Friday, December 31, 2004

what sort of resolutions are you going to make when you have quit smoking, gotten married, and love your job (or at least love enough about your job that you're still doing it, day after endless day, night after endless night)? well, everyone can stand an upgrade, so here's some vague things i'd like to get done in 2005:

1. Decide on a place to move
2. Expand my cooking abilities
3. Go on walks
4. Get off the meds
5. Hone my critical thinking skills about education and teaching and find a medium in which to express them.
6. Spend more time with friends

What's on your list?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

we made it to l.a., though nobody would call it an easy trip. it started with rain in the bay area, which we managed to get ahead of, only to hit a massive dust storm through all of central california, and a massive, obscene storm right as we hit the grapevine. though it is supposed to be a 5-hour trip, we made it in 8. thank goodness i don't have a cd player in my car, or else we wouldn't have been able to talk so much, or play ALL those fun games.
the rain has been coming down in ridiculous amounts since we've been here, but when tens of thousands are dead halfway around the world, you feel a little too jewish complaining about a rainstorm.
so far, l.a. has been a lot of movies, games, home-cooked food, and friendly merriment. who can complain? tonight is a game night (we miss you, nick & jen!), complete with a roulette table and a taco bar. it looks like there will not be much pool activity this trip, but there will be a photo op happening soon here that i will share with you, my lovely readers. something special.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Where I Link To Good Things:

back from the holiday mayham and, fucking surprise, i am still sick. or sick again. either way, i feel like complete ass and we are going to LA tomorrow regardless. everyone keeps saying that they were sick with this same thing for three to four weeks. this is not right.
let's back up a bit, though, shall we? let's say to thursday? i was sick, sick, sick of being cooped up in the house and still had some last minute christmas shopping to do, so this lady and i trotted around san francisco, picking up last minute items at lush and joseph schmidt chocolates. we also ate chili-tangerine chocolate (delicious!), french sandwiches, and pastries. it made me wonder why i didn't make more friends at mills.
friday brought us home to my parents and a family christmas party that included the lovely husband playing santa and my 6'4, 250 lb. stepbrother playing his helper elf. i cannot remember the last time i have laughed as hard as i did when i saw my step-brother's tidy-whities through the red elf tights he had on.
saturday was further family and friend festivities- presents, food, and more food. sadly, the end of the day brought back my feelings of illness, and they have been going strong ever since. we are home now for long enough to do some laundry, and then go hang with these people through new years and that makes me happier than i can ever explain.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

This year, you can be happy if you're getting a good night's sleep.
Really, isn't that enough these days? Isn't that better than anything that could come in some small package under the tree? Maybe, congratulations to you, you are a new mom and never sleep more than 2 hours at a time. I have a few of these in my life, and I can guarantee that a good night's sleep is #1 on their Christmas lists. But, like all moms before them, they don't even put it on a list anymore. Good nights sleep is a part of their past, and they just keep on truckin'. God bless 'em. Maybe you are a person with a stressful life. Nothing serious, just overall stress. And maybe, fuck you, you are a person who can sleep through stress. If that is the case, stop reading my blog because you are the ENEMY. Stressful life keeps me up most nights and up early in the morning. A good night's sleep is now only found through the assistance of pharmaceuticals, and that's sort of frowned upon. To those who frown I say, Merry Christmas to you, you annoyingly healthy good sleeper. May you have many crying babies. And last, but certainly not least in the sleeping world, maybe something awful has happened to you, something you never did think would happen. Maybe you Got Old. One of the many unfortunate side effects of life is that you Get Old, and with that comes the inability to sleep for long periods of time, without waking up to do silly things like use the bathroom, an activity that should obviously be done only during daytime hours. But when you Get Old, all the activity times change and things start to get all messy. The most unfortunate aspect of this situation is that it only gets worse. So just be grateful that now you only get up, say, 2 times a night, instead of the reputed 10 of some of the Even Older Folks.
Here's wishing everyone a good night's Christmas sleep, from our house to yours. May you have many restful nights to come.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Conversation Last Night With My Brother:

bro: what do you want for christmas?
me: i don't care. seriously.
bro: well, apparently you need a boob job! (referring to note from student indicating such)
me: yeah, right. you know what pisses me off most about that kid? i have talked to him at least five times this year about the importance of kindness and respect. but he is just a jerk- he's so cruel to EVERYONE.
bro: yeah. god, imagine how HE must be treated at home to act like that.
me: (silent for a minute) GOD! why did you have to say that? i was having such an easy time just hating him and now i can't anymore. THANKS!

