Monday, February 28, 2005

look what happens when teachers work only their mandatory hours. that's a big f- you to everyone who says "oh, but teachers get off at 3".

Sunday, February 27, 2005

i remember this poem getting me through a really difficult time:

the journey- mary oliver

one day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles
"mend my life!"
each voice cried.
but you didn't stop.
you knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
it was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
but little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.
i am so not ready for school to start tomorrow. i woke up at noon today (noon! oh, the glory!), having had a dream that my students were doing all sorts of torturous things to me and that i left my classroom and the students under the eye of my support provider (a 6'5 man, who is really my support provider in real life), and they all came to find me, saying "please come back, he whipped us into shape and we will behave". which made me wake up thinking that i will spend some time tomorrow reviewing my classroom expectations, which is always necessary after a break.

the next unit i'm working on is poetry, something i am sort of scared to teach. i never feel like i have a real handle on poetry- i always feel i am missing something or that there is something that escapes me. not being a poetry writer myself, and being in the presence of quite a few really amazing poets on a regular basis, has made me beat myself up over my lack of knowledge in the field (note to you, dear reader: it is HARD to marry a phd in english, when it is also your field of study and passion. you are usually one step behind, EXCEPT for in the area of contemporary authors.). but, WOW!, i am so excited to TEACH poetry. i have pulled out all of my nortons and other poetry books, and post-it'd the pages of poems i think are appropriate for 8th graders (none that involve hoes), and am going to take some students to a poetry writing workshop on friday after school, and am going to have them write poems, and i am SO excited, there aren't even words.

we'll see how long it lasts before they cut me down and hate the poems and talk over me when i try to speak. teaching always is so appealing when i'm on break.

in other news, the posthip household has become addicted to soft-boiled eggs and toast, and has finished a 9 1/2 inch rhubarb crisp in less than 48 hours. we feel proud.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

signs of ocd:

what you remember most about your day at the met was a hangnail you had.
i have a HUGE zit right below my eye (where my glasses sit seems to be the cause of much breakout of late) and it is completely skewing my vision.

Friday, February 25, 2005


tonight was a night of soft-boiled eggs and toast, a rhubarb crisp (two servings!), lavender baths, clean sheets and towels and clothes and a family to love.

i have a premonition that something bad is going to happen but i'm superstitous enough to let you know that if i TELL you about my premonition, it negates it. so there you go. thank me later.

now it's off to my book (thanks, rachel!) and a good night's sleep before a long day tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

requisite blog about nyc:

where can i possibly start this one? ah, a list, i suppose, to tell you all we saw and did while in the big apple (& now i've used two semi-colons in one blog entry, which is always a bad sign):

came in saturday night and went to republic for dinner with lovely friends who hosted our stay (word, erika!).

the next day was spent with erika, going to brunch and shopping, before meeting rachel and her SH in brooklyn for, what else, cupcakes. i also got to walk around park slope a bit, something i've been longing to do for some time now. brooklyn, in general, reminds me so much of san francisco, without the ridiculous housing prices. there is even talk among the posthip household of a potential move there.

the next day was spent at the gates, which i have to tell you, i rather liked. i didn't expect to love them- they are the sort of thing i end up feeling like i don't "get", but to my surprise, they amazed me. included are pics for any of you who didn't make it to ny.

after the gates, we headed to katz's for dinner, which was fabulous, of course. even a vegetarian like myself can enjoy latkes and sweet potato knishes. the evening then moved back to brooklyn to meet ms.frizzle for a spelling bee, in which my lovely husband won 3rd place. we are proud. we all came back to manhattan after the bee and went to the strand (proving all of our geekiness- bookstores at midnight!), and dessert and coffee.

have i mentioned yet how much we ate? we ate A LOT. and walked A LOT. my legs are still killing me. ok, onward!

tuesday was spent at icp, which had simply fabulous photography up. it made me seriously question why anybody bothers with color photos, when black and white is so stunning. in the evening, after a little runaround, we met up with ms.frizzle, callalillie, and 2/3 of significant others for ethiopian food. there was a plethora of conversation and laughter that lasted well into the night.

yesterday, the lovely husband was up early to hit museums and the park again, but i was trashed so slept in and met up with him mid-day at the met. the museum overwhelmed me more than a little, so we chose a few exhibits to spend time on, as well as hitting the roof for an ariel view of the gates.

there was then further shopping and a meet-up with our hosts in little italy for dinner and, of course, more dessert.

overall, the short stay was amazing. it snowed, we ate, we walked, we ate, i got to see brooklyn, we ate, the gates were priceless, we ate, the museums were overwhelming, we ate, we got to see wonderful people, we ate. i hope to go back soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

(more later, when time permits and i don't have 12 million things to see/ do/ eat/ buy in a small amount of time).

