Saturday, April 30, 2005

what happens when some adults get together and take the STAR test.
underwear that's fun to wear:

today posthipchick must force herself out of her lovely weekend routines and head to a dreaded MALL. while posthipchick loves to shop, she prefers small, overpriced boutiques that sit alone and not surrounded by other options for purchasing. malls are an anxiety attack waiting to happen and posthipchick cannot understand what people mean when they say "oh, it's such a chi-chi mall" (as was said about the one posthipchick intends to visit today). chi-chi? REALLY? isn't it just a covered building where a whole bunch of people attempt to buy happiness through means that, let's face it, we all know will never work (and posthipchick cannot explain why she feels that target is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE- ney, BEAUTIFUL- even though it serves the same purpose. must be the signage.).
so, you may ask yourself, why would posthipchick sign herself up for this sort of torture? well, as it turns out, malls are the only reasonable place to go and buy underwear- panties, if you will. and posthipchick has been avoiding malls for so long that her own knickers are really starting to show their age, and become uncomfortable, because all of the elastic from 5+ years ago is not holding up so well, and that is clearly enough to put ANYONE in a terrible mood.
so, off posthipchick goes, into the land of smelly body lotion and oversized pretzels (which posthiphick will certainly indulge in- because when in rome and all of that) and really teeny t-shirts and teenagers gawking at each other and more options than posthipchick can wrap her little head around. all in the name of panties.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

why i love them so much that sometimes i cry:

i have a few kids that i just adore- they are smart and funny and really sharp, and also talkative and annoying and can try my last nerve some days. they take well to correction, though (these are the kids that when i correct them, they say "sorry, ms. j, you are my FAVORITE teacher EVER!"), so yesterday i had a few of them sign mini-behavior contracts- just another "reminder" of how i expect them to behave. it was nothing out of the ordinary, just a "don't speak without raising your hand", "bring your book to class", "don't pass notes", etc.
so today, in they tromp, promising their best behavior. as i'm doing a bit of direct instruction, i notice one of them talking across the room. "nick", i remind him, "you are not complying with your behavior contract." "LOOPHOLE!", he responded, "you just said we had to RAISE OUR HANDS before we talk. well, i raised my hand and then started talking." oh, did i laugh. how could i not?
then later, i notice that a few of them had envelopes on their desk. when i questioned one of them, he said "you said we couldn't pass NOTES. these are addressed enevelopes (teacher note: they were addressed down to room and desk number!) and are therefore LETTERS. free to pass."

oh, how i love them like this. i throw my head back with laughter. we all crack up. i love when they get me good like this and so do they. if teaching was always this fun, i could do it forever...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

further fears of motherhood:

i came upon a lady in the grocery store tonight sitting in the frozen foods aisle with a bag of ice on her head, sobbing and sort of carrying on to her (probably) 9-year old daughter about how she couldn't believe what she had done and how horrified she was and how upset she was. i really wanted to ignore the situation and just go on about my evening, but i don't leave women crying in the frozen food section.
"are you ok?", i asked her.
"yes, i'm fine", she sobbed at me.
"are you sure?", i continued.
she then proceeded to tell me, through tears, about how she had been accidently hit with a baseball by her "out-of-control" daughter and that the baseball academy didn't have ice, so she had to come to the store (which is next door), and how her children are out of control and she blames herself, and on and on. she really did seem like a perfectly nice woman, just having a slight mental breakdown. i offered to walk her daughter around the store so she could have some space, and informed her, in no uncertain terms, that she really needed a break. it was awful to witness someone in such a state, although i'm sure not as awful as it is to be in that state. while i can't recall a specific time i had a mental breakdown in public like that, i'm sure it's happened. and will happen again. and next time, the universe owes ME a nice woman to come help me through it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

perhaps you, like posthipchick, shun the mere idea of "resort vacations". posthipchick has certainly spent all of her life turning up her nose at the "fat, white americans" who visit such places as "uncultured" and "destroying local economies" and has been sure to spend her vacations suffering immensely through bad hotels and late buses and upset stomachs, all in the name of her good liberal guilt. well, posthipchick has (thank god!) finally come to her senses and now believes there is simply nothing one needs in a good vacation beyond a swim-up bar and a nice server man to fetch all things posthipchick may long for, and chocolates on her pillow every evening.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

everything in this crazy week is done, except for laundry, dropping off the dog an hour away, washing the dishes, packing, and sleeping. not to worry, we have 10 whole hours until we leave.
adios, until sunday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Words I Never Thought I'd Utter:
"When you show me that you can use the whiteboard WITHOUT sniffing the pens, you may use it again."