don't you hate when your LITTLE brother is smarter than you?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

i just got a package in the mail from a school in brooklyn that is recruiting tfa teachers for next year and i have to say that half of me is like "goddamn it, we are moving to brooklyn and living in new york for ONE FREAKIN' YEAR of my life, because i always thought i would live in ny for one freakin' year of my life, and look! here's a job that could let me go do it. and 30 is not too old to move to ny."
but honestly, i don't think we are moving.
honestly, i think we will be in the bay area until we die.
honestly, that's not necessarily a bad thought, but i am still tempted on an almost-daily-basis, to pick it all up and move east for awhile. maybe i always will be.
Why I Became A Teacher (Or Rather, Why I Stayed A Teacher After Being Abused Daily By Thirteen Year Olds):

Truth be told, it's because one day I would like to be on Oprah. I would like to sit on that stage and have one of my underprivelged students from days past come out having recently graduated college/ got some stellar job/ is famous for doing something amazing and say that I am the reason she/ he has gone on to lead such a wonderful life. Because I believed in them/ opened their eyes to something/ loved them when nobody else did. In all actuality, it doesn't HAVE to happen on Oprah. No, as long as one student tells me that once, I'd say all the abuse might be worth it.**

** Can you tell I'm on vacation and not around the little bastards all day? I start getting all sentimental and shit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

that's my girl:

so now i am on:

1. pennicilin
2. claritin
3. sudafed
4. advil
5. cloreseptic drops

and you know what? not one of them seems to be helping my throat in the slightest bit. everything else feels significantly better today, but absolutely NOTHING is helping my throat. it feels like someone is back there with a knife every time i breathe or swallow. pleasant, no? when will it end?
you don't think i'm complaining about this just because i don't have 13-year-olds to complain about, now do you? nah.

Monday, December 20, 2004

all i have to blog about is the fact that my throat is in searing, horrific pain, i have a fever, and i have been asleep for essentially two days now. the only time i have left the house is to get a throat culture, which will not be back until tomorrow, irregardless of the fact that i know it is streph throat and the only thing that will help it is antibiotics. as if i've lived these 29 years for nothing- i know streph throat when i see it.
i know i promised more interesting things during the break, and they will come. just wait.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

i am unbelivably proud to be THE ONLY website for naps in middle school.
last year i made a pumpkin-coconut milk soup with fried sage leaves on top but i haven't a CLUE now where i got that recipe and i cannot find it online. does anyone know where i got it?
celebrity mishaps:

my cell phone rang about midnight last night. i was out, writhing around with a fever, sore throat, and extreme body aches, so i ignored the call. plus, i figured it was a wrong number because who the hell calls me at midnight anymore?
this morning i got up and listened to the message- it was my brother, yelling "I AM MIKE TYSON". figuring he must now be struggling with a tough hangover, i waited to call him back. i just finally reached him, and he is NOT mike tyson (thank goodness), but rather he MET mike tyson. damn cell phones.

all of this reminded me of the time a few years ago when my brother called me at like 2 in the morning, to tell me he had just roughed up tiger woods. apparently, tiger had brought my bro's girlfriend back to his house and my bro found them there and tried to get up in tiger's face. tiger, to his credit, was having none of it.

all of this makes me think. could i get in trouble for blogging about celebrities?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

did i mention how last week we were about to take a vocabulary test in class and one of my students raised his hand, very excitedly, and said "I'M READY TO TAKE THE TEST!" and all the answers were written on his raised arm?