Friday, February 18, 2005

3:00 p.m.- rush out of school to get to sjsu to pay fines i shouldn't even be paying, but after two months of arguing with them, realize i am not going to win and need to pay by today or cannot continue with credentialing classes, therefore forfieting my credential, and being out of a job. suddenly, $300 seems reasonable.

3:25 p.m.- get to sjsu 5 minutes before they close. pay fines. attempt to sign up for classes and realize- SHIT- left all the necessary "add codes" in my classroom.

4:00 p.m.- back to school. get into classroom and get stupid add codes. already in v. bad mood.

4:30 p.m.- get home, call kaiser to get prescription refilled before i leave TOMORROW AT 5 IN THE MORNING. have to speak with numerous fucknuts before they accept the situation and agree to give me my 5 pills.

4:45 p.m.- in pouring fucking rain, head up to san francisco to drop off the belle. traffic, rain, thunder and lightening keep me company during the drive.

6:00 p.m.- arrive in sf, drop off belle, stop for pizza slice, begin drive home.

6:20 p.m.- halfway home, gas light goes on, there is nowhere to pull over. scream.

7:00 p.m.- get gas. go to kaiser. prescription not ready. wait for 30 min.

7:30 p.m.- after running around for 4 1/2 stupid wasted hours, return home. it's 8:00 and i still haven't even started packing. told myself i'd be asleep by 8. laundry not even in dryer. hate my life.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

things that are currently making me happy:

half-price valentine's chocolate
the fact that i have a cell phone
my grades are done
my manicure
the fact that i'm giving a test tomorrow, which means a day of quiet
supper onion pie
blackberries being $1.69 for a big basket
blackberry muffins
my husband being understanding, always

things that are currently making me unhappy:

my chapped lips
pre-period breakout
everything on tv
the fact that there's a sinkful of dirty dishes waiting for me
the rain, which is keeping the dog from letting out excess energy
the fact that my ibook has been boxed up and waiting to get on a dhl truck for the past five days, but i can never make it to a dhl drop-off
the knowledge that i'm going to have to get up at 4:00 a.m. on saturday morning

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

see if you can find the problem in the following lines of poetry- meant for 8th graders to decipher if it is a simile, metaphor, or personification:

"I stepped on the toe/ Of an unemployed hoe. It rose in offense/ And struck me a blow..." - Robert Frost

please, if you are a textbook writer or editor out there, and don't want to FUCK with 8th grade teachers, could you please never bring up a hoe in the textbook? especially not in the same area as 'blow'? it is just mean. thank you.

Monday, February 14, 2005

the girls i'll never be:

the girl who wears a lot of make-up
the girl with the cutsey accessories
the girl who looks good working out, or skiing
the organized girl
the girl who doesn't have trash littering every square inch of her car
the girl who knows where last year's taxes are
the girl who pays bills on time
the girl who tells you not to do something
the girl who's willing to spend the time to look good
the gym girl
the girl who gets up early to jog
the girl to call to get you drunk
the girl who comes to your party with a store-bought cake
the put-together girl
the girl who changes shoes a lot
the girl who wears heels
the girl who gets up on time
the quiet girl
the nice girl
the girl who is up on celebrities and their lives
the girl that wants to go dancing
having been single and cynical for far too many years, i am completely against this "holiday" and refuse to celebrate (you know, unless there is any sort of food involved. because who can argue with FOOD?). but you know what is WORSE than any of my lonely, single, miserable valentines of past, where i pined over men who a) didn't know i existed or b) were with someone else or c) weren't into commitment? it is spending this god-awful day with hormone-ridden 14-year-olds and their ilk. oy fucking vey.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

last night i took two of my students to a teen poetry slam in the city. it was, as always, just mind-blowing to hear what the kids are saying these days. it inspired me to think about different ways to hear my own student's voices.