Monday, April 18, 2005

i don't believe i even mentioned last week's horrendous 14-year-old behavior here, since it has become so par for the course, i'm almost not affected by it. almost. but, due to events today, i will share with you just another completely insane comment from the same young man who wrote the paragraph in which talked about how pissed he was that i had small boobs and not enough butt. actually, this boy and i have been working tirelesly throughout the year on his kindness and the way he talks to other people. i talk to his dad after school every single friday to check in on his behavior. so this comment i am about to tell you is something i consider a digression from his regular behavior at this point. so, there i was, writing on the overheard with the smelly vis-a-vis pen, and a student in the front row says "what smells like fish?", and my young man, my pride and joy, turns and looks me right in the eye and says "close your legs". i didn't flinch, just kept teaching, but he immediately knew how badly he had fucked up and was hopping around, saying "just give me the referral, just give me the referral." i ignored him and told him i wasn't quite sure how i was going to handle the situation (a.k.a. torturing the student, or, in more pc terms, allowing the student to assume natural consequences). i let him go all through lunch not knowing what would happen, and then turned him over to the V.P. he was suspended for two days, and came back remorseful and with a letter of apology, etc. today, his dad left a voicemail on my phone, personally apologizing for his child's behavior, which was very nice. so after school, the student was in my room (because even though he insults me and talks about how much he hates my class, he also comes and hangs out whenever he can. kids. sigh.), and i told him his dad had called. he shrugged. i said that must have been so embarrasing for his father and asked "don't you care how your dad feels?". "nope", was his reply. "do you care what anyone thinks?", i followed. "yeah", he said, "my mom". HOLY LORD OF CHRIST, PEOPLE, A BREAKTHROUGH! his mom left when he was 4 years old, and wasn't heard from again until like a year ago. here is this poor little boy, acting like a complete dickhead, who probably just misses his mom. i mean, seriously. why must i be forced to see this sort of torture? why did i even sign up for this? i don't know what to do with an angry 14-year-old boy who doesn't have a mom. i don't even know what moms DO with 14-year-old boys, except tell them to clean their room, and to sit up straight or something. i know, i shouldn't consider it my personal responsibility to mother this young man, in the brief two months we have left together, but have you read my blog? i can't help it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

anyone want to/ willing to babysit bella the beast next weekend?
there is money involved.
last night, i had the rare opportunity to say "i'm the author's wife" with complete and utter pretension at a reading and event held in honor of my husband. ok, i didn't really get to utter such phrases, but i COULD HAVE, and that alone made me proud enough to burst. and when i say "author", i mean "editor", and when i say "book", i mean academic book about farts and shit and sewage that almost nobody will read, but all of that is for the wayside. because last night, i got to see my husband honored for his work, and got to see all of these people appreciate him for everything he does, and it was the most soul-filling feeling i have had in quite some time. this morning, i woke up still sort of glowing, and for that alone, i am indebted to my husband.
marriage is tough; not always, but a lot. it is also wonderful and beautiful and crazy fun a lot, so there is a balance. it is such a completely different relationship than you have with any other person in your life, and i can't say anything before has really prepared me for it. i thought nothing would change with marriage- that we were already committed to each other, that we had lived together for years, that marriage is something you do for the legal benefits. but i couldn't have been more wrong. marriage is becoming family to another person, it is considering them in everything you do, it is becoming such an essential part of someone's being that when they stand up, you stand up next to them, at least metaphorically.
i have never been more proud to be my husband's wyfe.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

today i had to decide which high school english class each of my
students will go into next year. it was a wracked decision for most
of them- there are FOUR options:

1. honors- at grade level & highly motivated
2. english- at grade level
3. english + shadow- will need help with grade level work, two periods per day
4. corrective reading- at 6th grade level or below, three periods per day

now, i have some students who are failing my class, but i feel are
actually at grade level, but just aren't doing the work. should
students with F's in english go into an on-grade-level high school
course? some have made such significant progress toward grade-level
that i want to make sure they reap the rewards of their hard work. i
have a few that i really fear should be in corrective reading, but i
also fear that if i put them in THREE HOURS of english per day, when
they are already not enamored with the subject, they will be dropouts
by the 10th grade (the high school my middle school feeds into has a
40% dropout rate). there is also this sinister part of me that wants
to throw in a few of my almost-at-grade-level kids into the honors
class, just to see what happens. i have some theories about rising to
i hate making this sorts of decisions. it always feels so fatalistic
and like i'm nailing holes in a coffin. it is only 9th grade english,
it is only 9th grade english.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

i thought i knew my husband, i really did.
but i just discovered the recent purchase of a 3-cd barry white set.
i am very confused.
maybe--- i don't know him at all.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

are you reeling in the years?

we are leaving for a quick (47 hour) jaunt to mexico in less than two weeks (don't even ask!), which brought up the whole "oh shit, my passport just expired" issue (have i dealt with that? no.). of course, this forced me to bust out my "i'm 19 and going to costa rica for two months to find myself" passport, and you, dear readers, can share in the delight of posthipchick at the incredibly attractive age of 19.

ok, let's review what sort of terrible things were happening to me at that age. first, the eyebrows. seriously? could nobody have introduced me to waxing just a few years earlier? why did they let me leave the house with that thing on my face? moving on- the chins. can you even count them? and the hair- i think i must have had an unfortunate sun-in incident, on top of the whole "i'm off to see the world and am parting my hair in the middle, even though it clearly doesn't work" situation. also, was it curly? is that a perm? i do believe it is! could i have tried just a little bit to be cute? or at least not look like a man?

now, to counter this (to save my ego a bit), i present a picture of posthipchick at her 25th birthday.

i was citified (translation: had been living in cities for quite some time), had lost all my baby fat, but had some serious boobies (no longer), and was all over the make-up counter. as a matter of fact, i think 25 might have been spent at the mac and benefit counters exclusively, when i wasn't spending all day in bed recovering from looooong nights of drinking. i've said it before, 25 was hands down the worst year of my life, but damn if i didn't look good for it. except the eyebrows again- the caterpillar was bad, but did i need to go for the complete opposite extreme? i look like everything is one big !surprise!

here i am today (almost exactly 10 years after the first picture, according to passport records).

i think i've struck a reasonable balance between underdone & overdone (like a good piece of meat). plus, i am more particular about my waxers, which, don't let 'em tell you differently, is important, don't you think?

Friday, April 08, 2005


i just convinced bella to eat mache, just by acting like i was going to eat it. i'm going to try THAT the next time she needs medicine.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

it is 12:00 p.m. and i am home sick today.

during the three hours i have been awake, my cell phone has rung no less than 10 times, with a 'private caller' number and when i answer it, it just sounds like someone has accidently called me from a party, with the phone stuffed into their pocket.

oh, the fears i have that my students have gotten a hold of my cell phone number, and the "party" they are calling from is my clasroom. please let this not be the case. please?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

of course i had to go to school today, even though i am sick, so sick that even digesting white rice has been a problem for the last 48 hours.

of course i had to get in between an extremely physical girl fight, feeling like i could barely even stand up.

of course i had to host a group i had arranged to come give a presentation to our 8th graders.

of course i had to stay after school with student council members to watch them make posters for an upcoming spirit day.

of course i am not going to school tomorrow.