Friday, December 17, 2004

i just celebrated my two weeks off by napping for 3 hours. i dreamt about my students the whole time.

flashback to yesterday:
5th period- i may or may not have mentioned i run student council at our school. it is the joy of my professional life right now-- students who care, students who want to do better, etc. so they are selling holiday grams at lunch all week in the student store and yesterday i catch them ALL CUTTING 5TH PERIOD- just sitting around the student store! my good kids! i couldn't even speak to them, i was so angry and disappointed. i just said "oh MY god. i cannot believe this. do not speak to me, do not even LOOK at me. get your stuff and go to class." luckily, these kids care about my opinion, so i didn't have to do much more than that. they all skittered off, petrified. they were properly disciplined for their actions.
6th period- my troublesome class. we were told we could have celebrations with our 6th period classes on friday. i had planned a little potluck with them. they were SO bad yesterday, however, that i canceled the whole thing. i told them that since they think every day is a party, there was no need to do something special. i was PISSED. they were loud, disrespectful, and refused to do their work. it's the punishment they deserve, but it is still tough to enforce.
so today i showed my 1/2 periods 'what dreams may come' and gave them doughnuts. then 3rd period OPTED to watch anne frank (what a beautiful moment that was for me) and i gave them doughnuts, but when my 4/6 class came in, i became bitch teacher again and FORCED them to watch anne frank- no choices. they had heard about the doughnuts, but i simply told them they were not for them. during 4th period, they were very morose and quiet. 6th period, however, they started getting disrespectful and loud again, so we spent the last 5 minutes of class AND some time after school writing letters about how to act respectful in a classroom. i'm coming down extra hard on them when we get back from break because they clearly need more structure than my other classes.
will it surprise you to learn i got one gift from a student, and not a single other student said anything even close to 'have a nice holiday' or 'have a merry christmas' or anything of the sort? according to johanna, this means you're a good teacher, but this is coming from a woman who had to make NUMEROUS trips to her car to load up all her gifts. her students also HUG her, which is completely insane to me. i guess this is the difference between 6th and 8th grade.
now it is break and i am going to sleep and eat and sleep and visit with friends and family and sleep and cook and sleep. maybe i will finally have something more interesting to write about than 13-year-olds.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

today i am going to share with you a troubling incident. almost as troubling as being called a racist by a parent, but that was yesterday, and this is today, so no use looking back.

i have a gay student. without being offensive, he is very gay- he knows he is gay as well. i don't think he is out yet, at least to the kids at school, but based on conversations he & i have had, it's obvious he knows what is going on. i'm sure he has some feelings about it, but he's not trying to figure out if he is or isn't. he is one of my most stellar students- during lunch he reads or writes. he writes essays and poems that blow you away. he talks about politics and wants to be a lawyer (to fight for gay rights, by the way) and is so sharp it is sometimes scary. he can also be incredibly condescending to the other students- he feels everyone is beneath him and he is the star. he is also really picked on by other students- they call him names like "fag" and "gay"- never during my class (that i hear!), but certainly out on the yard and from what i hear, in other classes. so today after school he came into my classroom, looking upset. i had just let my last period out and was standing by the door and asked him what was wrong. it was then that i noticed the mob outside my door. they had been harrassing him (to his benefit or not, he will never tell teachers or administrators exactly what the other students say to him), and he had started a fight with one of them. this is not the first incident like this- he has gotten in probably four fights this year already-- way more than any other student i have. apparently it happened DURING class, and that teacher came to my door shortly afterwards, demanding that he come to the office with her. she is not known for being terribly understanding but she would not leave and so i took both of them to the office, because i wasn't confident she could handle the situation. she is also in complete denial, and says that it didn't happen during class- two students have had to go to the hospital in the last two weeks because of incidents in her room. ACK- that's another blog, another day. it's just so horrible because the other kids are really cruel to him. not that he should react by beating them up, but you can sort of see the dilema, no? he refuses to get treated badly- i think that will serve him well. but he reacts too quickly and it's messing with him. i want to make sure somehow that he gets into a good high school, with teachers and staff that will handle this situation better than it's been handled. i honestly don't have answers (please comment if you do!), but it sucks. it sucks to see such a promising kid get so held back because of this.

in other troubling news from the day, you may or may not know that i have an anxiety disorder. you also may or may not know that much of my anxiety is about seizures- which i had when i was young. so today, as i was going to 1st period, there was another mob scene by my door and the kids were screaming "someone is fainting! someone is fainting!" now here comes the really awful part. i ran away. can you believe that? it's horrible. granted, i made sure another teacher ran TO her, and i ran to call the office, but i couldn't go to her. i was so afraid she was having a seizure that i ran away. what will i do if this happens IN my class and i am the only adult there? will i leave? i am consistently strong for my students in almost every way, but i think this may be an area where my needs come first. i have such guilt about thinking that, but what else can i do? i am scared, too- and isn't that ok?

