Monday, September 29, 2003

the really cool thing about having an 11-year old neighbor is that we can share clothes!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

i am so enjoying the feel of fall in the air. i love feeling cool so much that i can't sleep past 6:30 in the morning anymore, because i keep fearing it will get hot during the day (wrong i am) and i have to get up to enjoy it. don't get me wrong, i still dread winter. but fall- fall is clean and romantic and invigorating and the season that best matches who i am.

wish me luck in yet another week of middle-schoolers. yikes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Today I didn't have to scream at all. I altered my 4-step behavior plan a bit and IT WORKED. i now believe in god.

instead of going:
1. verbal warning
2. time out and write a letter to your parents telling them what you were doing wrong and how you plan on changing your behavior
3. call home
4. referral to the office

it now goes:
1. verbal warning
2. time out and write a letter to your parents telling them what you were doing wrong and how you plan on changing your behavior
3. call your parents that minute and tell them that you are out of control and that they need to come to school to help control you
4. referral to the office

i called and was visited by two parents today on the new behavior plan. they were PISSED about having to come in and my students were scared shitless. just the way i like them- haaa-haaa.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The good and bad comments from school today:

Good: My students told me today that they don't have a choice about whether or not to be in gangs- they have to because their whole family is in a gang. We dropped the lesson plan and discussed choices for an hour.
Bad: One of my students, who really has some sort of problem, stared at me for awhile before asking "Ms. Brown, what do you do for a living?" I almost lost my shit. Then immediately following that, he asked if they call me Ms. Brown because my hair is brown. Why, oh why????

Monday, September 22, 2003

In yet another wonderful child moment today, one of my students called me a racist. When I informed him that he must not really know me to say that, and offered him the opportunity to get to know me after school every day, he quickly reneged the comment.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

case in point
last night i took 11 pills before going to bed.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

This world is seriously breaking my heart these days.
I'm not even sure how to start a blog entry when my world is in its current state. so i'll just do the rambling thing and hope you, dear two readers, just get it. i'm so overwhelmed by my job right now that i don't even have words. and in this, i've gone ahead and really let my health slide. the abscesses have gotten out of control and VERY painful but i just haven't had time to deal with them. when i looked at them yesterday at lunch, suffice it to say it was one of those moments where your own body disturbs you beyond belief. i decided "ENOUGH!" and left school, handing my class over to a sub, and went to the doctor. as it turns out, i have something called hydradenitis suppurativa, some sort of hair folicle issue (go figure that the girl who dedicates her life to hair removal would end up with THIS!). i'm on YET another round of antibiotics and if they don't work, it's to the surgeon. the best part is that this is a chronic problem, so i can expect to have abscess fun for years to come.
next, bella's best dog-friend, marley, has fallen suddenly and seriously ill. he's in the icu and his nose won't stop bleeding. $3,000 later and they don't know why. marley's parents are getting married in two weeks and are beside themselves with sadness and fear.
i told myself i would take a day off this weekend and do NOTHING- just relax. i can't. i have so much to do and my mind races way too quickly to sit still.
i hope you are having a better life stretch.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

My left armpit looks like a mountain range with all the abscesses happening there. It's really just a party I don't have time to attend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Remember when you were a kid and couldn't believe your teachers had lives? They didn't.

Monday, September 15, 2003

I made my kids write me letters telling me how they will behave in my class. Here's a sample:

Dear Ms. Brown
I am sorry for play in your class all the time. am planning to change my adittud my plane is ta not play in class and not get dend to the offic atenne time. and i will chang all of that to go to offic and right letter for my parnts I hope my plans get beeter and i will mack sher not to get in trubol that will be one of my gols I now that i am not the only now that play in class all my frend well not all my freinds but I will tell them to kepet low. well I hope you and my parents have to talk about me in my behaver I now y I am like that becausa I am hipperactive I think I shed go to the docter for some pills. and I will fwoolow all the rules. Listen and Follow the First Time. and respect yourself and other by watching what you say and Do Ask for permission before doing anything beyond and to Enjoy your toys and home and mat at school.

That is the letter EXACTLY as written. I guess the good news is he knows to capitalize "I". And that he really heard me about his ADD.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

What did you do today, phc?

well, in a moment of femininity, i allowed bella to have a pink ribbon tied around her neck. besides that, i just sat around and became more and more disillusioned with the world.
and you?

