'm all for it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Vole

Last week I saw a horse rolling on its back in a field. I saw a coyote later in the week, lurking near jw's home. Today, while on a walk with Minnie Jean, JW's little dog, I was surprised to see her hunt down a vole or perhaps a mouse. She jumped suddenly onto a patch of grass and said creature flew into the air and then disappeared down a drainpipe. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Permission


Knitting has exploded with both sixers and cincos. There's this one sixer who hasn't spoken much with me this year except to tell me that he has no interest in social justice and that he would much rather write the adventures of TBone, the telekinetic super dog, than any writing invitation I could come up with. He approached me on Friday and mumbled below his breath, "I've decided I'm going to let you teach me how to knit. I'll come by on Thursday." GEE GUY, THANKS! Can't wait to see ya!" is what I wanted to say. Instead I whispered back, "I'll have you all set up with needles and yarn. No problem."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Outing

After reading this poem, we all walked down to the cemetery where we picked an object and wrote poems in the same style, beginning with, "How must it be to be...." The kids who complained that the whole outing was creepy wrote morbid sad poems and they were delighted with their own handiwork. They had to have me read their pieces the second they were done. They annoyed me on the way back screaming at all the cars to honk, but while we were there, I was well pleased.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Heart


The Heart of the Game is a great sports documentary. See it today, without delay. It's about a girls' basketball team in a Seattle High School, the very high school my favorite niece attended. The coach of the team amused me with his special themes for each season. One season the team becomes a pack of wolves, the next they become a tropical storm. When they were wolves, the coach yelled constantly throughout their games, "Look into their eyes! Look into their eyes!" I need some metaphors for my classes I think. Our school mascot is the jaguar, so maybe I'll go that route. Or maybe a natural disaster like a tornado would be good. Or perhaps a migration of monarchs.