Monday, December 13, 2004

today i asked students to write about a time they were angry, not using names. this was to begin our discussion of non-violence practices, as demonstrated by dr. martin luther king.
this was one of the responses:

my teacher named ms. j always gets me piss me off becaus she is so dumb. Last friday my pants were falling down and she said that I as walking around with my pants unbuckled. And how she looks she pisses me off beause she is so flat and the way she sits down and try's to stick her butt out but she doesn't have one.

just in case you were considering teaching 8th grade, i thought you should know what you're up against. don't do it if you have feelings.

for the record, i think i have pretty ok boobs and butt. granted, my boobs are not 25 anymore, and i weigh 15 lbs. less than i did then AND i'm off the pill, but they are still pretty decent. same with the booty.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


6 a.m. wake up- mom in my bed with me, coughing. husband on couch. rise a little, husband & mom trade places.

7:30 a.m. hear mom pittering around. worried about her, decide i must get up. she is leaving. i cannot fall back to sleep.

10:00 a.m. wake husband up. go grocery shopping.

12:00 p.m. return home, unload hundreds of dollars of groceries, start cleaning.

2:00 p.m. have cleaned and rearranged house as best as possible to fit many, many people into tiny space.

3:00 p.m. the week catches up with me. nights of not-enough-sleep, death, illness, and chaos. i must take quick nap if i will be up past 9 for party.

3:30 p.m. husband must be tired too. he climbs into bed- for quick 1/2 hour refresher.

5:30 p.m. rise, alarmed. party starts in 2 hours. we do not have any food even started. get into kitchen and BEGIN.

6:30 p.m. we have forgotten to buy crabcakes. husband runs out.

7:00 p.m. husband returns. he forgot wallet. party starts in 1/2 hour. we have not showered.

7:30 p.m. *PARTY TIME* doorbell rings. i am in a robe without make-up or hair done, husband is not home, and cupcakes are still in the oven. kitchen is a complete disaster.

8:00 p.m. almost all is done, we appear to be in control. a few people are here. husband turns to me and gasps. he has forgotten to put artichokes in the artichoke dip. people eat it anyway.

12:30 p.m. everyone is gone, except for the two hanger-ons who always stay late. this is my favorite part of the night. the three boys, myself in my pj's, taking shots, eating the food, and talking, talking, talking.

2:00 a.m. i crawl into bed, knowing the boys will be up until dawn. i am right.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

the story here:

the story here is that my stepdad got a fibrulater put into his heart yesterday, my mom has been here for three days (she left today), which has meant bed-switching and late nights and early mornings and a big ol' role reversal of the mother/ daughter relationship that has left me thinking about women's work and what we do, and how amazingly quiet we are about it, and how i feel like i've suddenly stepped into being the adult, which is sort of scary but also empowering. the other story here is that i have been inundated with emails from old friends that i haven't spoken with in years (like 10, at least) because of the fellow friend passing away, and that makes me happy to hear from them, and also a big shock to the system when you find out how adult they all are. everyone is married, with kids, doing their thing. the last time i saw them was probably in a car, drunk, stoned, and with cigarettes dangling out of their lips, waiting for life to take them somewhere. i guess it has. the last story going on here is that tonight we are having a party that is too big to fit into our tiny house and we have done dead nothing to prepare for said party yet. no shopping, cooking, cleaning or decorating has happened here. and the lovely husband is still asleep and i am still in my pj's, just staring at our beautiful christmas tree (who knew how much joy it would bring me?), and not wanting this day to start yet.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

don't you love when you start your week thinking "oy, i have so much to get done this week and everybody hates me already because i don't get done xyz for THEM first, and i just have to close my eyes and work and work and work until it's just over, and then i get to spend the weekend throwing a party and oh gosh, next week is looking just as bad but wait- maybe next wednesday night i will have the night off from obligations" and then you get a call from your mom in the middle of school that your stepdad is being taken to the hospital by your house (2.5 hours from where they live) to have something done to his heart and she is crying and she will stay with you for awhile and you are just barely above water but suddenly you are the one who is most above waters so you duck out of your final night class and come home so you can wait for word and you cook your mom a nice dinner because that's the sort of girl you are. yeah, i love weeks like that too.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

notes on december 8th.