sick day. may there be much sleep.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

i love you

see, the thing is, i actually enjoy people for their flaws. i am not really interested in hearing about your "perfect marriage" or your "love for students" or how "valuable" you are or how you speak two languages "perfectly". in fact, i don't want to hear you talk about how great you are ever OR how everyone else is so miserable, therefore implying that you are somehow superior.
see, i will love you when you tell me about how your parents met in jail, or how your dad was a drug dealer and how you loved him anyway, or how you sat with your parent as he was dying and suddenly hoped for death, or how you had to make a choice and you chose the wrong thing, or about your addictions, or your anxiety, or about how you love your children, but sometimes wish you never had them.
flaws are what will make me love you, what will make me want to invite you over for homemade dessert and a nap with me. it is what will make me think of little presents to buy you, or books to loan you. or what you might need when you are sick or how i can help you. it will be what makes me pick up the phone to call you or send you an email, even when i don't have the time. because i'll make the time for you.

Monday, April 04, 2005

it makes me feel really old to hear about things like this. it's not that i'm in denial about my aging or anything, I SWEAR I'M NOT, but i remember hearing about oral sex in about 9th grade and being APPALLED that anyone would ever do that. and i was not a goodie-goodie girl and we can just leave it at that. i guess this is one of those things they warn you about when you are a teenager and say "my kids won't be able to get away with ANYTHING because i've done everything". ha. there is always some way to get around the rules.

actually, my student council group started talking about sex today in front of me today. they like to do this- talk about something in front of me without actually asking my opinion- and as soon as i jump in, as i cannot help but do, you can tell their whole conversation has been waiting for me to jump in. so today, they were talking about getting pregnant, and then asked me what i would do if one of them came to me and told me she was pregnant (oy! why do they want to stress me out like this?) and i told them i would help them in any way i could, and then they started talking about sex and how stupid it was to get pregnant, because that is what condoms are for. of course, this is where i chimed in and reminded them that condoms are not made for 100% accuracy, and that they could still get pregnant while using a condom. and then i said, there are other things you can do that aren't sex (they must have thought i was talking about oral sex, in retrospect, but i was ACTUALLY talking about masturbation), and one of my really sweet girls says "please don't tell me you are talking about kissing. cause that is NOT enough." i cut the conversation off there, because i really don't want to know, but at the same time i want them to feel like they could talk to me if they needed to. it's hard to gauge "need" with teenagers, though. did they NEED this conversation? is this more necessary than, say, after they are already pregnant? one never knows and one is always confused. that is my lesson for today.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

what didn't fly:

is the part of the rap that i made up to teach my students about testing strategies that said:

"each question has four answers
one is wrong, like the cancers"

i argued that cancer IS wrong- bad and wrong and evil, but nobody (the lovely husband and a devoted friend) bought it. back to the drawing board for me and my rap skillz.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


star testing is in two weeks. i want to spend a fair amount of time in the next two weeks teaching test-taking strategies and doing review work.
do you have suggestions on the best way to accomplish this?
comments are good: emails are better.

Friday, April 01, 2005

non-foolish thoughts for today:

today is two years exactly since my grandpa died. for those of you who didn't read my blog back then (which i imagine applies to ALL of you, since now this seems to have morphed into a teacher blog, which it wasn't back in the day.), it was a painful time, mixed with a lot of laughter because my grandpa was having hallucinations right along with the dying, in which he would tell me about how he was on a place to africa OR- the best- had just returned from mexico where he was a famous porn star. he died right before i became a teacher, but he was proud of my path. he never, ever doubted that i would do whatever i set my mind to, as he never doubted i would get whatever i wanted, because who WOULDN'T fall immediately in love with me and give me everything i wanted (you've got to be grateful for unconditional love). we got bella immediately following his death, because animals were the only thing that could make feel connected to him. he was an animal lover for most of his life, and no holiday was complete without the same photocopied national geographic pictures from him with crude things written on the backs. not really having a present father made our relationship deeper than i think many grandparent-grandchild relationships are, and i miss him as much today as i did two years ago.
and now it looks like the pope will share his fate, going on this big joke-of-a-day. regardles of the fact that i don't necesarily share his beliefs on many things (as i didn't my grandpa's), i think his heart is in the right place and that he cares about peace and justice, which is about all you can ask for from most people these days. plus, i don't worry so much about changing the minds of the 84-year olds in the world. the kids, they are another story...
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