on the way home, we were bush-bashing (i did NOT start it, i swear!) and talking about the next four years and talking about how in four years, they would be seniors in high school. what would their lives be like during the next four years, i asked? the responses:

"my mom will finally lose her mind and run away from all of us. my sister (editor's note: age 5) will become a stripper, and my brother will go crazy and be locked in a mental asylum. my step-dad will take care of me."

"my stepmom will die of lung cancer, and my dad will go insane. my step-brothers will shoot each other, my step-sister will get pregnant, and my brother and i will got and live with my mom."

Friday, February 11, 2005

dear god, i almost forgot my blog's birthday! what sort of mother will i be?
yes, dear readers, today my blog is TWO! that's 14 in dog years. that's two long years, my friends. when i look back on my first blog entry, and think about what my life was like then, i can't believe it's only been two years. it feels like a lifetime. so, instead of talking about the passing of time, and how freakin' old i feel most days, i'll just go ahead and bullet-point the ways my life is different NOW, versus TWO YEARS AGO.

* not married vs. married
* urban dweller vs. suburban housewife
* student/ office manager vs. teacher/ night student
* dog admirer vs. dog owner
* never been told i was flat-chested and without a bottom vs. been insulted so many times that i don't even blink anymore
* 135 nice lbs. vs. 125 skinny-ass lbs.
* just having taken adivan for a few months vs. a 2 year addiction to (incredibly small amounts of) adivan
* grandparents alive living vs. no more grandparents
* abcess-free vs. living in fear of abcesses
* no friends with babies vs. ALL friends with babies
* lovely smoker vs. boring non-smoker
* had friends nearby vs. no friends nearby
* lots of unstructured time vs. no time, EVER
* being post-hip, just barely vs. being completely, 100%, no doubt about it POST-POST-POST-HIP
one for the records:

ME, announcing the "valentine's day court" (that's king, queen, princess, etfuckingcetra.), with FULL enthusiasm on a middle-school stage while gaggles of students screamed and cried and believed that for today, THEIR WHOLE LIFE IS COMPLETE. ah, the power of popularity contests.
i suppose it is like this at every school, but not having been a girl involved in these sorts of things in my own life, it is slightly ironic that now i HAVE to be involved. gag me later, like for sure.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

i do not know how i want students who are constantly disruptive and abusive to be handled administratively, but i do know that neither of the two models i've worked with have had it completely figured out.

model #1 last year was completey authoritarian- it was the p's way or the highway. p was a large man and used his size to dominate and threaten students (and staff, for that matter) and seemed to be under the impression that "breaking" students was the most successful ways to discipline them. i found p to be IMPOSSIBLE to work with or reason with and it appears i'm not the only one who didn't like his "style". i heard today that he's been put on administrative leave for the 2nd time this year- the first time, which he came back from, was for hitting a student.

model #2, which i worked with this year and last year really CARES about the students. p2 wants to solve problems and counsel students and get them to feel better about themselves. p2 looks at the whole child, and not just the behavior. while i agree with this style of discipline in theory, it is incredibly frustrating as a classroom teacher to give referrals to students who are disrupting class to the point where i cannot teach, and have them sent back 10 minutes later with a note saying they will serve detention at lunch. this really doesn't feel like i'm being supported. also, p2 tends to believe the students over me (or any teacher) and this is obviously quite a problem. for instance, last week i had a student standing up when he was supposed to be sitting down and i asked him to sit down and he replied "i'm looking at the fucking board" with complete derision. i heard him say it, the class heard him say it, and he was sent out. when i sent him to the office, he didn't go, but instead hid out in the bathroom. the next day, completely through my OWN investigation, i discovered he had never been to the office. i told p2 and sent him AGAIN at the beginning of my class. this time he went, and claimed he said he was "looking at the front board". people, i was 5 feet away from him. he did not mumble. he said "the FUCKING board". but apparently that is not enough for p2 as she believed him and there was absolutely no repruccusion. this is an extremely common situation- the boy who wrote the paragraph about my flat chest and lack of a butt was given a lecture. luckily, i tracked down his father and told him what had happened and he was punished at home. but i do feel there should be consequences for student's actions, and there really isn't any under this model. i don't know what i think the consequences should be, since in theory i don't really support suspension, but in practice i feel like it at least will upset the student. as i type that i wonder, is that the point?