1. i am sick of chasing untagged, unfixed, and skittish dogs around my school. it happens almost every week lately. i can not bear to see them run in the streets so i try to lure them into my car (to do what with? bring home? i'd be overrun by dogs even by now if they ever got in the goddamn car) and end up chasing them for miles as they run away. i try to educate my students about the importance of tags and spaying and neutering and how we should treat animals, but i don't know who's bringing it home. ack!
3. my students have blogs! i had no idea. and they gave me their website addresses and i got to read all the 8th great gossip. it was GREAT! they have such lives i had no idea about.
4. my step-dad is in the hospital AGAIN. this time for his heart.
5. one of my friends from growing up died. she had cystic fibrosis. i hadn't seen her in many years but the week the lovely beau and i started dating, i was in a coffee shop in berkeley and she walked in behind me and said, in her throaty voice "i'd know that walk anywhere", and before even turning around, i said "i'd know that cystic fibrosis voice anywhere. i can't believe you're still ALIVE." it may sound rude, but she had a rude sense of humor and believed in laughter in the gallows and we sat and talked for a few hours that morning, laughing so hard i almost peed my pants. we spoke a few more times after that on the phone- about what, i'm not sure, i just remember laughing so hard the last time we spoke that i yelled "STOP TALKING! YOU'RE MAKING ME LAUGH TOO MUCH." so people, once again, life is short. apparently she had told my mom when we were kids that she wouldn't live to see 30. she died 10 days before her 30th birthday.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

i am looking for book suggestions. i want a piece of fiction that i can really sink my teeth into. i want something that takes me away from this reality of go, go, go, rude teenagers, reading anne frank three times every single day, night classes, being called names, 13-year-old boy body odor, dog walking, getting dinner on the table, etfuckingcetra. i want an escape book. i can not get into ANYTHING lately- which is very unlike me. normally, even if i don't enjoy a book, i will struggle through to the end. these days, i'm tossing 'em out after a chapter. even my old standby's are not working to suck me in. i'm on to doris lessing tonight- the golden notebooks- but i have doubts. i cannot tolerate trashy literature, so please don't suggest something that would be for sale at a drug store (yes, i'm a book snob. i'm a freakin' english teacher. i am allowed to be.). but please DO suggest something i might enjoy. fiction only and nothing too traumatizing. i deal with enough trauma during my everyday.**
thanks for your help,

**my goodness, i am a bitchity bitch tonight, hmmm?
from the wires:

Dear Cary,

For two years I've been teaching in a very poor, rural area. The past two years have seen amazing accomplishments and the lowest of defeats. Right now, the defeats are winning out. I'm tired of seeing my middle-school students arrested for selling drugs. I'm tired of seeing my 13-year-old girls impregnated by adult men. I'm tired of having students who have grown up in American schools unable to speak English fluently.

I'm feeling frustration and rage toward the system, toward the schools that let students down constantly. I'm angry with the teachers in my school district, with the parents of my students, with my students themselves and, mainly, with myself. How much can I do in two years? Do all of my accomplishments leave with me? If I haven't made a fundamental change in my students' lives, have I failed all 260 of them?

I believe completely that education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty, but how can I change the entire school system? I came into teaching with the idea that testing is a horrible idea. I now realize that the only subjects taught, at least at my school, are those that are tested. But that isn't a cure when students aren't learning half the subjects they need. It's a Band-Aid for a much wider problem.

My main problem now is what to do. I find myself so angry and frustrated at times that it's difficult to get through the day. I know that I'm the best teacher some of my students have ever had, and that makes me sad. I want to leave, but I find myself chained to this place. Someone needs to step up and break this cycle of ignorance and poverty, but who? I need my kids to feel anger instead of hopelessness, passion instead of apathy. But how much am I forcing my biased, liberal viewpoint on them, and how much do they need to hear? How do I tell them how to stop being victims? How do I fix the root of the problem, not just the symptoms?

