Tuesday, November 30, 2004


in reading more from anne frank today, we came to a part where anne talks about wanting to carry out her ideals of peace and freedom for all, but she was afraid she would never get that opportunity. of course, we know she didn't. so i was talking about this- how my students must hear "you are THE FUTURE" all the time (because i sure did. did you?)- and all i got was blank looks. turns out they have heard nothing of the sort, which may be why they continue not to understand WHY we are reading anne frank. because the bottom line is, as i have reconciled it, that anne frank is such a classic because it speaks to what young people everywhere go through. but it turns out, some kids don't really think about what their ideals are, and what they want the world to be like. maybe most kids don't, i don't know. i'm pretty sure i did, along with thinking about how i wanted a new shirt and when i got to make-out with my boyfriend again or go smoke cigarettes (i was NO angel 8th grader, that is for sure). so i don't know, maybe anne frank is not for everyone. maybe, firstyearteacher, that is why they are so lost. i don't know, i have to find SOMETHING here, because i struggle with so many kids who don't understand the point.
anyway, beyond that, today i felt both so powerful and so powerless as a teacher, it made me almost dizzy. then i cut class tonight, and that made me really giddy. now i'm off to look up online teen anxiety groups for one of my students and then do more homework. it's a bit manic over here.

Monday, November 29, 2004

hello internet.

i do not want to do homework tonight. i did homework ALL day yesterday. i feel emotionally done with homework for the time being.

i do not want to lesson plan tonight. why are 25 people observing me at all different times this week? why do they all want copies of lesson plans, and to meet before and after the observation? why don't they leave me alone?

i do not want to call parents tonight. why can't the kids just behave so i don't have to spend my evenings talking to their parents for the umpteenth time?

i do not want to bake a cake for tomorrow night's potluck. but baking anything is tolerable, plus it means the oven will warm the house, so i guess i shouldn't complain that much. ha!

good-bye internet.


Sunday, November 28, 2004

is there anything worse than teen poetry about love? the answer is a resounding NO. i give you this (stolen off some teen poetry site) as an example. names are not used to protect the innocent, who i am sure will grow up to be as embarrased as i am about my 16-year-old poetry. thank god there was no internet then.

I'm not sure if you know or not
But I really do love you a lot.
You still hold a special place in my heart
And you did, right from the start.

But when she came along and took your breath away,
I was devastated and didn't know what to say.
I spend my nights crying, time after time,
I spent my days lying, saying I was fine.

Little did you know, my heart was crushed inside,
And on that day, a little of me died.
But with her, you look so in love
'Cause you are an angel from above.

I now have to teach my heart to move on,
For, you are now forever gone.
But about one thing I am unsure:
Why it can't be me, and not her.


Saturday, November 27, 2004

it is the saturday after thanksgiving. a sort of hangover day from the first rush of the holiday season, something i always dread. i am going to try to have a better attitude about it this year, not because i think a good attitude is important or attractive (rather the opposite), but because i have a lot to celebrate this year, and lots of fun plans for the holidays, and i don't want that spoiled by my usual cynicism about this time of year. also, i have a new goal this year for christmas. i would like to be at a christmas celebration where nobody cries. it hasn't happened in about 7 years, but maybe this year all of the yelling and crying i have particpated in/ witnessed in previous years will keep away the crying of this year. fingers crossed!
thanksgiving was good. i have to say the lovely husband REALLY makes holidays more fun, an added bonus to marriage that nobody told me about. the evening of thanksgiving ended in a game of charades, which i was dreading. i am not what one would call a 'game player' (or a 'costume fan', but that is for another blog altogether) and i have gone to great lengths in the past to get out of this sort of family fun. however, they caught me unknowingly this year and i ended up playing charades (i am getting so soft. this must stop.) and guess what? turns out i am an AMAZING charades player- both guesser and actor-outer. wow, i was SO impressed with me, especially for guessing the song 'feels good to be a gangsta' and the tv show 'the o.c.'. finally, all that time around 13-year-olds pays off.
the rest of the holiday weekend was spent holding babies. who can complain?
tomorrow will be spent making up an entire semester's worth of credentialing classes homework, because- whoops! i forgot about that little piece of being in school. i spent my pathetic saturday night lesson planning, so at least that is out of the way. i know this week is going to be C.R.A.Z.Y., so it's good that i'm as prepared as i can be. how was your weekend?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

the requisite things i am thankful for list (apparently lists are about all my frazzled mind can handle lately):

1. my best friend- my husband. for making me laugh way too often and for making me feel like i finally, finally have a stable family.
2. my job. as much as i bitch and complain, it never feels like it is sucking my soul the way office jobs did.
3. pharmaceuticals. which make doing my job possible.
4. my will. or whatever it is that made me quit smoking after 16 years of addiction.
5. belly schmelly. for always making me feel wanted at home.
6. lotion, in general, but particularly origins.
7. clogs, which have made me feel old, but not as old as i felt when i didn't wear them.
8. Blogger friends who offer all sorts of interesting and important information and advice.
9. Sleep, my one true love.
10. the fact that i am lucky enough to be the one who is giving the boxes of food away for thanksgiving. at least for this year.

xoxoxoxo to all

Monday, November 22, 2004

Two very serious questions I need help with:

1. How do you handle a student who smells- REALLY STRONGLY- of b.o.? Especially when he's a boy and you're a woman and you don't have the closest relationship?

