Monday, February 26, 2007

The Conference


NCTEAR was way fun. During the sessions I watched some Chappelle show and some anime videos and read some fanfiction. My favorite line from a session was this one: "Eating candy can count as literacy if it's integrated with transmedia complexes."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Oddities

I don't like it when people question my purposes at the compound. Just let me do what I want and I'll let you do what you want, okay? I'm getting out of Dodge tomorrow. Off to NCTEAR in Nashville. I didn't register because I procrastinated. And I didn't get in the same hotel with these two good pals because I also procrastinated. Why didn't I do the right thing?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Scrotum


The Newbery winner this year has the word scrotum on the first page. I bought the book on Friday but haven't cracked it open yet. Then I read in the NYT today about the author's inclusion of the word scrotum: "The book's heroine, a scrappy 10 year old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum." Come to find out, librarians are not ordering the book because they don't think kids should read the word scrotum. Isn't that odd? I want to read the article with the sixers and cincos. We've been talking about the power of words. Scrotum never seemed very powerful to me before, but I guess others think differently. When I read the sentence my first thought wasn't, "OMG, scrotum!" But instead, "Roy! Great name for a dog!"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Cards


Today we had a 2 hour delay, so our classes were about 20 minutes long. I didn't have a ton of time, so on the overhead projector I wrote the directions for starting the day, "1. Pick up a heart eraser, a lollipop and a Valentine Card. 2. Write on card, "To my favorite student, from Ms. H." I explained later that I didn't have time to sign the cards myself. Once that was out of the way we commenced with writing odes to our pencils. I was fairly hyper from eating any cookie or chocolate that was handed to me as the kids entered. I noticed one kid carelessly dropped his Valentine Card on the ground so I screeched, "Hey, that hurts my feelings. And you didn't even sign it! How are you going to know it's from me later?" He answered, "I'll know because I'm pretty sure you're the only person handing out Hello Kitty cards today." He had a point, but still he should follow directions.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Diss


Right now I am analyzing a teeny little paragraph, about 8 sentences long. I'm asking 18 questions about this paragraph. I'm on question 5. I'm crossing my fingers that when I get to question 18 I don't sit back and think, "Well, that was totally pointless." This could very likely happen. I've been down quite a few dead end roads already. I'm trying not to think about it too much.
p.s. Sisterwoman sent me this picture of a newt today. Husbandman and I used to have newts like this in captivity.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Aging


49 Up is a little sad. I've seen 28, 35 and 42 Up. So the new footage seems very dramatic. It's fascinating to watch people age. The 49 year olds still have a bit of the 7 year old face. But the documentary work has caused all the participants a great deal of pain and I am sorry about that. I wonder why they stayed in all these years when it was clearly troubling for them to do so. But I'm glad they did. The movie gives me a sense that growing old is about gaining some calm happiness. And I've always kind of doubted the truth of that.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Inservice


Instead of teaching today I have to go to the high school and sit through "chalk talk" sessions, grade level get togethers, and professional development planning committees. I'm not a fan of these inservice days. I hate to say this, but there's a lot of time wasting that goes on at teacher inservices. We get into small groups of people we don't know and discuss questions like, "What's the best way to get kids interested in reading?" Then we use post-its, and make charts. Then we stand in front of the whole group and talk about our charts. Then we go home and never see the charts again. Life goes on, and we try to bury our bitterness at the humiliations we've endured throughout the day. I'm trying to develop a good attitude about what I'm about to experience, attempting to move away from "I'm having a flipping nervous breakdown" mode to "I'm totally inside myself and unaware of my surroundings" mode. I'll let you know how it works out.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Gum

Sixers are into chewing gum right now. A few weeks ago I was handling these transgressions by pointing at chewers while screaming wildly at the top of my lungs, "School Rule Breaker!" That was fun for awhile, but only had short term effects so now I'm just pretending I don't notice. In theory I don't care about gum chewing, but in reality I hate it. I have to see the gum rolling around inside of open mouths. It seems unseemly.