Saturday, September 13, 2003

If you don't hear from me for awhile, it's because i've moved into a freezer to beat this motherfucking heat.

Friday, September 12, 2003

I have been a bad blogger of late. Beat me with a blogger stick or something. I'm just so distracted all the time- yesterday I left the trunk of my car open on the street for over a half hour. Smart girl!
I find myself often haunted by my kids- everything about them- their lives, what they go home to, what they do with their time, their struggles, their dreams. Their god-awful attitudes. I usually hate them when I'm with them, and then cry about them as I drive away from school. It's so confusing. I have some idea that I can do everything for each and every one of them. I know I can't, but I also can't stop trying or there is no point to any of this.
I'm so glad the weekend is here. I want to do something where I don't talk for one second about education.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

All I can say at this point is I sure hope things work out. I had a horrific experience yesterday that I was completely unprepared to deal with. The principal at one of my schools came into my classroom to talk to me (about the fact that my room did not fit all of my students) and proceeded to scream at one of my students that he was "stupid", "dumb", and "a clown". We do not use that language in my classroom, but I was too scared and shocked to say anything to him. I handled the situation poorly, but am still terribly dismayed.
I am also sick of having to talk over students constantly and these students who think they are getting away with things. I was 14 too! I know they think they are being wildly hysterical to their peers, but it is really not amusing when you're trying to teach.
Not that I know exactly what I'm teaching yet, as I'm still waiting on books. We're in week 3. I have to remember I have all year, but these kids are so far behind already, I hate to wait another minute. We are still doing academics, but God only knows if it's in line with what they should be learning. I just have to chalk it up to my newbie-hood and do the best I can. I am really trying not to be a teacher who bitches about everything, but some days it is so hard.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

This may sound incredibly odd, and reveal all sorts of issues about me that should probably go unsaid, but I honestly can't figure out if I'm really happy or really despondent right now. Oddly, they look somewhat similar. I am easygoing, relaxed, able to take things as they come, even letting myself go a little. But I have no idea if this is all good and means my anti-depressants are working and I am finally happy with my life or if I should be rushing out to visit the doctor for some new drugs.
You heard it here first

Belle and I both think there is going to be an earthquake. She told me by getting up twice last night and randomly barking (she has never done this before). It is eerily still out and that is always a sign of an upcoming quake. My superstitions are enough that I figured if I wrote it down, and hell, published it for everyone to see, I could basically guarantee it wouldn't happen. So there you are. I saved us all. Phew.

Friday, September 05, 2003

The only news I have to report here is yet another abscess. I had one under my left armpit last week- now I have one under my right armpit. They are incredibly painful and the latest word on the street is that staph infections that are not cured by oral antibiotics are this new strand of staph that you get an iv of antibiotics for. Now doesn't that sound like fun???

Thursday, September 04, 2003

To the person who found me by googling "I'm so deserately fucking lonely please help me"- drop a line.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

When I decided to be a teacher, I had all these grandiose ideas about how I would be throwing open these doors of literature- hand-picked by culturally-sensitive me- and showing kids who had been unexposed to reading the pure joy one can find in the activity.
Some things I didn't count on-
1. What if they can't read at all and I have to start with phonics?
2. SCRIPTED PROGRAMS! do you people know about this? Students do not read novels anymore in school. They have "reading books" which take up the entire period and if you stray from it you get in big doo-doo. Did you know this was happening? It is disturbing. What about BOOKS?
Sometimes it is so depressing. They try and make things "teacher-proof" so you can't fuck them up. It seems they are going down the wrong path here, if you ask me. And I've only been at it 1.5 weeks. Oy.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Did you know that I come up as one of the first sites if you search for "butt zit"? I feel pretty hot about that one.
uh-oh. the pup is sick again. lots of vomit here. poor puppy.
Wow. Today I finally see little signs of fall in the air. The fog is lingering longer, the light is changing just a little, and the morning has a briskness to it that I haven't felt in months. I love when the seasons change.
After having what San Franciscans refer to as a "real summer" all summer, having been in LA, I'm looking forward to this change of seasons. I've had more than enough of the sweltering heat. Bring on the sweaters!
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