2. How could this have happened? Oprah had teachers on the show for her annual 'favorite things' and NOBODY TOLD HER ABOUT ME. People, really. Why bother if there is no free stuff at the end?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

i wish i could say that i spent the day somewhere OTHER than the emergency room, in something OTHER than severe abdominal pain, with something OTHER than an iv stuck in my arm.
thank god it is only a 2-day week.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Totally spoiled:

I ate fresh crab by myself for dinner. YUM!
it feels like a long time since i've written about something besides teaching and kids and how tired i am. so here goes.
i miss living in the city.
i miss nick and jennifer.
i miss anne and rene.
i miss kurt and laura.

we just don't have close friends here. we have friends, sure. we have people over for dinner, we got out to dinner with folks. but it is always some planned event a month out and with people we like, but don't know that well.
now granted, nick and jennifer and anne and rene have all moved on to other venues (goddamn academia) and being in the city wouldn't make them come home. and i am so tired (here i go again, talking about my exhaustion) and busy most weeks that i don't have time to see anyone anyway.
but the wonderful thing about all those people is that it never mattered how tired i was. or how busy i was. i always had time to see them because seeing them was easy. we would go to trader joe's together. or stop by for a minute. or just make dinner together and all go to sleep by 8:00. or talk on the phone for a few minutes after work. we didn't have to plan it out beforehand or think that much about it. it was what close friendships are like- friendships that are really what make up the backbone of my existence. and i am missing that now- that ease of closeness, because it is hard to come by, especially in a couple. i don't know how to find it, i don't know where to look for it, and i don't know where to move to get it. so this lovely november morning, i guess i just miss my friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Things that make my job hard (piggybacking off firstyearteacher's list):

1. Finding a note that says "Ms. J is a f%$@*ing fag. What a stupid Jew."
2. Not having those students suspended.
3. Having to physically pull porn out of another student's hands during class.
4. Confiscating flavored lube that a student is pouring on her arm and licking off in a disturbingly sexual manner.
5. Calling the parent of THAT student and being told "What do you want me to do about it?"
6. 75% of my students having a 2.0 or less. Meaning that, theoretically, I will have to see their faces again next year. But the reality is they will still be passed on.
7. A copy machine that never works and only getting 1000 pieces of paper a month anyway, for 110 students.
8. Never, EVER being able to sit down.
9. The realization that things would be so much better in my classroom if my failing students weren't there anymore. Thinking things like "I wish they would never come back."
10. The ten different people who observe me on a regular basis and all tell me different things to change--- leaving me more confused than ever.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Welcome to 1993: I just got my first cell phone.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Two completely separate conversations with 13-year-olds this week:

1. I am talking about how I don't like milk. One of my students says "Well, but when you have kids you will have to drink it." I give him an inquisitive look. He continues, "When you breastfeed, at least. Well, I guess you could always drink that formula stuff." A further furrowed look from me. "For the baby," he says "they have to eat something." Yup, he thought boobs were just like little microwaves that heat up cow milk or formula for the baby. Brilliant!
2. One of my students walked into class 20 minutes late today. When I asked her for a pass, she gave me attitude and I asked her to go get a pass. As she walked out, she looked at me and said "What the fuck are YOU looking at?" I LOVE TEENAGERS!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sure sign you are not yet a parent:
On your day off, you sleep until 1 p.m.

Sure sign you have trained your dog pefectly:
On your day off, when you sleep until 1 p.m., she just cuddles closer around 10.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I'm trying really hard not to laugh about this:

Another student at my school attempted suicide today- AT SCHOOL. her method? mixing pills and alcohol. the pills? eccinachea.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The horror that was last week included the following:

* The feces on the door incident
* My credentialing advisor coming in to my classroom and basically telling me that I had to do direct teaching ALL THE TIME, and include nothing to excite my students, and that everything is wrong. Which is FINE, totally FINE, but then why am I spending 10 hours a week at credentialing classes that tell me the EXACT OPPOSITE?
* The whole "the next 4 years under Bush" situation
* One of my students attempting to commit suicide and going to psych ward for 72 hours
* My computer just stopped working altogether and has to be sent to the emergency doctor, which I'm SURE will cost next to nothing. As computer fixes always do!

Overall, just one of the worst weeks I have faced in quite some time. I am so emotionally trashed from all of it that I just want to curl up and not wake up until Spring.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

i am so angry, so defeated, so totally crushed today, that i just want to throw in the towel and leave this country.
the things this country wants, i do not want. and i don't know quite how to reconcile that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Hey Floridians! You rock for standing in line for UP TO 13 HOURS! Same with those in Ohio.

And what, what can I say about my remorse for the fact that 11 states in this country voted to amend their state constitutions to ban gay marriage? This is not MY idea of a free country.
i'm so bitter and irritable tonight, i don't even have the words.
is it the useless credentialing courses i take two nights per week?
is it this GODDAMN election, wherein we decide if we are so GULLIBLE as a country that we choose to re-elect this motherfucker for another four years?
or is it just old-fashioned pms?
does it matter?
i am just so bitter and irritable. i hate red and blue. i am 125 lbs. or pure agitation. don't come messing with me here.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Remember how I said you couldn't make this SHIT up? apparently, i am a bit a prophet, because my day began by finding feces all over my classroom door and door handle. and really, no matter how great your day goes from there, it will always be a day that started out with shit on the door.
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