Exhausted (enraged?) Educator

Dear Exhausted Educator,

I do not think it is possible to do the work you are doing without experiencing the frustration and doubt that you describe. If it were, all your former classmates would be teaching fifth grade in the Appalachians instead of selling real estate in Malibu. Soon society would be completely fixed and you'd be out of a job. So you are in the right place and are doing the right thing, and are experiencing the expected emotional challenges. The problem before you is practical, not ideological: How can you go on without succumbing to despair?

You come up with day-to-day ways to keep going: Vacations. Massages. Camping trips in the hills. Sandwiches eaten on the roadside. Memorable bugs watched for hours on the sunny porch of your sister's house. A book that takes you somewhere you didn't know existed. And you keep dreams alive: A student suddenly begins to sing like an angel right in the middle of class. Years later an anthropologist sitting in a tree in New Guinea writes you a letter and says I remember what you taught me and I'm teaching it to others.

Get a box and put these things in it and keep it. Look at it when you're down. You know what Jesse Jackson says, keep the dream alive? Well, it's corny but it's true. Because you're not doing it for the trips to France and the 401K. You're doing it because you wouldn't feel right if you didn't. You're doing it because it has to be done. You're doing it because everybody else is in France, drinking wine while the kids are starving.

The rest of us are counting on you. If we were in your shoes, we would drop of exhaustion, or lash out in frustration, or lapse into catatonia for lack of good cappuccino. So you find ways to keep going.

Maybe you'll find just one genius who changes the world. Wouldn't that be enough? Maybe you'll come to work one day and find that your favorite dour, gloomy victim of poverty and abuse -- who can hardly read, whose eyes seem empty of all childhood curiosity as though he'd already seen more than any of us could bear! -- has pulled his dastardly dad's guitar out of the back of his truck and started with a few blues chords to cook up a boogaloo that will change what's on everyone's iPod. Maybe you'll find a dancer who goes to New York and between classes happens to cook supper for a composer who needed just that one meal to finish a sonata that heals an ancient rift in the soul of a diplomat who goes on to bring peace to Israel and Palestine. Who knows? You've got to feed yourself with dreams of change. You've got to be the butterfly wings that start a typhoon.

You're dangling off the side of a mountain, exhausted and dizzy for lack of oxygen and dreaming of the feel of the sheets in a bed in a suite on the top floor of the Four Seasons, and you are seized with the thought: Maybe this is not what I should be doing!

It's just the exhaustion talking.

I know it sounds corny when you're up to your armpits in failure but what did you expect, "Mr. Holland's Opus"? Speaking of which, actually, I suggest you seek out uplifting experiences in film, music and literature. I don't know about Mr. Holland, or "Dead Poets Society," but I just saw "Les Choristes (The Chorus)" and it was wonderful, and I suggest you see it if you get the chance.

And while you're looking for inspiration, read the short story by Rick Bass called "Field Events" in the "Anchor Book of New American Short Stories":

"Lory ... taught in a little mountain town called Warrensburg, about thirty miles north. She hated the job. The children had no respect for her, no love; they drank and died in fiery crashes, or were abused by their parents, or got cancer -- they had no luck. Lory's last name, her family's name, was Iron, and one night the boys at her school had scratched with knives onto every desktop the words 'I fucked Miss Iron.' Sometimes the boys touched her from behind when she was walking in the crowded halls."

Sound familiar? The children at her school were "foul, craven, sunk without hope. She would resurrect one, get a glimmer of interest in one every now and then, but eventually it would all slide back; it had all been false -- that faint progress, the improvement in attitude. Sometimes she hit her fist against the lockers after school. The desks with 'I fucked Miss Iron' on them were still there, and the eyes of the male teachers were no better, saying the same thing ... She was up until midnight every night, grading papers, preparing lesson plans, reading the barely legible scrawled essays of rage -- 'I wont to kil my sester, i wont to kil my bruthers' -- and then she was up again at four or four thirty, rousing herself from the sleepy dream of her life."

Expect the unexpected rescue: Hers comes in the form of a giant naked man swimming upstream, doing the butterfly, pulling a canoe full of darkened cast-iron statues. You just have to know that sooner or later something marvelous and unexpected will happen. If it doesn't happen often enough in real life, well, that's what art is for.