i do know that while i certainly respect model #2 more, i also know that it was a relief to feel that if things got so bad in the classroom (which, for the record, happens MAYBE once a week), i could send the disruptor somewhere that he/ she wouldn't want to go. does anyone feel like their administrators/ school handle things really well? what do they do?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


i called ghtg between school/staff meeting/night classes tonight and actually reached her. she said she'd be back on thursday and that she's been working with her psychologist AND her social worker. which means that snarky cps man must have done something to get her a social worker, which is more than i expected of previously-known-as-snarky-cps-man.

Monday, February 07, 2005

ariel gore is rocking my world tonight.
The Assignment (in brief): Write a 3-paragraph essay that compares the story Hatchet to another book, movie, or tv show with the same theme.

One 15-year old's response:
HATCHET is the same as CASTAWAY. the same. because. IT there is NONE. NOTHING.

four days sans blogging and honestly, i can't think of anything to say.

people i love are sick and that makes me very, very sad. i am amazed at how well people are holding up.

we bought a 32-inch flat screen tv.

friday was like the best teaching day i've ever had and today was the worst.

i still love sushi.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

today posthipchick was hit with not one, not two, but THREE signs of her aging, which does not make a just-about-to-turn-thirty girl that happy.
first, i woke up this morning and noticed my eye was sort of wrinkled. i kept thinking the wrinkle would go away, but it looks like it is here to stay. it was NOT wrinkled from sleep, as previously thought, but wrinkled from years.
then, as i was walking, i began noticing a strange feeling in my thighs. what is that? i wondered. after careful scientific experiment and deduction, i realized that my thighs are so flabby that they keep moving after my body stops. not-a-party, people. not a party.
last, but not least, as i sat and did nothing particular today, my back went into major spasms. it looks like i'm turning into a bad-back person. did i reach for something? no. did i fall? no. did i turn my head? no. I WAS JUST SITTING THERE AND NOW I AM IN EXTRUCIATING PAIN.
a list, compiled by a student, of all the "big" words i used during class today:


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

in the curriculum i use for language arts/ reading, we have two books. one is a "literature" book and one is a "grammar" book. why they are still making grammar books that essentially have students redundantly underlining and circling words- when it has been proven over and over again that this does not actually TEACH grammar in a meaningful way- is completely beyond me. but, like most things beyond me in the educational world, i just suck it up and keep on movin'. by "suck it up", i mean that i don't really use the book per se. sure, there are all these test scores that need to be submitted that have students doing the most ridiculous underlining of past participles and the like, but i've managed to avoid this without repercussion so far (note: my teaching strategy when dealing with something i don't think is smart teaching is avoidance. mark my word, this WILL bite me in the ass one of these days. i'll be sure to blog about the crisis. until then, i'll just hope no one notices.). but you know what is insane and ridiculous- and just further proof that i'm DOING THE RIGHT THING? my students LOVE this book. they LOVE being able to just underline a word and call it a day. they find it so easy and they are so quiet and diligent when doing these exercises, which of course makes it tempting to use as a teacher. they always want to "use the handbook! use the handbook!" because they know they will not have to THINK if it's put in front of them. i remember being 13 (and 14 and 15! i suddenly have all these 15 year-olds!) and i remember feeling unbelievably lazy, and like life was sooooooo hard. do you remember that feeling? what is it about teenagers that makes them feel like that?
some days i wish i ate meat. not because i particulary like or miss meat. it's just that without it you lose so many options.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

i've got a lot to say, but my classes began again today, which means it's 10:30 p.m. and i'm just getting home. so i'll tell you about it tomorrow.
but the weather? they're forcasting low 70's tomorrow (hey- isn't tomorrow groundhog day?). it's totally fucked.
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