Monday, December 06, 2004

christmas trees are the new black.
they make everything better.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

continuing from yesterday... i woke up thinking about this, so i'm hoping writing about it will help.
it is completely ego-related.
i love, Love, LOVE kids. i really do- and everyone who has ever spent 10 minutes with me knows that. and kids love me. i love to read to them, and play with them, talk about their funny interests, and hold their hands and cuddle with them. i love this side of myself.
however, i also love the side of myself that is dry-humored and has seen too much and done too much and is smart and sharp and mean. and i like challanging work.
and i feel like if i teach elementary school that 50% of me is going to be inactive. AND, worst of all on my part, i have judgements about elementary school teachers. my judgements are that you don't have to be very smart and that i'd be just another female teacher. i had some feminist issues with teaching in the first place- i hate to think i am falling into gender roles, and being a teacher really makes me feel like i am doing typical woman's work. and being an elementary school teacher doubles that feeling. i also fear i won't be challanged long-term. but i do know i would have more time and importantly, more energy, for my own life, which has been seriously put on the back burner.
like i said, it is completely ego-related. but my ego is being pretty loud here, so i don't know what to make of it.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

tonight was supposed to be a night of holiday parties and fancy clothes and yummy hors d'oeuvres. instead, it is a night of kleenex and soup and theraflu and ROCKY on tv (incidentally, one of my students dressed as rocky balboa for halloween this year, and i was a little perplexed that everyone knew who rocky balboa was, yet not- say- hitler. i asked around a bit, and it turns out i have the grandchildren of many of mexico's former famous boxers. who knew?). yes, posthipchick has finally fallen the way of so many before her in recent weeks- sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, and general malaise. one wishes this could have fallen on a weekday (i say that now) when something other than parties could have been avoided.
by the way, i'm thinking of switching to teaching elementary school next year. teenagers may be making me a little insane, and as my mother so affectionately points out, i tend to be slightly dramatic, and being AROUND drama all the time may not be in my best interest. we'll see.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

in my blog that got eaten the other day, i was marveling and bemoaning how exhausted i am after a day at work, and noting that i just couldn't figure it- i have been working almost every day for the last 14 years. how could being a teacher really be THAT much more exhausting? and then i realized that being a teacher means also being the following: the HVAC repairperson, the IT professional, the nurse, the counselor, the psychiatrist, the test proctor, the editor, the writer, the reader, the video production crew, the photographer, the poet, the artist, the CEO, the accountant, the bank, the dry cleaner, the tampon machine, the interior decorator, the middle-manager, the janitor, the mediator, the detective, the mother, the father, the sister, the brother, the career consultant, the construction worker, the secretary, the software expert, the office supply store, the spca, the student, the teacher.

TEACHERS: am i missing anything from my list?
tonight, kaiser brought our school a theater production entitled "nightmare on puberty street". it was a "frank" discussion about puberty and the changing body. it was also completely abstinence-only, which is always a bit upsetting to have to suffer through.
and now, dear readers, some questions from today's audience that i do hope you never have to suffer through hearing:
1. can you have too much sex?
2. how much masturbation is too much?
3. should i use two condoms when i have sex?

but what was MOST upsetting about this whole experience, really MOST upsetting beyond even this experience, was the question i got from NUMEROUS (not just one or two) students after. they were apparently struck by how similar i looked to one of the actresses and thought- for reasons STILL unbeknownst to me- that maybe she was my DAUGHTER. for the record, she was 25.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

a student came to me yesterday with news from his doctor. apparently, he has a bit of a "learning disorder". he proceeds to inform me that his "learning disorder" is that he only remembers things that he enjoys and otherwise, he just CAN'T remember things, like about anne frank and stuff.
i seriously hope the doctor didn't ACTUALLY tell somebody this or i have a big ol' bone to pick. oh yes, let us cater our lessons to what YOU enjoy, which is- as far as i can tell- porn and comics? perfect!
i couldn't be more perplexed and annoyed with blogger right now.
an hour ago, the ONLY thing showing up on this blog was my last entry.
now everything is back EXCEPT the last post. why, Blogger, why?
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